One of the most common causes for missing work is back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Keeping your spine strong is part of staying healthy. A strong spine can help make activities of daily living easier and increase your functional fitness. It can also help prevent or reduce your risk of certain conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis. A strengthening exercise program can get you on the road to a healthier and strong spine.

Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening exercises should focus on the muscles that support the spine. The extensor and flexor muscles are the focus of a resistance training program. These exercises use progressive force to strengthen the muscles and subsequently the spine. Perform these exercises two to three days per week on nonconsecutive days.

Prone Chest Raise
The prone chest raise is a harder exercise that may be best done under the supervision of a professional. Start by lying face down the ground. Keep your arms down by your side. Slowly raise your head and chest off the floor. Pull your shoulders back but keep your face looking toward the floor. Hold for a count of five, then slowly lower yourself back down, rest and repeat.

Spine Extensor Exercise
For this exercise you will need a soft foam ball, or a pillow may also work. Place the ball between your upper back and the wall. Keep your back straight and position your feet slightly apart and away from the wall as far as you need to maintain your balance. Push yourself back into the ball as much as you can, and hold for a count of five. Your body should remain relatively still and your hips and spine joints in line. Relax and rest, repeat for 20 repetitions.

Neck Press
This exercise works the upper spine. Lie on your back with a pillow to support your head and neck. In one swift movement, tuck your chin and push your head down while keeping your face looking up. Hold for a count of five, then relax. Try to perform this exercise for 10 repetitions.