Sep 26 2010
The lower back is an area that is often ignored but frequently causes problems, particularly as the years go by. Strengthening exercises, in addition to stretching, help prevent injury and pain.
It’s important to focus on the lower back muscles in addition to those in areas that support the lower back. These include the stomach, hip flexors, and hamstrings (back of the thigh).
We will first concentrate on your lower back muscles. Begin by performing a front lying chest lift, a body weight exercise that involves no equipment at all
Lying face down, place your hands (palms down on the floor) next to and even with your chest.
Keeping your hips and thighs on the floor, lift your chest off the floor. Assisted slightly by your arms as you lift, your lower back muscles ought to be contracting.
Be certain the back of your head is in an even line with your spine – do not tilt your head up or down.
Pause briefly when your arms are straight and then return to beginning position.
Build up to three sets of eight to twelve repetitions, taking short breaks between each set.
If you’ve access to a gym the low back machine permits you to raise resistance as you become stronger.
Try resistance exercises two or three times each week on non-consecutive days
Sit on the seat with your legs secured and upper back in contact with the roller pad.
Push the roller pad down towards the floor, contracting your lower back muscles. Your range of motion should be comfortable.
Pause briefly and return to starting position gradually. Make certain to keep your arms relaxed and your head in a neutral position.
Make certain to use a weight that permits you to complete two or three sets of eight to twelve repetitions.
You may stretch every day once you’ve warmed up your muscles. Stretch smoothly, as opposed to bouncing, which can cause injury.
For maximum effectiveness, each stretch needs to be held for at least fifteen to thirty seconds.
Great lower back stretching exercises include
Double knee to chest stretch
Lying on your back with knees bent, pull both knees off the floor toward your chest, holding legs behind the knees on the bottom part of your hamstrings. This stretch may be done with both legs together or one at a time.
Lying on your back, with your head on the floor or mat and right knee bent, pull your right knee towards your chest.
Then draw your knee across your body towards your left shoulder. Try to keep both shoulders on the floor or mat.
Repeat with your left leg.
On your hands and knees, sag your back while lifting up your head.
Alternate with arching your back and keeping your head down.
Lean back onto your heels and hold, keeping your head down and arms extended.
Abdominal muscle-strengthening stretch
Correct form is the most important aspect of this exercise, which will support your lower back
Lie face up with your knees bent and your hands placed loosely behind your head.
Slowly curl your upper back off the floor while pressing your lower back against the floor. You should feel your abdominal muscles contracting.
Pause briefly before returning to starting position. Try your best not to put pressure on, or pull, your head with your hands.
Be certain to keep your breathing coordinated – exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down.
Do not rush – do this exercise slowly and gradually.
Hip flexor stretch (a.k.a. Runner’s stretch)
Stretching your hip flexors can help alleviate stress to the lower spine
Assume a lunge position, making sure your front knee is directly over your foot and ankle (your knee will be in the form of a right angle).
With your weight supported by both hands touching the floor, press your hips towards the floor.
Repeat on both legs.
Hamstring stretch (Straight leg raise)
This exercise will also help reduce stress to the lower spine
Lying on your back, bend your knees and keep both feet flat on the floor.
Raise and straighten your right leg without lifting your hips from the floor.
Support your leg and increase your range of motion by placing your hands below your knee, around the back of your leg, and gently drawing your leg towards your chest while keeping it straight.
Repeat with your left leg.
Hope these exercises and stretches keep you in tip-top shape and pain-free.
You can also choose structured exercises for strengthening your back. Yoga, for instance, is an great form of back strengthening physical activity.
Most of the suggested stretches listed above are a part of poses and movements performed during a yoga session. Swimming is another excellent exercise for your back because the buoyancy of the water offers some support.
Also, notice your posture. What position do you spend most of your time in when you’re sitting, standing, and walking?
For example, does your job require you to sit at a desk throughout the day? If so, be aware of your posture.
Make certain the ergonomics of your work set up are optimal for your body.
If you’ve freedom to play with your workspace, consider using a balance ball as a desk chair even for part of the day.
Sitting on a ball demands your posture to be proper and numerous of your torso muscles to stay active.