Lower Back Exercises – I am one of the countless people across the globe who suffer from back pain. I have been afflicted by chronic back pain for quite a long time and still do today. My list of back-related treatments and procedures runs quite long. From creams to physical therapy, spinal surgery to nerve ablations and much more. If there is a treatment for back pain, chances are I have used it at one point or another.
The lower back exercises I am about to introduce to you can be used by anyone. They are not just for people with back problems and for relieving pain. Performing these lower back exercises on a consistent basis is good for your overall health. However, researchers have shown how exercise can be very effective for relieving back pain.
Lower Back Exercises Can Relieve Your Lower Back Pain
One question I know that has run through my head a million times is “How Can I Relieve My Lower Back Pain?” You may feel most of the pain when standing, sitting or perhaps while bending over. A reply from someone dealing with lower back pain may be “It’s a deep-seated ache that pierces through your core. The ache always seems to linger no matter what I do.” These symptoms will vary and it’s different for everyone.
Lower back pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain amongst adults across the board. There are times where rest and taking it easy for a while will be enough to get rid of your back pain. Again, it really depends on your situation.
A lot has changed through the years when it comes to haggling with chronic back pain. Learning from the past combined with ever-changing technology has really helped medicine make great strides. There is a plethora of products, gadgets, and medications out on the market today for dealing with back pain.
However, one of the top recommendations doctors will currently make for back pain is getting active. It’s been proven that movement through exercising and stretching will strengthen the muscles, working the pain infected areas to relieve the pain.
Exercising may not be the answer to your back problems. But it’s a non-invasive healthy way to try and combat your back problems. The only cost to you is your time. From my experience, I would at least try the lower back exercises before considering purchasing any products. Unless your doctor has recommended otherwise.
Movement Through Exercise Can Relieve Your Back Pain
You always want to make sure you are doing the right kind of exercise. You want lower back exercises that work your back but at the same time does not overwork it. Most people will experience lower back pain at some point in their life. A lot sure has changed since way back when. Back then, bed rest was pretty much the only remedy prescribed for an ailing back.
Fast forward to today, and today it is recommended to keep exercising. Of course, the lower back exercises you do should be targeted to your problem areas. Not only are there lower back exercises for back, but you can address and alleviate any pain throughout your entire back. These lower back exercises are very safe to use but always listen to what your body tells you and stop if you experience any pain.
These lower back exercises work by stretching out the muscles that are usually tightened up when you have lower back pain. You are also strengthening the muscles in those problem areas. Building up the strength in these muscles can add additional help when it comes to pain control.
Consulting Your Doctor
The cause of Lower back pain could be many things. If you are experiencing any back pain, especially if it has lasted a while. It’s always a good idea to have your doctor check it out. From there, depending on the severity of your back pain the doctor may want to order additional tests. In addition, even if you are feeling good, you should consult your doctor first before starting any kind of exercise regiment.
When you let your doctor know that you will be exercising they may have some suggestions. For instance, if you have been having problems with your lower back which is the most common problem area. Your doctor may suggest some exercises for the lower back.
Which Lower Back Exercises Should You Choose?
Once you get the green light from your doctor to start exercising, what do you do next? Your pain level will be key as to what exercises and how much you should or even can do. Another factor is where is the pain coming from? As I previously mentioned, there are specific exercises that you can use to target certain parts of your body.
We now know that exercise can be a great treatment for back pain. However, there are some exercises that offer you little to no health benefits. The old toe touching exercise from a standing position can aggravate sciatica. I know this first hand and believe me it could aggravate it! So, you want to make sure you are targeting the right areas.
I have listed several lower back exercises below that I have used and still use some of them today. All of them are for your lower back, which is where all my back problems come from. If your back problems are not in the lower back I do have exercises for the Middle and Upper Back.
Lower Back Exercises
The Bridge works on the large muscles of the buttocks which are the gluteus maximus. This muscle will engage when you move your hips, particularly if you bend into a squat. The gluteus maximus is a very important muscle and keeping it strong will help support your lower back.
To begin a Bridge:
- Lie down on the floor, on your back, bend your knees. Place your feet flat on the floor the same width as your hips.
- Now press down your feet onto the floor, with your arms by your side.
- Raise your buttocks off the ground, until your body makes a straight line or close to it. This line would be from the shoulders to the knees.
- Squeeze your buttocks and make sure your shoulders remain on the floor.
- Lower your buttocks to the floor and pause for a few seconds.
- Repeat this 8 times, then rest for 1 minute. Increase repetitions accordingly as you become stronger.
- Do 3 sets with 8 repetitions each to start out.
Doing a Knee-To-Chest Stretch can help elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain.
To begin the Knee-To-Chest Stretch:
- Lay down on the floor on your back.
- Keep both of your feet flat on the floor, then bend your knees,
- Use both of your hands and pull one knee in toward your chest.
- While holding the knee to your chest, keep your abdominals tight and press your spine into the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Go back to the starting position
- Now, repeat with the opposite leg.
- You want to repeat this with each leg 3 to 4 times. This can be repeated, performing it multiple times a day. Just do not overdo it.
Lower back (LUMBAR) Rotational Stretches
The Lower Back Rotational Stretch is great for helping relieve tension in your lower back. At the same time, it works the core muscles improving stability.
To Begin the Lower Back Rotational Stretch:
- Lay down with your back on the floor. Your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Keep your shoulders planted firmly on the floor. Slowly roll both of your bent knees over to one side.
- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Go back to the starting position.
- This time, roll your bent knees over to the other side and hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Repeat the process 2 to 3 times on each side, twice a day.
Transverse Abdominis Draw
The transversus abdominis gets worked with the draw-in maneuver. This muscle is located on the front and sides of your abdomen. It stabilizes the spine and lower back area.
To Begin the Draw-In Maneuver:
- Lay down with your back on the floor. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor with your arms on your sides.
- Take a deep breath, inhaling.
- Then while breathing out, pull your belly button down toward your spine, tightening the abdominal muscles and keeping your hips in place.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this process 5 more times.
- Increase hold times and repetitions as you become stronger.
The Pelvic Tilt exercise is known for releasing tight back muscles and keeping them flexible.
To Begin the Pelvic Tilt Exercise:
- Laying with your back to the floor, bend your knees, and rest your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms on the sides.
- Slowly arch your lower back, pushing the stomach out.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax.
- Flatten your back and pull the belly button inward toward the floor.
- Hold it for 5 seconds, then relax.
- You want to increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger. Build it up to an amount you feel comfortable with.
Lying Lateral Leg Lifts
Your hip abductor muscles get worked with the Lying lateral leg lifts. These muscles are for supporting your pelvis and will help reduce any strain on the back. It’s essential to keep these muscles strong. They maintain your balance and affect your mobility.
To Begin the Lying Lateral Leg Lifts:
- Lay down on either side with your legs together.
- Slightly bend the leg that’s closest to the floor.
- Draw the belly button into the spine, engaging your core muscles.
- Raise your top leg about afoot. Keep it straight and extended.
- Hold this position for 2 seconds. Hold for longer when you become stronger.
- Do 10 repetitions.
- Switch sides of your body. Repeat lifting the other leg.
- Perform 3 sets on each side.
Cat & Camel
The cat & camel stretch can help strengthen your back and ease the tensions in your muscles.
To Begin the Cat & Camel Stretch:
- Get down on your hands and knees. You want your knees to be the width of your hips. Your shoulders and hands in line with each other.
- Arch your back (like a cat), focus on pulling your belly button up towards the ceiling. Feel your stomach muscles tighten and them as much as you can tolerate.
- Hold for 5 seconds. You will want to hold it for longer as you build up your strength.
- Gradually relax the muscles (like a camel) and let your abdomen drop down toward the floor.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Repeat 3–5 times. You can do this multiple times throughout the day if you want.
If you want to maintain good posture you need to have strong back extensors. Those are the muscles that run along either side of your spine. When you have weak back extensors, it can reduce your spinal and pelvic support. However, doing the exercise called “Superman” can help.
To Begin the Superman:
- Lay down on the floor, face down. Stretch your arms out straight in front of you., Keep your legs stretched out and flat touching the floor.
- Raise both your hands and feet. You want a gap that is about 6 inches between your limbs and the floor.
- Suck in your belly button, lifting it off the floor. By doing this you are engaging your core muscles.
- Keep your head straight with your eyes on the floor to avoid a possible neck injury.
- You want to stretch out your hands and feet as far as you can.
- Hold in place for 5 seconds.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Repeat this 10 times.
- Repeat on the left-hand side.
- You can repeat this exercise on each side 3 to 5 times twice a day
The Bird Dog exercise will increase your core strength in both abs and lower back. It will also improve your stability
To Begin the Bird Dog:
Get down onto all fours, hands, and knees. You want to make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, and the knees are directly under your hips.
Your spine is in a neutral position and you need to keep your head in line with your spine.
Extend one leg and do the same with the opposite arm to inline with your spine.
Keep your spine in a neutral position at all times. What exactly does that mean? When you keep your spine in a neutral position that is referred to as the natural position of the spine. More specifically its when the curves of your spine which are the lower (lumbar), middle (thoracic), and neck (cervical) are present and in good natural alignment.
Be mindful of your lower back from sagging down.
Hold for 10 seconds before lowering your leg and arm to the floor.
Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times alternating sides. As you become stronger you will want to gradually extend the hold times from 10 seconds. You may need to shorten the repetitions when you do this.
This piriformis is one muscle I am very familiar with which can get very tight when you have lower back pain. By the way, in case you are not familiar with it. The piriformis is a small muscle located deep in the buttock and sits behind the gluteus maximus. This self-titled stretch is really effective and very easy to do.
To Begin the Piriformis:
Lay down on the floor on your back.
Cross the right ankle over the left knee.
Grip the thigh of your left leg and take a deep breath in. As you breathe out pull the knee towards you and feel the stretch.
Hold it for 20-30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times for each side.
This stretch may be too much for some people with low back pain.
If you do some or all of these exercises on a regular basis you will build up your core muscles. Having a strong core can help prevent injury, increase your stability, improve flexibility, and help with the pain. Keep in mind it will take some time to build up the strength before you start feeling and pain relief. If any of these back exercises make your back pain worse, it is crucial to stop doing them immediately and consult your doctor.
If the Exercises are Not Working for You?
If the exercises are not working for you, that’s okay they are not for everyone. If you are looking for more immediate pain relief? Many of the products I review will give you the pain relief you are looking for in a matter of minutes. You can view those reviews here.