back pain

6 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN THE LOWER BACK

Doing exercises can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. People with lower back pain should also pay attention to their general posture and how they carry heavy objects to identify movements that may be responsible. Anyone experiencing lower back pain that is severe or does not go away with gentle stretches and exercise should make an appointment with a doctor. If any of these back exercises make the pain worse, it is vital to stop doing them immediately and consult a doctor. Below are 6 exercises that strengthen the lower back and may help people manage lower back pain:

  • 1. Bridges

To perform a bridge:

  • Lie on the ground and bend the knees, placing the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Press the feet into the floor, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Raise the buttocks off the ground until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
  • Squeeze the buttocks with the shoulders remaining on the floor.
  • Lower the buttocks to the ground and rest for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 15 times and then rest for 1 minute.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • 2. Knee-to-chest stretches

To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

  • Lie on the back on the floor.
  • Bend the knees, keeping both feet flat on the floor.
  • Use both hands to pull one knee in toward the chest.
  • Hold the knee against the chest for 5 seconds, keeping the abdominals tight and pressing the spine into the floor.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Repeat with each leg 2–3 times twice a day.
  • 3. Lower back rotational stretches

To perform the lower back rotational stretch:

  • Lie back on the floor with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.
  • Keeping the shoulders firmly on the floor, gently roll both bent knees over to one side.
  • Hold the position for 5–10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Gently roll the bent knees over to the opposite side, hold, and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2–3 times on each side twice a day.
  • 4. Draw-in maneuvers

To perform the draw-in maneuver:

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Breathe in deeply.
  • While breathing out, pull the belly button toward the spine, tightening the abdominal muscles and keeping the hips still.
  • Hold the position for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.
  • 5. Pelvic tilts

To perform this lower back flexibility exercise:

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Gently arch the lower back and push the stomach out.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Flatten the back and pull the belly button in toward the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Increase the number of repetitions daily, building up to 30.
  • 6. Lying lateral leg lifts

To perform lying lateral leg lifts:

  • Lie on one side with the legs together.
  • Keep the lower leg slightly bent.
  • Draw the bellybutton into the spine to engage the core muscles.
  • Raise the top leg about 18 inches (about 46 cm), keeping it straight and extended.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Turn onto the other side of the body and repeat, lifting the other leg.
  • Perform 3 sets on each side. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/
Home exercises

BEST EXERCISES YOU CAN DO AT HOME, ON THE FLOOR/MAT. COMPOUND EXERCISES AND ISOLATION EXERCISES

Before you start determine your goals. Everyone will want different things out of their workout and have preferences towards different exercise formulas. Make sure that you chose one which suit you and are within your fitness ability. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/

COMPOUND EXERCISES

(1) Squats

Muscles worked: quads, gluts, hamstring, calves & abs

Important guidelines when doing squats:

> The back should stay straight.

> Go to the seated position and keep abs tight.

> As you start to feel more confident try sitting lower in the seat position.

> Holding the squat for longer will improve muscular endurance.

(2) Push ups

Muscles worked: triceps, abs, back muscles, deltoids (shoulders), pectorals (chest)

Important guidelines when doing push ups:

> Keep the back in straight line from head to toe.

> Lower yourself slowly to ensure that you are working muscles to their maximum potential.

> Increase repetitions to increase difficult levels.

(3) Lunges

Muscles worked: hamstring, quads, gluts, calves and abs

Important guidelines when doing lunges:

> Keep your back straight.

> Do not allow bent knee to touch the floor.

> Ensure balance before moving between lunges.

> Adding hand weights will increase intensity.

> Slow repetitions will ensure that you achieve the maximum work potential.

> Engage core muscles, maintain tension in abs.

ISOLATION EXERCISES

(1) Bridge (raise hips off the floor whilst lying on your back)

Muscles worked: gluts

Important guidelines while doing bridge:

> Ensure you feel balance before the lift.

> Keep shoulders firmly on the floor.

> Pushing hips higher will increase difficult levels and improve muscle strength.

> Maintain tension in gluts and abs.

(2) Plank

Muscles worked: back and abs

Important guidelines while doing plank:

> Increase time holding the plank position to make it more challenging.

> Ensure that your back remains straight.

> This is the great exercise for holding strength for push-ups.

(3) CRUNCH

Muscles worked: abs

Important guidelines while doing crunch:

> A variation on the sit up, but you only lift your shoulders a couple of inches off the floor.

> Remember that your abs are producing the movement not your neck and back.

> Hold raised position for a couple of seconds to tailor it to your ability.

(4) HAMSTRING CURL (on all fours)

Muscles worked: hamstring

Important guidelines while doing hamstring curl:

> Bend and straighten the leg with a slow controlled motion.

> Tension in abs will aid balance and core strength.

> Once leg is bent at 90 degrees raising the heel towards the ceiling will work gluts and add another element to the exercise.