Lower back strengthening exercises can stabilize the spine and support the upper body. These exercises may be able to relieve or prevent lower back pain.
After completing a back strengthening routine, it is advisable to stretch the back muscles. This can prevent injury and muscle soreness. You may also experience increased flexibility and range of motion.
This article will discuss strengthening and stretching exercises to strengthen the lower back. These exercises can be combined to reduce lower back pain and help manage it.
These exercises will strengthen, stabilize and support your lower back. According to the North American Spine Society, a person should not perform a back exercise that causes acute or worsening back pain.
The glute bridge is the function of a person’s gluteus maximalus, which is the largest of all the gluteal muscles. These glutes form the buttocks. This muscle is activated when someone extends their hips. External rotation is when the hip and knee open out from the body. Abduction is when the leg lifts off the body.
A 2019 review found that weak gluteus maximus muscles are linked to lower back pain. This symptom can be prevented by strengthening these muscles.
Glutes are a stabilizer for the lower back and can also be used to mobilize it. Stabilizing the lower back and hips with strong glutes is possible. They can also support and stabilize the knees when extended.
These steps are required to perform a glute-bridge.
* Step 1: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at the sides of your body, palms facing upward.
* Step 2: Squeeze the gluteal muscles and tighten your abdominal muscles.
* Step 3: Lift your pelvis off of the floor. Keep lifting until the body is straight through the shoulder, hip and knee.
* Step 4: Keep the position for at most 2 seconds.
* Step 5: Slowly Return to the Start Position
* Step 6 Repeat steps above 10-15 times.
The bird-dog exercises the gluteal muscles. The bird-dog also works the gluteal muscles. These connect to the back of your spine and allow you to stand, bend and lift objects.
These steps are required to perform the bird-dog exercise.
* Step 1: Start the exercise by placing your hands on your knees, with your shoulders over your hands and your hips above the knees.
* Step 2: Tendonize your abdominal muscles and extend the right arm straight in front of you.
* Step 3: Maintain balance while holding the position.
* Step 4 Slowly lift your left leg and extend it out in front of you.
* Step 5: For 15 seconds, hold the position.
* Step 6: Slowly return back to the starting position, and then repeat the process on the other side.
* Repeat Step 6 five times.
Plank exercises are primarily for the abdominals but also engage the hip flexors, arms, hips and feet. This makes them a great exercise for stability. The quadratus Lumborum, the deepest back muscle, and the back extensors may be activated by this position. It extends from below the pelvic bone to the lowest rib.
These steps will show you how to do a plank.
* Step 1: Place your forearms on the ground and place your elbows in line with your shoulders.
* Step 2: Contract the abdominal and gluteal muscles.
* Step 3: Lift your hips and both knees from the ground.
* Step 4: Keep the position for between 10-30 seconds, but don’t let your pelvis sag towards the floor.
* Step 5 Slowly return to your starting position, and then go back 5 times.
Modification: You can make the exercise easier by slightly bending your knees and keeping them on a flat surface. The person should keep a straight line between the knees and the shoulders.
Side planks are a modified version to the plank. They work the quadratuslumborum, gluteus medius, and tensor facia lata (TFL). These muscles are essential for hip stability.
These steps are required to make a side plank:
Step 1: Place your right leg bent on the ground and your left leg straight on the floor. Place your right arm directly below your right shoulder, with your forearm extended in front.
* Step 2: After tightening your abdominal muscles, raise the right hip from the floor.
* Step 3: Lift your right knee off of the ground to straighten your right leg. Then, stack your feet on top.
* Step 4: Keep your body straight and hold it for between 10-30 seconds.
* Step 5: Slowly return back to the starting position, and then repeat the process on the opposite side.
* Step 6 Repeat steps 5 and above.
Modification: If you find this exercise too difficult, keep your bottom knee slightly bent so that it is on the ground.
Operation to draw in the abdomen
Strong abdominal muscles support the spine and align the hips. Poor core strength can lead to lower back pain.
Transversus abdominis (TA), a deep abdominal muscle, helps stabilize the spine. The abdominal drawing in maneuver (ADIM), is an exercise that can strengthen the TA.
These steps are required to perform the ADIM.
* Step 1: Lay on your back, knees bent, arms extended at the sides.
Step 2: Maintain the spine in neutral and draw the bellybutton towards the spine.
* Step 3: Inhale.
* Step 4: Inhale and tighten your abdominal muscles while drawing the belly button towards the spine.
* Step 5: For 10 seconds, hold the position and then release. Allow the position to rest for 15 seconds.
* Step 6: Repeat the 10th step.
Crunches of the abdomen
Abdominal crunches are a great way to strengthen your core and improve hip alignment.
The following movements are required for abdominal crunches:
* Step 1: Place your back against the ground, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
* Step 2: Cross your hands over your chest, or reach towards the feet by reaching along the sides.
* Step 3: Inhale and tighten your abdominal muscles.
* Step 4: Lower the starting position.
* Step 5 Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOOS), a person should continue their back strengthening exercises by doing back stretching exercises. This helps to restore flexibility and range of motion, and prevents injury and muscle soreness.
Here are some lower back exercises people can include in their daily routine.
Stretches from knee-to-chest can be used to lengthen the lower back muscles and relieve tension.
The following is how you can do the knee-to chest stretch:
* Step 1: Place your back flat on the ground with your legs straight.
* Step 2 Lift your right leg and bend the knee towards the chest.
* Step 3: With both hands, pull the right knee towards the chest.
* Step 4: For several seconds, hold your right knee against your chest.
* Step 5: Return back to the starting position.
* Step 6: Continue with the left leg, and then return back to the starting position.
Kneeling back stretch
The kneeling back extension can be used to stretch the lower back muscles and ease tension.
These steps will help you perform the kneeling back stretch:
* Step 1: Start the exercise by placing your hands on your knees and your knees together.
* Step 2: Turn your back by pulling the belly button up towards the spine, and tilting your lower back toward it.
* Step 3: Keep the position for five seconds.
* Step 4: Rock backwards, keeping your buttocks as close to the heels as possible. Make sure your arms are extended in front.
* Step 5: For 5 Seconds, hold the position.
Step 6: Rock back gently to the original position. Repeat this 10-15 times.
Modified seated side-straddle
The seated side-straddle exercises stretches the hamstring, abductors and extensor muscles in your middle and lower back. These steps are required for the seated side-straddle.
Step 1: Place your legs flat on the ground and extend your arms out in front. Your feet should be spaced apart enough so that your legs form a “V”.
* Step 2: Bend your left leg and bring the left foot up towards the right knee. The left knee should be able to touch the right knee.
* Step 3: Keep your back straight and bend at the hips. Reach forward towards the right foot’s toes.
* Step 4: Move slowly around the spine, moving your hands towards the right ankle or shin and lowering your head as close to the right knee as possible.
* Step 5: For 30 seconds, hold the position and then let go for 30 seconds. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
* Step 6: Repeat 5-6 times.
Lower back strengthening exercises and stretching exercises can be combined to improve strength, flexibility, and stability of the lower spine. They may also help to prevent lower back pain.
It is important to immediately stop performing any of these back exercises if you feel your back pain getting worse. Contact a doctor.