For many of us, lower back pain is a daily reality. According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of working Americans report experiencing back pain symptoms each year. A sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to lower back pain, as is weak back and abdominal muscles. The good news is that there are plenty of exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home to help alleviate lower back pain and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Read on for four lower back exercises you can do at home.
Plank with Leg Lift
The plank with leg lift is a great exercise for strengthening the lower back and core muscles. To do the exercise, start in a push-up position with your feet together and your hands under your shoulders. Lower your body so that your elbows are bent at 90 degrees and your forearms are parallel to the ground. From this position, lift one leg off the ground and bring your knee towards your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Do 10 repetitions on each side. This exercise can be performed without weights, but you can also place a weight plate on your back or use a weighted vest if you want to increase the difficulty.
The Superman back exercise is a great way to strengthen the lower back. To do this exercise, lie on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you. Then, raise your head, chest, and legs off the ground, keeping your arms straight. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering back down. Repeat for a total of 10-12 repetitions. You can also modify this exercise by keeping your legs straight while only raising your head and chest off the ground. This is a great way to build strong Lower back muscles!
The glute bridge is a simple but effective exercise for strengthening the muscles of the lower back and buttocks. To do the exercise, lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Then, raise your hips off the ground, keeping your back and shoulders flat. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your hips back to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions. This exercise can be made more challenging by placing a weight on your stomach or by performing single-leg glute bridges. The glute bridge is an excellent way to strengthen the muscles of the lower back and buttocks and can help to prevent injuries in these areas. Give it a try today!
The bird-dog exercise is a great way to strengthen your lower back. To do the exercise, start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Slowly extend your right arm out in front of you and your left leg out behind you. Hold for a second, then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. Do 10-12 repetitions on each side. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of repetitions. This exercise can help to prevent lower back pain by strengthening the muscles in your back and core. It can also help to improve your posture and balance. Give it a try!
The shoulder blade squeeze
The shoulder blade squeeze is a great exercise for improving mid back strength and stability. The movement involves squeezing your shoulder blades together while keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears. This exercises works the muscles in your upper back, including the trapezius, which is responsible for stabilizing the shoulder girdle. To perform the shoulder blade squeeze, sit up tall with your shoulders down and back. Place your hands on your upper back, with your fingertips touching. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times. You can also do this exercise standing by placing your hands on a wall or door frame and gently pressing your shoulder blades together. This exercise will help with posture which will help with low back pain.
Lower back exercises with equipment
In this section we will go over exercises to strengthen the lower back that use equipment. Be careful when doing lower back exercises with weights. If you have back pain doing these exercises can make the pain worse. It’s a good idea to hire a personal trainer or do physical therapy to make sure that
Romanian deadlift with dumbbells
The Romanian deadlift is a great exercise for targeting the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. To perform the lift, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend at the hips to Lower the weights down your thighs until you reach the midway point between your knees and hips. From there, slowly Reverse the motion by extending through the hips until you return to the starting position. As you Lower and raise the weights, be sure to keep your lower back in its natural arch. You should also maintain a strong grip on the dumbbells throughout the lift. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you get the most out of this great exercise. This movement works the entire posterior chain.
Resistance band deadlift
The deadlift is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups, including the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. While the traditional deadlift is performed with a barbell, resistance bands can also be used to achieve a similar effect. To perform the deadlift with resistance bands, start by placing the band under your feet and holding the ends in each hand. Then, Bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your hands are at shin level. From there, drive through your heels to stand up straight and return to the starting position. As with any exercise, be sure to use proper form to avoid injury. When done correctly, the deadlift with resistance bands is an effective way to build strength and muscle mass.
Here’s an article on what muscles the deadlifts work that you might like. Click here.
Back extension on a stability ball
The stability ball back extension is a great exercise for strengthening the lower back and core. To do the exercise, start by lying face down on the ball with your feet on the floor and your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your upper body and lower back off the ball until you are in a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise to prevent injury. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions.
A benefit of using a stability ball is that it works your core muscles and improves core strength while training the lower back. Doing this will help build a strong core and help with injury prevention for some of the more challenging back exercises.
Stretches for the lower back
Lower back stretches are an important part of any exercise program. Gentle stretches can help with injury prevention and the healing process when recovering from low back pain. Here’s some stretches that may help with low back pain relief.
The piriformisis a small, triangular muscle located deep in the hip. It originates on the lower spine and attaches to the upper thighbone. The primary function of the piriformis is to rotate the leg outward, away from the body. However, due to its location, it can also affect the movement of the lower back and hips. When the piriformis is tight, it can irritate the sciatic nerve and cause pain in the lower back and legs. A simple stretch for the piriformis can help to alleviate this pain. To do the stretch, lie on your back with both knees bent. Place a hand on your affected hip and slowly bring your knee up toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. You should feel a gentle stretch in your hip and buttock. This is a nice stretch that targets the piriformis muscle.
Hamstring stretches can be very effective in relieving lower back pain. The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that run along the back of the thigh. These muscles can become tight and cause pain in the lower back, as well as in the buttocks and legs. Hamstring stretches can help to loosen these muscles and relieve pain. To do a Hamstring stretch, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Bend forward at the waist and reach for your toes. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this stretch 2-3 times. You should feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh. If you feel any pain, stop the stretch and consult a doctor or physical therapist. Hamstring stretches are a simple and effective way to relieve lower back pain. This stretch can be done with the leg straight or with the knees bent slightly.
Hip flexor stretches
Hip flexor stretches can be an effective treatment for lower back pain. The hip flexors are a group of muscles that attach the thigh to the pelvis. These muscles can become tight and shorten, causing pain in the lower back and hips. Hip flexor stretches help to lengthen these muscles, relieving pressure on the lower back and restoring range of motion. To stretch the hip flexors, start by standing up straight with your feet together. Then, take a large step forward with your right foot and lunge forward, keeping your left leg straight. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side. You should feel a stretch in your right hip flexor when you perform this exercise.
If you’re dealing with lower back pain, know that you’re not alone—statistics show that nearly 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Thankfully, there are some exercises you can do from home to ease discomfort caused by lower back pain. Try incorporating these three exercises into your routine a few times per week and see how you feel! As always, please consult with a doctor or physical therapist before beginning any new workout routine.