Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired, achy, and stiff? Does your lower back hurt after a day of walking around town – painful enough that you can’t comfortably bend over and pick up a dropped item on the ground? Or maybe you feel significant lower back pain after a workout. If any of these are true, or you’re simply aware that you’re currently suffering from lower back issues, consider the following stretching routines and exercises for lower back pain to help you address the problem.
This exercise should be done on a comfortable surface, and can even be completed at home. To perform it properly, simply lie on your back and cross one leg over the other to form a 90-degree angle. Grab the foot on the lower leg and gently pull it back to you, stopping if you feel any significant pain. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 10-15 times throughout the day. This will stretch the muscle that runs from the thigh bone to the sacrum, or base of the spine.
Gluteus Maximus Crunch
Strengthening the glutes is a major contributor to stabilizing your core and minimizing lower back pain. To do so, lie on your stomach on a padded weight bench, with your hips and legs extended off the end of the bench. Then, contract the gluteus muscle on one side, raise the same-side leg up in the air, and hold for 5 seconds. Move slowly and deliberately for this exercise for lower back pain – too quick of a movement can cause pain and discomfort. Do this 5-10 times per side, 4-5 days per week.
Instead of straining your lower back with full crunches, consider partial crunches. They’ll provide much of the same back and stomach muscle conditioning you’d expect from a full crunch, but they’re much gentler on your back. Feet should be flat on the floor, arms crossed over your chest, then lift and hold for one second before lowering yourself in a controlled motion. Complete 7-10 reps at a time.
Gentle Aerobic Exercise
Strenuous exercise can aggravate an already sore back, but gentler forms of exercise can help gradually strengthen a sore lower back. Swimming, for instance, is a terrific form of exercise for those with back issues, because the water literally supports most of the weight of the individual. If you’re considering swimming for exercise, just avoid any movements that twist or stress the lower back.
Imagine a standard plank, then place your elbows and knees on the ground for extra stability. Sounds easy, right? It is certainly less stressful on the back than a standard plank, but it does force you to use your abs to stay in position, which then helps provide a more powerful support system for your spine. Try to hold this lower back pain exercise for 30 seconds – and if you start trembling, great job – you’re doing it the right way!
Lower back pain doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying life – and you shouldn’t stop exercising just because your back hurts at times. Start with the stretches and exercises for lower back pain listed above and see just how quickly you can minimize or even eliminate your discomfort. Continue your workout routine with lower back pain exercises to get maximum results!