Working your lower back is the best way to prevent lower back pain!
And by working, of course, we mean both strengthening the muscles and stretching things out. Both muscle building and flexibility work is crucial for a stronger, more mobile back, with better spinal support from the muscles and easier movement with reduced risk of injury.
But just focusing on your lower back isn’t all you should be doing! Below is a list of exercises and stretches that will do wonders to keep lower back pain at bay:
Focus on strengthening your glutes, and you’ll strengthen your back exponentially.
When your lower back muscles aren’t able to bear up under the strain of a movement or some heavy burden, your glute muscles help to stabilize and support your lower back—particularly the tail end of your spine. Having strong glutes, therefore, is the key to a stronger lower back.
Hip thrusters work your glutes and hips very effectively, giving you the core strength needed to protect your lower back muscles. It’s worth mixing these into your workouts every week!
Partial crunches give you that focused training to strengthen your back and abs without irritating your spine. Instead of going all the way up into a sit-up or even a full crunch, the reduced range of movement shifts the focus off your lower back and places it squarely on the abs. This concentration will do wonders to protect your spinal muscles and avoid excess strain—as long as you have the proper form, of course!
Anything that engages your entire body—upper, core, and lower—is definitely going to be good for you!
Plank focuses on the core muscles, but it recruits your glutes, arms, shoulders, and legs to stabilize your pose. The fact that it’s a static exercise means there is no movement that could risk lower back injury or strain. It’s a simple motion that anyone can hold—and the longer you hold it, the stronger your lower back and abs will become.
This is another simple exercise that involves little to no actual movement (once you’re in position), but it targets your lower back and glute muscles VERY effectively.
With the Bird Dog exercise, you focus on one hemisphere of your body at a time, letting your glutes and lower back do the work of keeping your leg lifted while your upper body concentrates on keeping your balance. It’s a static exercise that keeps those muscles contracted throughout, but with no movement that could lead to joint injury. It’s highly effective, very easy, and totally safe!
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Yet another exercise that works your lower back as well as strengthening your glutes!
When you get into proper position (with only your heels touching the floor, rather than your whole foot), you shift the strain a bit lower, forcing your abs, glutes, hips, and hamstrings to work alongside your lower back muscles. The result is an exercise that engages more muscles and encourages better overall stability thanks to the focus on the secondary stabilizer muscles.
This simple stretch can be a life-saver when it comes to lower back pain.
The stretch, performed on your hands and knees, helps to encourage a more natural rounding of the spine, but gives your spinal column and back muscles a good stretch.
If you really want to kick things up a notch, mix up Cat and Cow Stretches. Using both the high arching and low stretching poses will do wonders to keep your spine limber and moving freely.
With this stretch, you’ll loosen up your hips, glutes, and lower back in a truly marvelous way.
The Knee to Chest Stretch is a classic for relieving pressure on your lower back and loosening up your spine, but the addition of crossing your leg over in front of your knee helps to pull on the hip and glute muscles, encouraging better core flexibility overall. You’ll find you can move a lot easier and more freely thanks to this stretch, and it will do wonders to counteract lower back pain.
Also known to Yoga addicts as the Child’s Pose, this stretch is amazing for lengthening your entire spine and loosening up your lower back muscles.
The more you can sit back on your heels and transition your weight forward, the more you can lean into the stretch and really lengthen your arms and shoulders. Work on holding the pose for up to a full minute at a time, and get your butt and back as close to the ground as possible. It’ll help to work out any knots in your back and pull any stiff, tense spinal muscles back into proper alignment.
If you would like to start practicing these amazing poses, join ZONIA video-streaming platform where you will be able to watch guided exercise videos by our expert fitness instructors that will walk you through a variety of poses and exercises tailored towards your physical and health goals. Follow the link below to get started today!
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