Having lower back pain is very common these days. According to the National Academy for Sports Medicine, about 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause to visit doctors. Core muscles get weakened due to sedentary lifestyles and poor postures. Things worsen for your lower back when you undergo strenuous weekend workouts followed by a rather inactive weekday routine.
Here, we are listing out some simple back exercises and stretches you can do at home to improve your strength and flexibility. These back exercises should be performed in a pain-free manner. It is best to discontinue the exercises if any pain or discomfort is experienced. If you already suffer from low back pain, you should first get it checked by a physician and then receive guidance on how to do the following exercises by a spine specialist.
5 Exercises to Ease Your Lower, Middle, and Upper-Back Pain
1. The Runner's Hamstring and Calf Stretch
Three large hamstring muscles run down the back of each of your thighs. Tight hamstrings reduce the flexibility of your pelvis, which increases strain and pressure on your lower back. Keep your hamstring muscles lose by doing this exercise. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height, shoulder-width apart and stand one foot away from the wall. While pushing into the wall, take a step back with one leg. While keeping your back straight, press your heels into the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat the same with the other leg.
Repeat the exercise three times on each side.
2. Knee to Chest Stretch
If you want to restore elasticity in your low back muscles after an afternoon of gardening or housework or after a day at the computer, this exercise is a must-do. The knees-to-chest stretch also helps reduce stiffness associated with spinal arthritis and/or spinal stenosis. Lie down on a mat on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs fully extended. Bring one knee close to your chest while keeping the other leg flat on the floor. Feel the stretch in your glutes and lower back. Hold for 30 seconds. Relax and lower the knee, repeat with the other leg.
Perform 2-4 sets.
3. Child’s Pose Stretch
This stretch exercise elongates the lower back. It allows you to open and stretch this area of the body. Kneel on your mat with your butt on your heels. Keep your toes together and open your knees to at least hip distance apart. Lean forward followed by draping your body over your thighs so that your forehead rests on the floor. After that, reach your arms out in front of you or leave your arms along your sides. Try both and see which feels best to you. Breathe deeply and relax. Release any tension you might be feeling in your back, neck, or hips. Feel the stretch in your back and hold for 30 seconds.
Perform 2-4 sets.
4. Wall Sit
To tone and strengthen your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core and lose belly fat, do 20 minutes of wall sit exercises a day. Stand with your back flat against the wall. Set your feet about shoulder-width apart and then about 2 ft out from the wall. Slide your back down the wall to squat down and bend your legs until they’re in a 90-degree angle. Your knees should be directly above your ankles. HOLD this position for 30 seconds, while contracting your abs.
Perform 2-4 sets.
5. Quadruped Arm & Leg Raise
This has been a popular core and spinal stabilization exercise for over a decade. It’s an effective stretch exercise to reinforce proper spinal alignment and core recruitment. Get down on your hands and knees on a mat. This is your starting position. Raise your left arm and extend it straight out in front of you while simultaneously raising your right leg and extending it straight out behind you. After holding this position for 3 seconds, you can return to the starting position. Repeat with the right arm and left leg.
Perform 12-20 reps for 2-4 sets.
In addition to these exercises…
you can use pure essential oils like wintergreen and peppermint that can be mixed with coconut oil and rubbed onto joints to act as a homemade muscle rub.
Low back pain plagues both men and women of various ages that can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation. You can experience low back pain due to an accident or by abruptly lifting something heavy, or it can develop due to the aging of the spine. With the afflicted number of adults increasing, there is a need for exercises that both relieve and prevent chronic lower back pain. Therefore, it is necessary to stretch and strengthen your core musculature.
You can also supplement your diet with some natural sources of Vitamin D such as fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese etc.
Lastly, maintaining an upright posture, combining strength training with stretching exercises, taking a healthy diet and following a moderately active lifestyle in your busy schedule can go a long way to serve your back.
Jessica is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, She Believes that a healthy diet is a key to healthy living.