If you’re crippled by lower back pain, you’re not alone. Roughly 80 percent of adults experience it at some point in their lives.
Surveys show that low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal condition in the U.S.
Common culprits behind low back pain include bad posture, pulling a muscle or tendon in the low back, improper exercise technique, overtraining, excessive sitting, etc.
However, the condition can be managed, treated, prevented, alleviated, by building strength in the core muscles.
Doing core exercises strengthens the lower, which can help soothe and prevent lower back pain. The strength gains in the core, leg, and arms are just the bonus.
In today’s post, I’ll share with you a few simple exercises that can help you alleviate lower back pain.
Core Strength and Spine’s Health
When you’re plagued by back pain, your natural inclination might be to rest, but exercise—the right type of exercise—is actually good for relieving the pain.
Research has shown that exercise increases blood flow to the lower back region, which may decrease stiffness and speed up recovery. And one of the best forms of exercises for dealing with back pain is core training.
To understand why having a strong core helps with back issues, let’s first explain what I mean by the core.
The core is a complex set of muscles that wraps around the body like a corset and support your body lower back and spine.
Having a strong core helps maintain proper posture, keeps your body upright, and increases range of motion and mobility. When you lack strength in your core, you’ll be relying more on your ligament and bones—your passive structures—placing more load and stress on discs, thus, boosting your risks of pain and injury.
That’s why when dealing with back, core training is an excellent place to start.
In today’s post, I’m sharing with you seven exercises that strengthen the core and lower back.
Adding these exercises to your training program should, at the very least, provide you some relief from your pain. But remember to always check with your doctor and get their approval before you proceed. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.
This exercise targets all of the core and low back musculature. Ideal for improving core strength and lumbar back muscles.
It’s also great for improving balance.
Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position your hands stacked under your shoulders and knee positioned under your hips.
Next, raise your right arm and reach it forward and your left leg back, keeping a flat back and hips in with the floor.
At the same time, kick your left leg backward until it’s aligned with your torso. Extend your right arm forward, and left-back, keeping a flat back.
Hold the position for a moment before slowly returning to the starting position.
Alternate sides for 10 to 12 reps. Make sure your back, neck, and head maintain a neutral alignment to reduce stress on your neck and shoulders.
2. Dead Bug
This great exercise targets the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and hip flexors—key for supportive muscles for the low back.
Begin by lying face up with your arms extended towards the ceiling, and legs in a tabletop position, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Next, extend your right leg, straightening at the knee and hip and bring the leg down to hover a few inches above the ground.
Engage your core and squeeze your butt the entire time.
Keep your back pressed into the floor the entire time. Never let your lower back arch.
Last up, slowly bring your leg and arm back to the starting position.
Alternate sides for 16 to 20 repetitions.
3. Pelvic Tilt
This is one of the most commonly prescribed exercises for people suffering from low back pain and for good reasons.
An ideal exercise for strengthening the muscles in the abdominal and pelvic regions for the support required to prevent back strains resulting in pain.
Begin by laying on the ground with knees bent, arms to the side, and feet parallel.
While keeping your midback on the ground, tilt your pelvis in toward your chest?
Keep your knees, ankles, and feet properly aligned and hip-distance apart.
Next, perform a pelvic tilt by engaging your core muscles, pulling in the lower back and navel toward the ground, without using leg or glute muscles.
Engage your lower ab muscles. Hold the pose for a count of five, then repeat for 8 to 10 reps.
Want more challenge? Move to a spine articulation with a pelvis curl. Bring your chest, then belly, and down to the pelvic floor.
4. Glute Bridge
An awesome exercise for strengthening the muscles of the lower back and gluts. It also stretches the hip flexor, keeping the lower back muscles strong and functional.
This exercise targets your gluteus maximum, which is the large muscle of the buttocks. You engage this muscle whenever your body and lower body movement, especially when climbing the stairs or bending into a squat.
Start by lying on your back, knees bent, hands at your sides and placing the feet flat on the ground hip-distance apart.
Next, while engaging your core and using your heel to push into the floor, raise the buttocks off the ground until your upper body and thighs are positioned in a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
Hold the position for a moment, making sure your knees stay straight and don’t collapse in, then slowly lower the buttocks to the floor and rest for a few seconds. Repeat 12 to 15 times to complete one set. Aim for three sets.
5. Prone Leg Raises
Another awesome move for engaging the butt and low back muscles.
Not only will this exercise strengthen your core like nothing else, but it also improves the flexibility and mobility of your hip flexors
Begin by lying face down (prone) with your palms on the floor under your forehead.
While gently engaging your core muscles, slowly lift your right leg backward. Make sure to keep your right knee straight as your thigh raises off the floor.
Hold the position for a count of three (isometrically) before bringing it down with your knee remaining straight.
Do 12 to 15 reps on each side to complete one set. Shoot for three sets.
Hold your right leg up in the air for a count of three, and then slowly lower it back to the floor. Make sure not to rate your back or pelvis while lifting your leg.
There you have it.
Thee core exercises are some of the best moves you can do to reduce back pain and improve your spinal health. You need to show up and do the work. The rest is just detail.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong.