10 exercises to relieve low back pain

Low back pain can take you out of the game.

Fix your low back pain!

Relieve low back pain

Low back pain is common and can be debilitating, keeping you from engaging in your favorite activities.  Low back pain is usually caused by a variety of factors including a weak core and tight muscles… Desk jobs, poor posture, driving, couch sitting, and even repetitive exercises (such as biking) may be the underlying cause.

Millions of people go years, even decades, with low back pain.  Many have tried yoga, countless pills, or icing, but found none offering permanent relief.

The good news is MOST low back pain is due to muscular issues (weakness and tightness) and can be fixed or at least improved!

More good news — these exercises can all be done from home with minimal equipment!

Try these 10 exercises:

  1. 1/2 bridge. Lay on your stomach and press up onto your hands, arching your back.  Keep hips near the floor and look up at the ceiling, stretching your abdomen.  Progress to a full bridge/back bend – this may take you many months to achieve, don’t rush it.
  2. Planks. Keep forearms at 90 degrees and do not clasp hands together.  Feet together and squeeze your glutes, keep back flat and suck in your belly button to engage the transverse abdominals.  Don’t forget to do side planks as well.  Hold for at least 20 sec.
  3. Ball or BOSU ball supermans.  With your body facing the floor, lay over ball with it placed just under the rib cage.  If using the BOSU, I prefer putting the BOSU on a workout bench for better leverage and range of motion.  With hands on the floor (or grasping bench) arch back by slowly bringing legs up with feet almost together.  Squeeze glutes, and pause for 1-2 sec.  Return to starting position, and repeat 10-15 times.  Do not rush through this exercise!  It should be done in a slow and controlled manner.
  4. Bird dog.  On hands and knees, lift and extend the right arm and left leg, keeping pelvis square to the floor.  Draw in belly button and pause for several seconds, then switch arm/leg.  Repeat 10-15 times each side.
  5. Kegels.  This can be done standing up or laying down.  Tightening your kegel muscles is like you are trying to hold your urine/bowels.  That’s the best way to describe it.  What this does is work your pelvic floor muscles, which can be extremely weak, especially after child birth.
  6. Yoga “down dog” with lat stretch.  To get a good lat stretch, keep arms straight, and try reaching left and right.
  7. Pelvic tilts and circles.  Perform on hands and knees.  This exercise is also known as “cat and camel.”  Arch your low back up like a cat drawing in belly button and pause.  Then relax, dropping your back and letting your abdomen drop toward the floor.  Repeat 20-30 times, several times per day.  Then practice full circular motions with your pelvis to the right and left.
  8. Hamstring stretch.  Lie on your back and wrap a stretchy band around under the arch of your foot.  Pull toes toward head keeping the leg straight.  For an additional stretch, pull the leg across your body as well.
  9. Hip flexor stretching and deep tissue work. I recommend using the rumble roller  on your hip flexors, stretching is just not usually aggressive enough…
  10. Piriformis deep tissue work.  Where is your piriformis?  It’s a deep butt muscle that goes from your hip bone to your tailbone.  To release this muscle, sit on a softball or rumble roller on one butt cheek, with the ball placed closer to the hip than tailbone.  Bend your leg at the knee and cross leg over the other.

Low back pain does not have to keep you sidelined from running, jumping, sports, and playing with your kids.  Take just 15-20 minutes to do these exercises several times a week and I promise you will have noticeable improvement!

 

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