I wanted to write about a subject that affect 80% of adults including myself…lower back pain! If you are one of these people…you’ll know that it’s not something that will be “better in the morning” or that you can just take an ibuprofen for. Often lower back pain can be ongoing and will affect every part of your day from sleeping, to working and driving.
Having had my spine operated on and fused at the age of 13, I know what it’s like to live with chronic back pain and how it can affect day. Since I began weight training (both in the gym using equipment and at home using bodyweight) I have noticed a significant reduction in the pain. I no longer have periods of being bed ridden and being unable to move, the day to day pain is still there, but it is noticeably better.
Exercises that can relieve lower back pain
In this blog I will outline my top 4 exercises to work and strengthen the muscles in your back as well as the supporting muscle including your core and glutes. By performing these exercises regularly, we can reduce to aches and pains which can often make our lives a misery.
Lay on your side, with your elbow on the floor directly below your shoulder, raise your hip up so only your forearm and foot are touching the floor. Hold this for 60 seconds. If you’re not able to hold this position for 60 seconds hold for as long as you can and record the time. Each time you perform this exercise try and work towards the 1-minute marker. Ensure your ankles, hips and shoulders create a straight line and do not let your hip drop.
Lay on the floor on your tummy, arms, legs and head down. Raise your shoulders, arms and head off the floor at the same time raise your legs from the hip. You should now be in a curved position, the only part of your body which is on the floor is your stomach and pelvis. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower to your starting position. Repeat this exercise 12 times.
Lay on our back bend your knees place both feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart. Raise your hips up until your knees, hips and shoulders are in line. Squeeze your glute muscles and engage your core (make sure your back is not arched). Hold for 5 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat. If you are more advanced do this with one leg on the floor and the other straight up in the air.
Try and make these part of your daily routine along with stretches before and after exercise. It will take no more than 5-7 minutes, so perform these exercises first thing in the morning before work, or every evening. As you get stronger you can increase the time that you hold each exercise or increase the repetitions to ensure that you continue to progress and strengthen your body.
Small changes to your daily routine will make a significant difference to your lower back pain in the long haul!