The human body’s core consists of the lower and upper back, abdomen, pelvis, hips, and neck. When the core is strong, it supports an individual’s posture and balance, minimizing strain on the back.
Strengthening the core can help relieve lower back pain and reduce the risk of injury. However, it’s crucial to enlist the help of a physical trainer who can help in proper form, as doing these exercises incorrectly can do more harm than good. It is also essential to warm up beforehand and start slowly.
Consulting a doctor before trying these exercises is recommended if one has lower back pain or recently suffered an injury.
Why does exercising help to strengthen the lower back?
When a patient is suffering from lower back pain, they may feel that resting may help. However, it is not true; moving is good for the back. Several exercises for lower back pain strengthen muscles that support the back, such as the back, stomach, and leg muscles, relieving back pain.
However, it is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting any lower back pain-relieving exercises. Also, the severity and cause of the pain should be considered before starting an exercise regime.
What are the ten lower back strengthening exercises?
People looking out for ten lower back strengthening exercises, find them below:
- Good morning: The exercise gets its name as it mimics the bowing movement of saying hello. It is an advanced exercise; beginners should start without using a weight to ensure the correct posture. The following are the steps to perform the exercise:
- The individual’s feet should be should-width apart. If using a weight, mount the barbell on the shoulder.
- Hinge the hip, bend the knees, and lower abdomen towards the floor, until it is parallel. The back must remain straight throughout the movement.
- Once parallel, push through the feet and return to the starting position
- Complete at least three sets with 8 to 12 repetitions
- Barbell Deadlift: The exercise is a great compound movement that targets the muscles in the upper back to the calves. The following are the steps to complete the activity:
- An individual should be standing with feet shoulder-width apart
- Bend the hip to hold the bar. It should be a mixed grip meaning one hand holds from the top and the other from below
- Push hips backwards, and it should look like a half-squat position with a back flat
- Tighten the back, engage in the core, and take a deep breath
- Raise the barbell. Ensure it is close to the shin and knees. Stand straight.
- Hold the position for 2 seconds and gradually lower the barbell on the ground without arching the back
- Bird dog: the bird dog exercise teaches to stabilize the lower back during arms and legs movement. It is crucial to ensure that the lower back muscle does not sag during exercise. Raising the limbs to the height where the position can be maintained is essential. The following are the steps for this exercise:
- On a mat, be on all fours
- Ensure that the hands and shoulders are wide apart, and the knees are under the hips
- The back should be parallel to the floor, and pull the belly button toward the spine
- Straighten the right arm forwards as the left leg straightens backwards
- Hold the position for 2 to 4 seconds
- Slowly return to the starting position
- Glute Bridge: Regardless of age and fitness level, anyone can perform the glute bridge exercise that is versatile, challenging, and effective. This low-impact, powerful exercise requires tremendous energy and minimum space. Executed perfectly,it results in improved muscle vitality near the spine and better posture. Follow the steps to perform the exercise:
- Lie flat on the back
- Bend the knee so that the feet are flat on the ground
- Lift the hips until the shoulders, hips, and knees align in a straight line
- Hold the position for close to 6 seconds
- Slowly bring the hips to the floor and repeat
- Knee to chest: The knee-to-chest exercise is an excellent way to restore flexibility and minimizes stiffness due to spinal arthritis or spinal stenosis. For people suffering from osteoarthritis, exercise helps lubricate the joint, increase blood flow, and help deliver nutrients to the problem area. The following are the steps to perform the exercise:
- Lie flat on the back
- Bend your knees and ensure they are the foot is flat on the floor
- Slowly bring the right knee to the chest. Ensure the left knee remains on the floor.
- Hold the position for close to 15 seconds, ensuring the lower back remains flat on the ground or avoid putting pressure on the same
- Gradually, bring the right knee to the ground and relax
- Repeat the same with the left knee
- Pushups: It is one of the popular exercises that help strengthen the core, develop muscle mass, and build cardiovascular health. The following are the steps to perform this exercise:
- Lie on the floor face down
- The palms should be a little wider on the floor than the shoulders
- Stretch the leg back to balance yourself on the hands and toes
- The body should be straight from head to toe, without the back arching
- Either space out or keep the feet together, keep the core tight, bend the elbow, and lower the body until the elbow is at a 90-degree angle.
- Breathe out and push back up using your hands
- The elbows should be slightly bent, and one should avoid locking them
- Supermans: This deceptively challenging exercise is brilliant for strengthening the lower back. The exercise does not require any equipment to perform. All one must do is the following:
- Lie on the floor face down
- Extend both hands overhead
- Lift the upper and lower body as high as possible without straining
- Hold the position for a couple of seconds
- Partial crunches: specific exercises increase lower back pain rather than reduce it. However, partial crunches strengthen the lower back. The following are the steps for the exercise:
- Lie down on the back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground
- Cross the arms on the chest or move the hands behind the neck
- Breathe out and lift the shoulder off the floor
- Hold the position for a couple of seconds, and slowly return to the lying down position
- Avoid using the elbow or arms to pull the neck off the floor
- Hamstring stretches: It is another exercise to strengthen the lower back. The following are the steps to perform the exercise correctly:
- Lie on the back
- Bend one knee
- Hold a towel on the ball of another foot
- Slowly straighten the knee with the towel, and remember to pull back the towel till the person experiences a stretch at the back of the leg
- Hold the position for 15 seconds, and repeat with the other leg
- Wall sits: With the help of the wall, a person can strengthen their core and lower back. The following are the steps for the exercise:
- Lean against the wall. The back should be flat against the wall.
- Gradually slide down till your knees are slightly bent. It should press on the lower back.
- Hold the position for close to 15 seconds
- Slowly, slide back up
Strengthening the back has various benefits, the most important being that it can help protect one from many forms of back pain. These exercises provide everything an individual needs to function better and feel stronger.
Remember, as one progresses in these exercises, one can continue to challenge by adding weight or resistance but do so cautiously and stop or avoid if one is experiencing any pain during a movement. If the person also has a history of back problems, consult a doctor or a physical therapist before proceeding.