Low back pain is no fun…but for most people, it is totally avoidable! Most of the time, low back tension or pain is just a symptom of too much sitting and not enough movement.
But moving more is not going to help if you are not doing the right kinds of movements. That is why we wanted to share a few exercises that you can do daily to help keep your low back pain at bay. Before we get going, just a few things to know: If you have chronic back pain or a specific injury, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting an exercise program. If you don’t know why you have low back pain, then it is more likely that you will hurt yourself.
It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you feel pain during any of these exercises, stop immediately and speak to your doctor or physical therapist. With that said, these exercises are very effective for most people, so try them out and keep the ones that work for you!
One of the most effective exercises for low back pain is the plank. The plank targets the muscles in the core, including the abs, obliques, and lower back.
To perform the plank, start by getting into a push-up position with your hands placed directly under your shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line and engage your core muscles to hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
As you become stronger, you can increase the duration of the hold. And if your wrists hurt, just drop down to your elbows and keep going!
Another effective exercise for low back pain is the bird dog. The bird dog targets the muscles in the lower back, glutes, and core.
To do this, start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
Keep your core engaged and extend one arm and the opposite leg out in line with your body. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
The bridge is great for low back pain because it targets the glutes, which are often too weak in people with low back pain.
To do this exercise, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Drive through your heels to lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and then lower back down.
If this gets too easy, try out single leg bridges!
While the Superman can be an awesome back exercise, I want to reiterate that you need a clear understanding of why you have low back pain before you try out this movement.
Depending on the cause of your low back pain, this could be a critical part of keeping you pain free, or something to avoid. Your personal trainer or physical therapist should know if this is an appropriate exercise for you.
If it is, then here is how to do it! Start by lying on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Slowly lift your arms and legs off the floor and hold for a few seconds before lowering back down.
As you progress, you can also try swimmers, where you lift one arm and the opposite leg up, then switch back and forth.
The Cat-Cow stretch is an awesome exercise that can really help with low back pain. This stretch helps to improve flexibility in the spine and relieve tension in the back muscles.
Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Arch your back towards the ceiling while tucking your chin to your chest (cat position).
Then, round your spine and bring your head towards your tailbone (cow position). Repeat this movement slowly and smoothly.
These 5 exercises will not only relieve lower back pain, but will give you the flexibility and core strength needed to avoid it in the future. The 5 exercises to do daily are:
- Bird dog
- Cat-Cow stretch
As with all exercise, however, it really comes down to what your specific needs are.
If you start doing these and are not sure what else you should be doing (or if you are doing the exercises correctly!), that is where we can help.
Working with a fitness coach helps take the guesswork out of exercise, and ensures that your program takes into account your goals, your health and injury history, and your current level of fitness.
If this sounds like what you need, I invite you to check out our 28-Day Kickstart Program.
In this program you will get:
- Full fitness and goals assessment
- Personalized fitness coaching to teach you the exact exercises you need to safely and effectively get the results you want
- A simple meal plan to help you decrease inflammation
- 1-on-1 success coaching to help guide you as you work to change your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits
Click here to learn more and take back control of your health and fitness today! Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.