Strengthen Your Lower Back!

The lower back is an area that is engaged in most activities, if something isn’t right you are going to feel it!  Many of the back injuries that doctors and chiropractors see relate to the lower back region.  There are many different things that can cause back pain, but strengthening your core can help prevent many of them.

Muscle strains or sprains are very possible, there are many injuries that occur in the discs, and the nerves are also susceptible to injury.  You can hurt your back while working out, stretching, playing sports, working, falling, and the list goes on. Sometimes the injury can occur over time so you can’t point back to one specific moment of pain, just a slow accumulation of discomfort as time passes.  If the muscles in that region aren’t balanced they may actually be pulling your body out of alignment and putting unnecessary stress on other regions of your body.

Add these stretches and exercises to your regular workout to help strengthen the lower back and help prevent back injury.  You also want to gently stretch your body on a regular basis to help maintain flexibility and range of motion.

Warm up gently before you begin.  Stretch your hamstrings by standing with your feet shoulder width apart.  Gently reach toward your toes, keeping your back and legs straight.  If you can’t reach your toes that isn’t a problem.  Grab your elbows and gently stretch for ten seconds.  Reach your hands to the ceiling and stretch for ten seconds, then reach back toward your toes.  Repeat five times.

Sit on the floor with one leg out straight in front.  Bend the other knee and place the foot against the inside of your other thigh.  Keep your back straight and lean forward, reaching your hands towards your toes.  Hold for ten seconds then switch sides and repeat two times on each side.

Lie down on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor and arms out to the sides to keep you balance.  Try to keep your shoulders flat while keeping your knees together.  Lower your knees to the left as far as you comfortably can.  Hold for ten seconds.  Come back to the center then repeat on the other side.  Repeat several times on each side.

Do these next exercises while lying on your stomach.  Keep your upper body on the floor but lift you legs off the floor and flutter them like you are swimming.  If you can, flutter them for thirty seconds, rest, and repeat.  Put your arms over your head.  Lift one arm and the opposite leg off the ground, hold for a few seconds then relax. Switch sides.  Repeat this fifteen times for each side.  Finally lift your chest off the floor and bring your arms over your head and back down like you are doing jumping jacks.  Try to lift your legs off the floor at the same time.  Keep waving your arms for thirty seconds, rest, and repeat.

Finish with twenty crunches.  Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Hold your arms to your chest.  Tighten your abs to raise your head up, hold for a second, then release slowly.

These are all great exercises to help you maintain a healthy balance in your lower back and stomach.  If you would like to have a more specific advice about how to strengthen and balance your body call our office!