Strengthening your back can help prevent lower back pain! To skip the pain pill tomorrow, start doing these exercises today!
As we find ourselves sitting behind desks and lounging on couches more often, we can also find our backs hurt a lot more too.
Back pain makes daily activities more uncomfortable and can make sports and exercises unbearable.
If you have found that your back hurts like millions of others, solutions are available.
Though medical support can sometimes be needed for long-term pain, research has shown that strengthening your back muscles by doing exercises daily can help alleviate and prevent back pain altogether.
Here are the best exercises to strengthen your back and stop the pain in its tracks.
To do the cat/cow stretch, first, move to the floor and put your hands and knees in table pose.
Keep your spine neutral, and as you inhale, move into cow pose by pressing your chest forward, letting your belly sink, and raising your sit bones upward.
While exhaling, go into cat pose by outwarding your spine, tucking in your tailbone, and bringing your pelvic bone forward.
Repeat this yoga flow series several times to increase balance, improve posture and diminish back pain.
Seated Spinal Twist
This exercise stretches your spine and strengthens your shoulders and neck.
To begin, sit on the floor and extend both of your legs out in front of you.
Then, bend your right knee and place your foot on the outside of your left thigh.
Place your left arm on the outside of your right thigh, your right hand behind you for support, and twist to the left side. Hold for one minute and repeat on the other side.
To stretch your spine, thighs, hips, and ankles, do a child’s pose.
First, get on your hands and knees in a tabletop pose.
Then, spread your knees out wide while keeping the tops of your feet flat on the ground and your toes touching.
After that, lower your torso onto your knees, relax your shoulders, and place your palms flat on the floor. This pose can be held as needed.
A bridge will help strengthen your lower body and support your back!
To perform a bridge, lay on your back and bring the heels of your feet to your bottom.
Keep your knees a hips distance apart and pointing upward.
Then, by pressing into your kneels, raise and squeeze your bottom while keeping your shoulders on the ground. Lower your bottom back down and rest.
Then repeat the cycle for one minute.
Knee to Chest
This movement focuses on your lower back and is an excellent stretch for pain reduction.
When you are ready to begin, lie face up on the ground with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. While keeping one leg bent, bring the other to your chest.
While keeping your back pressed to the floor, hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Strengthening your core is also a great way to help with back pain.
To begin birddog, go to your hands and knees on the floor and as you reach your left arm forward, extend your left leg up and back.
Now pause and hold, and then repeat on the other side. Continue this sequence for a minute while keeping your core engaged.
Stretching the hamstrings well can help reduce the stress felt in the lower back and reduce back pain.
While there are many options for hamstring stretching, this one will be done while standing.
First, bend forward from the waist and lengthen the legs without locking your knees. Gently reach for your toes and hold for thirty seconds. Repeat as needed.
Be mindful not to over-extend or strain your back, as this can cause more problems for you.
A wall sit is an excellent alternative to a square if you tend to have back pain while squatting and is a great way to strengthen your body.
First, lean against a wall with your feet hip-width apart and lower your bottom until your knees are at a ninety-degree angle.
Keep your head, shoulders, and back against the wall while holding the pose for a minute. You will feel the burn, but you can do it!
General things to consider
Even if you target your back specifically, general exercise can help increase strength.
Yoga, pilates, walking, and other aerobic activities like hiking, swimming, and biking can help you prevent pain in the long run.
Weight lifting can also improve overall muscle strength and should be added to your workout plan at every age.
It is also essential to prioritize posture, correct ergonomics, and proper shoe wear while also mindful of how we carry heavy bags.
Long-term high heel usage, one strap bags, and improper lifting techniques can also cause back pain.
Things to avoid
Some exercises are notorious for causing back pain. Some to avoid if you are experiencing back pain include toe touches, leg lifts, and situps. Be sure also to perform any exercise or stretch you are doing correctly. Failure to use proper form and technique could lead to an injury.
If a specific movement is causing pain or does not feel right, stop immediately. Everyone’s abilities are different, and being an advocate for yourself will help you keep your body safe.
The Bottom Line
Today, we spend hours sitting.
Whether in front of a computer, watching your favorite show, or scrolling on your phone, posture can go out the window, and comfort can be prioritized, causing back pain over time.
With the help of these exercises, you can have a life free of back pain by increasing flexibility, building strength, and relieving tension.
But, if your pain is more severe or long-term, you can consider seeing a medical doctor, completing physical therapy, or visiting a chiropractor.