HealthyWorld101.com

How to strengthen the lower back

Doing exercises to strengthen the lower back can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. It can also strengthen the core, leg, and arm muscles.

According to researchers, exercise also increases blood flow to the lower back area, which may reduce stiffness and speed up the healing process.

Below, we explain how to do 10 exercises that strengthen the lower back and may help people manage lower back pain:

1. Bridges

Bridge stretch.

Bridges work a person’s gluteus maximus, which is the large muscle of the buttocks. People engage this muscle when they move their hips, particularly when they bend into a squat.

The gluteus maximus is one of the most important muscles in the body, and keeping it strong can help support the lower back.

To perform a bridge:

  • Lie on the ground and bend the knees, placing the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Press the feet into the floor, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Raise the buttocks off the ground until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
  • Squeeze the buttocks with the shoulders remaining on the floor.
  • Lower the buttocks to the ground and rest for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 15 times and then rest for 1 minute.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

2. Knee-to-chest stretches

Knee to chest stretch

Doing a knee-to-chest stretch can help elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain.

To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

  • Lie on the back on the floor.
  • Bend the knees, keeping both feet flat on the floor.
  • Use both hands to pull one knee in toward the chest.
  • Hold the knee against the chest for 5 seconds, keeping the abdominals tight and pressing the spine into the floor.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Repeat with each leg 2–3 times twice a day.


3. Lower back rotational stretches

lower back rotational stretch

The lower back rotational stretch can help relieve tension in the lower back and trunk. It also gently works the core muscles to improve stability.

To perform the lower back rotational stretch:

  • Lie back on the floor with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.
  • Keeping the shoulders firmly on the floor, gently roll both bent knees over to one side.
  • Hold the position for 5–10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Gently roll the bent knees over to the opposite side, hold, and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2–3 times on each side twice a day.


4. Draw-in maneuvers

The draw-in maneuver works the transversus abdominis. This muscle is on the front and side of the abdomen, stabilizing the spine and lower back region.

To perform the draw-in maneuver:

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Breathe in deeply.
  • While breathing out, pull the bellybutton toward the spine, tightening the abdominal muscles and keeping the hips still.
  • Hold the position for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.

[embedded content]

5. Pelvic tilts

Draw-in maneuver abdominal exercise

The pelvic tilt exercise can release tight back muscles and keep them flexible.

To perform this lower back flexibility exercise:

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Gently arch the lower back and push the stomach out.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Flatten the back and pull the bellybutton in toward the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Increase the number of repetitions daily, building up to 30.


6. Lying lateral leg lifts

Woman doing leg lifts in gym

Lying lateral leg lifts work the hip abductor muscles. These muscles support the pelvis and can help reduce strain on the back.

Keeping these muscles strong is essential, as they help a person maintain their balance and can affect mobility.

To perform lying lateral leg lifts:

  • Lie on one side with the legs together.
  • Keep the lower leg slightly bent.
  • Draw the bellybutton into the spine to engage the core muscles.
  • Raise the top leg about 18 inches, keeping it straight and extended.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Turn onto the other side of the body and repeat, lifting the other leg.
  • Perform 3 sets on each side.

7. Cat stretches

Woman doing yoga stretch called cat pose

The cat stretch can help lengthen the back, make it stronger, and ease tension in the muscles.

To perform the cat stretch:

  • Get onto the hands and knees with the knees hip-width apart.
  • Arch the back, pulling the bellybutton up toward the spine.
  • Slowly relax the muscles and allow the abdomen to sag toward the floor.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 3–5 times twice a day.


8. Supermans

Superman back stretch while lying on front

A person needs strong back extensors to maintain good posture. These muscles run along either side of the spine.

Weak back extensors can reduce spinal and pelvic support, but doing an exercise called a “Superman” can help.

To perform a Superman:

  • Lie face down on the ground and stretch both arms out in front of the body, keeping the legs stretched out and flat on the ground.
  • Raise both the hands and feet, aiming to create a gap of about 6 inches between them and the floor.
  • Try to pull in the bellybutton, lifting it off the floor to engage the core muscles.
  • Keep the head straight and look at the floor to avoid neck injury.
  • Stretch the hands and feet outward as far as possible.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.


9. Seated lower back rotational stretches

Person seated on chair at desk doing back twist stretches

The seated lower back rotational stretch helps relieve pain, working the core muscles and strengthening the lower back.

To perform the seated lower back rotational stretch:

  • Sit on a stool or chair without arms, keeping the feet flat on the floor.
  • Twist at the core to the right, keeping the hips square and the spine tall.
  • Position the hands behind the head or place the left hand on the right knee to support the stretch.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise on the left-hand side.
  • Repeat on each side 3–5 times twice a day.

10. Partial curls

Man doing partial curls or sit ups on floor.

Strong abdominal muscles play a significant role in supporting the spine and can also help keep the hips properly aligned.

Weak abdominals can result in poor core strength and lack of stability, which can cause lower back pain. Curls and partial curls help build a strong core.

To perform partial curls:

  • Lie back on the floor and bend the knees, keeping the feet flat and hip-width apart.
  • Cross the hands over the chest.
  • Breathe in deeply.
  • On the breath out, engage the abdominal muscles by pulling in the stomach.
  • Gently raise the head and shoulders 2 inches off the ground while keeping the neck in line with the spine.
  • Hold for 5 seconds then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.
  • Perform 3 sets.

Takeaway

Performing exercises to work the core muscles can prevent injury, increase stability, and improve flexibility. People with lower back pain should also pay attention to their general posture and how they carry heavy objects to identify movements that may be responsible.

Anyone experiencing lower back pain that is severe or does not go away with gentle stretches and exercise should make an appointment with a doctor.

If any of these back exercises make pain worse, it is vital to stop doing them immediately and consult a doctor.

Please follow and like us:

Related posts

Just 10 minutes of light activity can boost memory

Joy

Exercise could benefit early-onset Alzeimer’s

Joy

Everything you need to know about ice burns

Joy