Lower back pain is a common condition that can be caused by many factors, the most common being poor posture, muscle strain and imbalance, and physiological factors such as stress and anxiety. It is critical to seek personalized guidance from healthcare professionals before starting a new exercise program if you are experiencing back pain. That being said, there are three types of exercises that you can perform daily to reduce lower back pain
Stretching isn’t a remedy to lower back pain but can provide a lot of relief very quickly. In general, yoga poses provide a great full body and targeted lower back stretches. Our favorite stretches to relieve back muscle pressure include:
Child’s pose: kneel down, sit back on your heels, and bend forward with your arms extended to stretch for your back and hips.
Seated spinal twist: sit with your legs extended, cross one foot over the opposite knee, and twist your torso to the side of that opposite knee and put your hand at the back so you are looking straight behind
Cat-cow stretches: Begin in a table top pose on your hands and knees, and alternate between arching your back and rounding your back in a flowing motion
Downward facing dog: Starting in a table top position, extend your legs and push yourself backwards while keeping your back straight (imagine touching the sky with your bum)Plow pose: This is an advanced pose and should be done carefully if you are a beginner
Ensure that you keep your breathing controlled when performing stretches to make sure that you do not strain your muscles or promote injuries by overstretching. Start with a range that you are most comfortable with, and increase the time and range as you become more flexible.
Mobility exercises increase the range of motion within your joints. Increasing hip mobility can help reduce lower back pain.
Iron cross: Lay down on your back with your arms extended away from your body. Bring one leg over the opposite side of your body (extended or folded depending on what is comfortable). Hold this position before switching to the other side
Hip switches: In a sitting position, fold your legs so that both knees are on the floor on one side. Alternate between sides to engage your hips and lower back
Knee switches. Starting in a sitting position, slightly extend your leg with your knees together and support your core with your arms behind you. Swing your knees one side to the other
Strength training provides a strong structure to keep your spine in place – lower back pain tends to be caused by spinal conditions oftentimes, that can be addressed with regular targeted back exercises. Swimming is another great way to strengthen your back without straining your muscles but a couple of favorites equipment free exercises you can perform anywhere include:
Superman: lie face down on the floor with your arms extended overhead and legs straight, then simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground, engaging your back and glute muscles to create a flying-like position and lower yourself back to the floor
Planks: position your body in a straight line from head to heels while resting your forearms and toes on the ground, and squeeze your glutes to keep a straight back. Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds as a beginner, and ramp up
Wall sit: put your back against a wall and sit on an imaginary chair, with your hands on your thighs – start with 3 sets of 30 seconds before ramping up the time
Glute bridges: lie down on your back with your legs slightly apart. Lift your glutes up as high as you can, come down and lift again