Lower back pain is a problem that millions of people live with everyday. Sadly, most people who suffer from this problem don't realize there are things that can be done to reduce or even eliminate it. Most people simply ignore it, suffer through it, or rely on pain medication to cope with it.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
There are a number of factors that are responsible for this condition. The lower back supports the entire upper body, so it works hard and is under a lot of stress. Poor posture, sitting for long periods of time, manual labor, weight gain and other lifestyle habits can cause the conditions that result in pain and discomfort.
Strengthening the lower back muscles is one of the best ways to prevent or reduce pain. Keeping a healthy weight, practicing good posture and avoiding sitting for too long can all help alleviate back pain.
What Exercises Help Lower Back Pain?
1. Hip Bridge
Lying on your back with feet flat on floor and legs hip-width apart, lift hips while squeezing buttocks to create a straight line from knees to shoulders. Keep arms relaxed at sides. Do about 10-12 repetitions.
2. Side Planks
Lying on your side, with your body in a straight line, lift your hips off the floor. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. You should be resting on your elbow, which should be directly underneath your shoulder.
Basic lunges are a great overall exercise that also strengthens the lower back. Keep your back straight during the exercise, and your abdominal muscles engaged. Always remember not to extend your knees over your toes.
4. Bird Dog
Start out on all fours. Keep your knees and hands about hip-width apart. Contract your abdominal muscles by pulling them in towards your spine, but keep your back neutral. Extend one leg straight behind you, and your opposite arm straight out in front of you. Hold this position for a few moments. The key is to build balance, which strengthens your lower back muscles.
5. Standard Planks
This is more of a core exercise, but it needs to be on the list. Why? Because the plank strengthens the core, including those deep abdominal muscles that are often neglected. Strengthening your core helps support your back and improve your posture.
Getting in shape is not just about looking good, although that is a bonus. It’s also about feeling good. A healthy, strong body is more likely to be a pain-free body. When you regularly practice health and fitness activities, you have more energy to do the things you want to do.
It can be hard to start and maintain an exercise regimen. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, or you don't know where to start, a personal trainer can help you.Ralph Roberts has been working with people of all ages and fitness levels and has years of experience. You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club.
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