I think it’s safe to say most of us deal with lower back pain from time to time. It’s a vulnerable part of our bodies, and if we don’t take proper care of it, occasional pain can turn into a full blown injury. I’ve found a routine that works well for me to completely eliminate any of my lower back problems, and I hope it helps some of you as well!
Hip Bridge – This exercise is probably the single most helpful lower back exercise that I’ve found. It specifically strengthens and supports the problem area. I like to do 100 reps in a row 3-4 times per week, but if you’re new to the exercise you can start with 3 sets of 20-25 and go from there.
Donkey Kicks – I’ve found that Donkey Kicks help realign the vertebrae in my low back, while also strengthening the muscles and supporting the spine. It’s a great stabilization exercise, which is really important for any back issues. You can do them with your forearms or your hands on the ground, I prefer doing them with my forearms on the ground because it allows for a greater range of motion in the hips.
Superman – This one is basically a reverse plank, and whether you hold it for a few sets of 30-60 seconds or perform it for reps, it will target all of your back muscles, especially the low back.
Plank – It’s important to support your spine and all your joints from all angles, so you’ll want to make sure you work your abdominals and obliques as well as the lower back muscles, so they all work together to give you a solid core and prevent pain and injury.
Stretches: I’ve found that stretching the hip flexors, glutes, and lower back in all directions really helps relieve back pain. These are some of my favorite stretches and poses for targeting all those areas.
Pidgeon – The key with this one is to think tall; stretch your back and chest upwards, focus on sinking your weight straight down, and relax that front leg as it is bent in front of you.
Downward Dog – The idea with this one is to make a perfect angle, with a straight line from your heels through to your hips, and then down through your shoulders and hands. Relax and stretch those hamstrings and shoulders.
Camel – You have to be careful not to push this one, especially if you are prone to lower back issues. I you aren’t careful, you could compress the spine, which is counterproductive. Instead you want to focus on lengthening the spine into a C shape, pressing your abdomen and chest outwards to avoid collapsing the spine. This one is a great shoulder opener as well.
Child’s Pose – This may be one of the most relaxing stretches of all time. It releases tension in your back, legs, and shoulders. Take your time and do it for as long as feels good to you.
Foam Roll – Foam rolling your quads, glutes, and back will also help realign vertebrae and relieve tension in your back.