6 best Lower back exercises to strengthen your back and relieve from back pain.
Lower back pain is one of the most common causes of disabilities in U.S adults (1).
It’s not only a common reason for doctor’s visits but also a leading cause of lost productivity (2).
Close to 150 million days of work get lost per year due to lower back pain.
And almost no one is immune to this problematic pain according to some data.
To start, it affects more than 31 million Americans each year(1).
To add, more than 80% of the population will experience lower back pain at some point in their life.
So it’s important to keep our bodies healthy and strong.
One way to that is to exercise and eat a healthy diet.
What Exactly Causes Lower Back Pain
You don’t have to be old to experience lower back pain. Lower back pain can be caused by any of the following:
- Weak core and abdominal muscles
- Stiffness of the lower back and surrounding muscles
- Weak lower back muscles
- A long period sitting in the same position
- Repetitive heavy lifting
- Muscle spasm
- Muscle strain
- Nerve injury
- Degenerative changes
Some specific and more serious causes of back pain include:
- Compression fractures
- Spinal stenosis
- Disc herniation
- Neurological disorders
What can aid in both prevention and relief from back pain is gaining strength in your core. A strong core can lead to less pain and dysfunction.
Try adding these lower back exercises to your workout regimen. Also, check with your doctor or therapist before trying any of these exercises to make sure that they are right for you.
6 Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief
1. Foam Roll Exercise
Place a foam roller on the floor and lie on top of it so that the end of the roller is at the base of your spine, and the other end is toward your head. Your spine should be aligned with the roller.
Keep your feet flat on the floor and let your arms rest out to your sides. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes. This helps release pressure from the spine and stretches all the tight muscles in your back.
2. Elevated Hip Raise
Lie on your back with your feet on a box and your knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Keep your feet shoulder width apart, push your heels against the box and raise your butt off the floor to form a straight line from your knees to the shoulders.
Hold for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down to the starting position. Perform 15 repetitions.
Lie face down on the floor with your arms above your head and palms facing each other. Contract your lower back and butt muscles and raise your upper body and legs off of the floor.
Hold for 30-45 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position.
Start at the top of a pushup position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line.
Contract your abs (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut) and hold for as long as you can. If you can’t make it to 30 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds.
5. Horizontal Dynamic Plank
Get on the floor on your hands and knees. Keep your head down and spine in a neutral position. Keep your core engaged, slowly extend your left arm out (slightly out to the side of you) while simultaneously extend your right leg behind you, slightly to the side.
Hold this position for 2 seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
6. Side Plank
Lie on your left side with your legs straight. Prop your body up on your left forearm. Your shoulder should be directly above your elbow, and your right hand resting on your hip. Contract your abs and raise your body off of the floor. Only your elbow and feet should be touching it.
Hold this position for as long as you can, then repeat on the other side.
Before starting any new exercise program including exercises introduced in this post, be sure to always consult with your doctor. If you are experiencing severe back pain and/or hold any existing back conditions, always obtain medical help to further examine and identify the root causes and rule out serious conditions.
If any of the exercises mentioned here causes pain in your back or your existing back pain to increase, stop immediately and seek medical help.
Only work within your physical limits and perform all exercises with proper form. Doing too much too fast can worsen your back pain and may hinder the healing process.
These lower back strengthening exercises are an excellent way to prevent recurring back pain especially in the lower region by developing strength and flexibility in the back and core. Stronger core muscles help increase stability and function and decrease your chances of getting injured.
Daily movements that mimic these dynamic exercises are also a great way to enhance mobility and strength. Frequent activities like squatting down to pick up items off the ground is an excellent example and help prevent lower back pain, and/or muscle spasms.
Start incorporating these simple, no-equipment exercises into your daily routine and reap the benefits for years to come.
- Freburger, Janet K, et al. “The Rising Prevalence of Chronic Low Back Pain.” Archives of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Feb. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339077/.
- Chou, Roger, et al. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society.” Annals of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, 2 Oct. 2007, annals.org/aim/fullarticle/736814/diagnosis-treatment-low-back-pain-joint-clinical-practice-guideline-from.