Strengthen Your Lower Back

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Lower Back
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5 exercises to help strengthen your lower back

Lower back strengthening exercises can help relieve and prevent lower back discomfort and help strengthen muscles of the legs, arms, and core. According to studies, these exercises also boost blood flow to the lower back, which may help to alleviate stiffness and speed up the healing process.

We’ll show you how to execute five exercises that can help you strengthen your lower back and manage lower back pain.

Bridges

Bridges work the gluteus maximus, or the huge muscle in the buttocks. This muscle controls hip mobility, including squats and other hip extension exercises. The gluteus maximus is a key muscle in the body and maintaining it can support the lower back.

  • Lie on ground with feet flat on floor and hip-width apart
  • Press feet into floor, keep arms by sides
  • Raise butt off ground until body forms straight line from shoulders to knees
  • Tighten butt with shoulders remaining on floor and hold 10-15 seconds
  • Lower butt to ground and rest a few seconds
  • Repeat 15 times for a set
  • Perform 3 sets with 1 minute rest between each

Draw-in Maneuvers

Draw-in maneuvers work the transverse abdominis, the muscle that aids in the support of the spine and the abdomen. This muscle stabilizes the spine and lower back region and is found on the front and side of the abdomen.

  • Lie on ground with feet flat on floor and hip-width apart
  • Keep arms by sides and breathe in deeply
  • Breathe out and pull belly button toward spine
  • Tightening abdominal muscles while keeping hips still
  • Hold position for 5 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times

Lying Lateral Leg Lifts

Lying lateral leg lifts work the hip abductor muscle, which helps support the pelvis and relieve back discomfort. This helps maintain a person’s balance and mobility.

  • Lie on side with the legs together
  • Keep lower leg slightly bent
  • Pull belly toward spine to engage core
  • Raise top leg without moving rest of body
  • Hold position for 2 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times for a set
  • Perform 3 sets
  • Switch sides and perform 3 more sets

Cat Stretch

The cat stretch can help extend the back, strengthen it, and relieve muscle tension.

  • Get onto hands and knees hip-width apart
  • Arch back and pull belly toward spine
  • Relax muscles and allow abdomen to sag toward floor
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat 3-5 times

Partial Curls

Abdominal muscles serve an important function in supporting the spine and keeping the hips aligned. This exercise can help with general core stability and strength.

  • Lie on ground with knees bent and feet flat on floor hip-width apart
  • Cross hands over chest
  • Inhale deeply
  • When exhaling, pull belly toward spine
  • Lift head and shoulders 2 inches off ground
  • Keep neck in line with spine
  • Hold 5 seconds and return to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times for a set
  • Perform 3 sets

Exercises that target the core muscles can help you improve stability, flexibility, and avoid injuries. People with lower back pain should also look into their general posture and how they carry heavy objects to see if there are any movements that are causing the pain.

Make an appointment with a doctor if you have significant lower back pain that does not go away with light stretches or exercise. If any of these lower back exercises make your discomfort worse, stop doing them immediately and see a doctor.

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