Exercises To Strengthen Your Lower Back And Core
1. Bird Dog
This is a great safe exercise to improve core strength and lumbar back strength.
How to do it: Begin on your hands and knees with your hands positioned under your shoulders and knees positioned under your hips. Raise your left arm and reach it forwards until it is aligned with your torso at the same time, kick your right leg backwards until is it aligned with your torso. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Alternate sides for 10 repetitions.** Ensure that your head, neck, and back maintain a neutral alignment to minimize stress on your neck.
2. Glute Bridge
This exercise helps to strengthen both your core, hamstring and gluteal muscles.
How to do it:Begin lying on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet positioned flat on the floor with your arms positioned beside your torso. Use your heels to push into the floor while you lift your pelvis off the floor until your upper body and thighs are positioned in a straight line. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and return slowly to the starting position. Aim for 10 repetitions.**Ensure that your gluteals and abdominal muscles are tightened during the movement to maintain proper bridge form.
The prone leg raises exercise engages the butt muscles and low back muscles.
This exercise is ideal for strengthening both your deep core and gluteul muscles.
5. Side Plank
6. Dead Bug
Back Rehab Exercises: Pelvic Lift
The multifidus muscle is one of the most important muscles to consider when treating back pain. This is a small back muscle that runs from vertebra to vertebra. Its job is to protect your vertebra from sliding forward in relation to other moving vertebra and gravity.
The pelvic lift trains the multifidus muscle to respond more quickly.
First, you lay down on your back and bend your knees. Then cross your arms over your chest to reduce compensation that affects the exercises effectiveness.
Finally, you lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling/sky and hold it there for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise twice a day in sets of 10.
Close Grip Lat Pulldown
Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
As you have both arms extended in front of you while holding the bar at the chosen grip width bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position. As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Again Ive selected cables and not body weight/ weighted pull ups is to ensure correct form, and to ensure that positive an negative parts of the movement are controlled.
Sets: 3Reps: 12-15
The lower traps reaches from the scapula all the way down to the lower portion of the back around the spine.
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Try: Some Pilates Moves
Pilates combines stretching, strengthening, and core abdominal exercises. Under the instruction of an experienced teacher, it may help some people with back pain. Be sure to tell your teacher about your back pain, because you may need to skip some moves. For further reading, here are more back exercises for women.
Back Workouts To Build A Broader Stronger Back
Next time youre in the gym , look around and take note of the muscles most people are working. The chances are that the majority will be training their chest, arms or abs, known as the mirror muscles because you can see them in the mirror as you lift and lower the weight.
But to build a balanced, strong, functional and injury-proofed body you need to spend just as much time on your posterior chain muscles, which are located down the back of your body. Achieving equal muscle size and strength across the front and back of your torso is the only way to get into the shape of your life and thats what these workouts help with effectively training your upper and lower back muscles to make them bigger and stronger, and to bring better balance to your body.
How To Do These Workouts
The first two workouts below are both designed to target your upper back and should be done on separate days with a gap of two to three days between them to allow time for your muscles to recover and adapt.
Both workouts are fairly short and can be done as part of a larger workout in which you also hit other areas of the body, or you can stick to the moves below for a quick session that really focuses on your upper back.
The final two workouts are both designed to work your lower back, an area of the body that most people need to pay more attention to, especially if you spend large parts of your day sitting at a desk.
How To Warm Up
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Exercises To Help Lower Back Pain
The exercises below are meant to strengthen and improve flexibility in your muscles to support your lower back. Lower back pain may be recurring or a one-time experience. Doing these back strengthening exercises daily will ease lower back pain and prevent future episodes by strengthening your abdominal, hip, and back muscles.
Knee to Chest Stretch
This stretch is an easy way to warm up for your workout.
âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
âStep 2: Use both hands to pull one knee into your chest.
âStep 3: Tighten your abdominals and press your spine to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
âStep 4: Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
You can repeat this stretch 2 to 3 times in the morning and at night.
Lower Back Rotational Stretch
This is another easy stretch to get your muscles ready to move.
âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
âStep 2: Keep your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side and hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
âStep 3: Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
You can repeat this 2 to 3 times in the morning and night.
Glute Bridges Exercise
This exercise aims to strengthen your glute and abdominal muscles.
âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
âStep 3: Hold the position as long as you can, starting with 3 deep breaths. Then return to the starting position.
Major Back Muscles You Need To Know
Before we start exploring critical back exercises, lets study up on the key back muscles youll want to know.
The Latsissimus Dorsi
The scientific name for the broad, fan-shaped muscles in your back is latissimus dorsi, and theyre the largest back muscles you have. The lats attach to the upper arm bone and stretch from your mid-back all the way down to your waist. Theyre your main pulling muscles for both horizontal pulls and vertical pulls . Keep this in mind: That means that even if you cant do pullups or pulldowns, you can still train your lats.
Teres Major and Teres Minor
These two muscles are smaller muscles, but they assist in a lot of key functions. The teres major is known in fitness circles as the lats little helper, a reference to how much it duplicates the moves youd make with your lats and helps you pull.
The teres minor, meanwhile, is a key part of your rotator cuff, helping to externally rotate your shoulder. The teres minor plays a huge role in shoulder stability.
The rhomboids essentially sit in the middle of your upper back, thick broad bands of muscle bordering your shoulder blades. They help retract your shoulder blades, a key function of all back training and an important way to safeguard your shoulders. By improving rhomboid activity, youll supercharge your ability to do any back exercise.
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Strong Core Muscles Reduce Stress On Your Spine
Strong core muscleswhich include your abdomen, lower back, pelvic, and even hip muscleshelp support and stabilize your spine. This reduces the pressure on your spinal discs, soft tissues, and joints, which in turn may bring relief from your lower back pain.1
Core strengthening can include exercises such as planks and leg lifts, but can be even more effective when done with functional, daily movements rather than isolated strengthening alone. For example, engaging your core muscles to stabilize your spine to lift and carry objects, squat, and perform pulling exercises like rowing are great ways to develop core strength.
How To Strengthen Your Lower Back
That irritating niggle at the base of your spine. That dull ache after a core workout. That urge to stretch and contort your back to get relief. Having lower back pain can be a pain in the back, especially when its stopping your usual exercise routine or punishing you after working up a sweat!
There are ways to combat lower back pain, and surprisingly its not all about targeting your lower back with strengthening routines. We will look into great exercises that can help strengthen your lower back, but also nifty exercises that strengthen your core and other parts of the body that can help you bid farewell to that ache!
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Any Exercise That Causes Pain
Pain is your bodys way to say stop it!
I dont mean the good kind of pain, when your muscles are working. When the pain feels like burning, or stabbing, or lasts for more than a couple of minutes, its time to stop.
This is the point when exercise turns into an injury, or further injury.
Always listen to your body.
What Are The Best Exercises For Lower Back
If you are recovering from back pain, it is best to start with gentle exercises, with the guidance of a physiotherapist. You should be able to incorporate more intensive exercises as your fitness improves. Always check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise and learn the right way to do it. Do not do an exercise that aggravates your pain.
Following are some of the best exercises for a strong and flexible back:
- Superman: Strengthens your back, glutes, and hips. Lie on the stomach, extend your arms in front and raise your arms and legs off the floor.
- Pelvic tilt: Strengthens your abdominal muscles. Draw in your navel, tighten your stomach muscles and press your lower back down on the floor so the pelvis tilts up.
- Plank: Strengthens the abdominal muscles. Keep your body raised parallel to the floor with only elbows and toes resting on the floor.
- Bridge: Strengthens the glutes. Lie on your back with knees bent and arms by the side, lift your torso and tighten your glutes, with the shoulders firmly on the floor.
- Partial crunches: Strengthens the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with knees bent and arms crossed behind your head, draw the stomach muscle in and lift your shoulders off the floor.
- Lateral leg raises: Strengthens your hip muscles. Lie on your side and raise your leg up. Repeat on the other side.
Low-impact aerobic exercises
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Walking Is Good For Your Lower Back
Exercise walking has many benefits, including:
- Strengthens muscles that hold your body upright
- Brings nutrients to your spinal structures
- Improves flexibility
- Encourages production of pain-fighting endorphins
When walking for exercise, try to keep a brisk pace with an upright, natural posture. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week if you are currently active. If you’re new to exercise, try starting with 2 or 3 short walks each day, and over several weeks or months work up to being able to go for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Other low-impact aerobic exercise options to consider include biking, using an elliptical machine, or swimming. To make things even more fun and to help you stay motivated, see if a friend would like to join you on walks or for other exercise.
Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Back And Reduce Pain
Its easy to take for granted how much we use our back muscles every day. Whether its lifting bags of groceries up a flight up stairs or squatting down to pick up something off the floor, we use our backsides to carry out the most complex and simplest tasks. The back is literally involved in every movement. Even if you arent doing a back exercise, per se, the back is still anchoring and stabilizing to support all arm gestures, core exercises, balance work and leg moves, says Cheri Paige Fogelman, a Daily Burn 365 trainer.
And can you guess how many muscles are in the human back? Approximately 140 overlapping muscles. The major muscles are divided into three groups: extrinsic, intermediate and intrinsic most of which were under-utilizing sitting at our desks all day. Whats worse: Stress and anxiety also tend to manifest as tension in our necks and back before spreading to other parts of the body. Talk about a bad chain reaction.
These no-equipment back exercises from the trainers of Daily Burn 365 have you covered from every angle . Perform em right and theyll even help improve posture and range of motion, too. Dont worry we got your back!
Repeat the following circuit three times through, resting for one minute in between rounds. Or, mix things up by adding these moves into your usual exercise rotation.
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Lower Back Stretches To Reduce Pain And Build Strength
Lower back pain is a fairly common health concern, as so many things can cause it.
In some cases, it might be a symptom of an underlying condition, like kidney stones or acute pancreatitis. Other times, its simply a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive motions.
While stretching isnt a remedy for all lower back pain, in many instances, it can provide relief. If youve been living with some mild discomfort or stiffness, these seven stretches may help reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles in your lower back.
Tips To Protect Your Lower Back
The marvelous strength and flexibility that’s engineered into your lower back also makes it susceptible to developing lots of problems. And because of the many nerves that run throughout your spine and into the rest of your body, a problem in the lower back can lead to leg pain, hip problems, and more.
Learn more about the anatomy of your lower spine. Watch:Lumbar Spine Anatomy Video
Protecting your lower back involves taking measures to avoid direct injury, prevent indirect trauma, and control the progression of a problem that may have already occurred.
Here are 7 proven tips that can go a long way in protecting and stabilizing your lower back.
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Your Lower Back Is Essentialhere’s How To Strengthen It
In This Article
There are some body parts that when strained or sore, will be annoying to deal with. But there are others that can entirely affect how you move . Your lower back falls into this latter category because, like a good BFF, it provides your whole body with an essential support system, whether youre sitting, standing, or moving.
Since your lower back plays an important role in daily functional movement, its important to strengthen it just like you do with other muscle groups. Exercising your lower back can be done by itself or before/within another workout, it doesnt require any fancy equipment or complicated moves, and it also often recruits other muscles in the process. Heres what you need to know about the importance of your lower back, and how you can strengthen it with a few simple exercises.
Meet the Expert
- Jonathan Tylicki is a master trainer and director of education at AKT.
- Johry Batt is the head of athletics at F45.
What Is The Function Of Your Lower Back
Your lower back is located between your lowest rib and the upper part of the buttock, and it is what helps keep your body upright. It connects the upper and lower half of your body together, and thus is constantly in use every day.
While youre sitting, your low back receives a lot of the stress and compression due to gravity. During movement, your low back continues to support your upper half, says Jonathan Tylicki, master trainer and director of education at AKT. There are internal benefits too. The lower back also provides protection for tissue and organs located in the region including kidneys, pancreas, colon, and reproductive organs, adds Johry Batt, head of athletics at F45.
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