There are so many ways to hurt your back these days. It’s not just lifting something or someone heavier the wrong way. Just sitting there for hours can put you in a lot of (lower back) pain as well. So for those times when you feel like you can’t even stand, I decided to share some lower back stretches to relieve lower back pain as well as some strengthening lower back exercises to improve posture and to prevent injuries and back pain.
I didn’t even think about it, but a few months ago as I lifted my adorable 25+ pound nephew, I got into so much pain that I couldn’t even stand, let alone walk. Now, I’m in my early 30’s and this is not something I’m used to. Neck and shoulder pain from looking at my phone and at the computer? Sure! What else is new? I’m telling you what’s new: lower back pain.
According to WHO (it’s whom-a!!! OMG I just had to. No seriously I mean the World Health Organization, focus, okay?)…So according to WHO lower back pain is a major cause of disability and it affects children and the elderly (source).
That sucker does not discriminate. True, there aren’t as many children that suffer from low back pain as there are adults, but their number is increasing. And that sucks. When you’re a child the last thing you wanna be dealing with is lower back pain.
Lower Back Stretches
If you have mild lower back pain, some of these stretches might help, as they can relieve tightness, but please first speak to a healthcare professional before doing anything. Especially if you’ve had back pain for a while now. Most of these stretches are also yoga poses that you can easily incorporate into your practice.
1. Supine Twist
I know this movement from practicing yoga. It improves spine mobility and stretches the lower back, hips, shoulders and upper back. Thus it helps reduce stiffness in the lower back and the spine. For a good demonstration on how to do it, watch the video by Yoga With Adriene.
2. Deep Glute Stretch
One reason you might experience lower back pain is having tight piriformis muscles. By doing this exercise, you’ll be able to stretch them and hopefully alleviate the pain in your lower back. Watch the video by FitnessBlender for proper form and tips.
3. Cat Cow Pose
Cat cow is a great yoga pose that can relieve tightness in your lower back and improve the mobility and flexibility of your spine. Learn how to do it by following the instructions in the video by intosport.
4. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose helps lengthen your spine and takes the pressure off your lower back. For proper form and tips, watch the video by Gaia.
Lower Back Exercises
Now the aim of these exercises is to prevent lower back pain and future injuries. This means – I wouldn’t do them at the time I’m in pain, I’d do them when I’m okay, so I can strengthen my core, lower back muscles and improve my posture. These exercises are often done in Pilates classes, so if you’ve been practicing Pilates, you’re probably going to be familiar with these moves.
Superman is a strengthening exercise where you get to lie on your belly and tone your back muscles, while looking like Superman. This often ignored exercise is super important for the lower back and for your posture, as it strengthens the muscles that support and stabilize the spine. Watch the video by LIVESTRONG.COM for more details and tips on how to do this exercise.
6. Glute Bridges
Glute bridges help strengthen erector spinae – a group of muscles which straighten and rotate your back. This will help with developing better posture and prevent injuries in the future. Follow the instructions in the video by Jessica Valant Pilates for proper form.
7. Forearm Plank
If you’re also sitting for many hours in a day, there’s a very high chance you’ll end up with a weak core and poor posture. Both of these can lead to lower back pain. But one way to combat them is to do planks. The plank is one of my favorite exercises as it helps develop the deeper core muscles. It seems like you’re doing nothing, but your abs are working really hard when you’re doing a plank. For proper form and tips, watch the video by Bowflex.
I hope you’re doing well and if you’ve ever had to deal with lower back pain, I so hope you found this helpful.