When your lower back is in good, healthy condition, you are less likely to experience pains and bodily strains in the lower region of your back. Pain in the lower back can be mild to severe and can sometimes incapacitate you. You can perform several exercises to minimize the chances of a lower back strain, and there are exercises that can help you strengthen your lower back muscles.
Stretching the Lower Back
Stretching the lower back can help loosen muscles in the area and make them more flexible. Simple stretching exercises can improve your range of motion and can help rid the lower back muscles of deep tension. Stretching the lower back muscles usually involves exercises involving squatting, an exercise that allows you to use your own body weight to bear down on the lower back muscles, to stretch them and to strengthen them over time. You can use a chair to balance your body as you perform the squats. Squats should be performed in repetitions of 10 per day to allow for gradual light stretching and strengthening.
Other stretches, like the pelvic tilt, can help to stretch out muscles in the lower back and to relieve lower back pain simultaneously. Pelvic tilt exercises can be performed by lying on the floor in a prostrate position. You can then bend your knees up while your feet rest firmly on the floor; press your lower back into the floor for the count of 3 and release. The pelvic tilt allows stress to be taken off the lower back region while the muscles are stretched out.
Making Your Lower Back Stronger
A number of lower back exercises may be used to improve the overall strength of the spine, the muscles that support the spine, tendons and ligaments. Lower back exercises concentrate on strengthening the gluteus, abdominal muscles and hips so that the lower back has better support. With better support, the lower back has less strain. These exercises include lumbar stabilization. After finding a comfortable position, identify a neutral position where you can begin your exercises. You will begin lumbar stabilization exercises in a static position and gradually move into standing and jumping positions as your back strength improves. You might start by using a hamstring stretch where you are lying flat on the floor and lift one leg slowly toward the ceiling until your leg is perpendicular. This exercise is repeated on both legs for 3 repetitions to stretch and strengthen the lower back region gradually.
Lower Back Pain Exercises
If you are in pain, use back exercises to reduce your pain level as well as to strengthen your lower back. Cat stretches can be performed by positioning yourself on the floor on your hands and knees. Your hands will serve to support your upper back as you arch your back upward to stretch the lower back region gently. The position is held for a few seconds and then gently released for at least 10 repetitions to promote lower back flexibility and strength.
A camel stretch can also be used to strengthen the lower back and to promote flexibility. Similar to the cat stretch, you are on the floor on your hands and knees with the camel stretch exercise. Instead of arching your back upward, you allow your abdomen to arch toward the floor as you raise your head and hips. This exercise is held for the count of 5 and released for a repetition of 10 per day for back strength and pain relief.
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