Back Pain? 5 Ways To Strengthen Lower Back
By doing regular back exercise to strengthen the lower back, you can help alleviate pain in the lower back region. It can also help strengthen your core, leg, and arm muscles in the process.
Many people struggle with back pain. Most of the time, this is caused by weak lower back muscles and a weak core. That’s why it is important to strengthen these areas regularly, especially if you are training most days.
According to recent studies, regular exercise can also increase blood flow to the lower back area. This may reduce stiffness and help to reduce the pain, and speed up the healing process.
Below we discuss 5 ways to strengthen your lower back and how you can make it stronger by just spending a small amount of time working on your lower back and core muscles.
How Do You Know If Your Lower Back Is Weak?
Whether or not you exercise regularly, a strong core is an integral part of preventing a weak back. It is also a vital part of your overall health and well-being.
However, because many of us spend hours each day sitting, it makes it even more difficult to maintain a strong core and back.
Below are 5 signs that show that you have a weak lower back.
Poor Core muscles
Your core isn’t just comprised of your abdominal muscles. They are all the muscles located along your trunk, from the front to back. When you have weak core muscles, your back isn’t able to support your weight as it should. This can lead to pain and discomfort in the back. It can also cause the back muscles to become weak from overuse, as they try to support the body, as the core muscles aren’t able to.
A poor posture is another sign you may have weak lower back muscles. If this is the case, you will find yourself slumping and slouching a lot, both when sitting and standing.
If you have trouble bending down, walking, or standing, it can be another symptom of weak lower back muscles. Lower back weakness can affect your body alignment and sometimes put the body off-center, thus affecting your balance.
Chronic stress can also lead to lower back weakness. Stress can cause the back muscles to tighten. This happens when the back muscles tighten to fight a response. It can then lead to the muscles being deprived of energy that supports the spine.
If you are exercising regularly and don’t implement regular recovery, you can cause overuse of the back muscles. This can cause the lower back muscles to weaken rather than strengthen.
How Can I Make My Lower Back Stronger?
If you are looking at how to make your lower back stronger. You want to add some lower back and core exercises into your training regime.
However, it is important not to overdo the amount of core and lower back exercises you do each week. Make sure you allow adequate recovery time between each session. This will allow the back muscles to strengthen and recover from the load placed on them during lower back exercises.
Below are five exercises that you should add to your regular training. These should be performed at least twice per week. For the more experienced athlete, you may even increase this to 3 times a week.
What Are The Five 5 Exercises For Strengthening The Lower Back?
Bridges are one of the best bodyweight exercises for strengthening the gluteus maximus. The Gluteus Maximus is one of the most important muscles in the body, as it helps support the lower back. When this muscle is strong, you will find that it will offer more support to the lower back, which will help reduce some of the stress placed on it when muscles surrounding the lower back region are weak.
To do this exercise:
1. Start by lying on the ground (on your back) and bending your knees.
2. Place your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart.
3. Place your arms next to your side and press your feet into the floor.
4. Raise your buttocks off the ground until you form a straight line (shoulders to the knees) with the body.
5. Squeeze the glutes while your shoulders remain on the floor.
6. Lower the body back to the floor and rest for 10 seconds.
7. Repeat up to 15 times and perform three sets of this exercise.
Pelvic tilts are a great way to strengthen and loosen up the lower back muscles. They can also help to release tight back muscles and keep them flexible.
To perform this lower back flexibility exercise:
1. Lie on the floor (on your back)with your knees bent and with your feet flat on the ground.
2. Place your arms next to your sides.
3. Slowly arch your lower back and then push your stomach out
4. Hold this position for 5-6 seconds, and relax.
5. Then flatten the back and pull your belly button towards the floor.
6. Hold this position again for 5-6 seconds and then relax.
7. Slowly build up to 30 repetitions daily.
Plank with Leg Lift
The plank with leg lift exercise can help strengthen the lower back muscles as well as the glutes, arms, core, and shoulders.
To do the plank leg lift exercise:
1. Start in the low plank position.
2. Raise your body off the floor and rest on your toes and forearms
3. Raise on leg off the floor and hold it out behind you.
4. Keep your body in a straight line while keeping your back in a neutral position.
5. Slowly lower your leg back to the floor and raise the opposite leg.
6. Alternate between the two sides and repeat until fatigue sets in.
Alternating Superman Flutter
The alternating superman flutter is an exercise that can help improve the stabilization of your lumbar, hip extensions, and lower and upper back.
To do this exercise:
1. Lie face down on the ground
2. Place your legs out straight and your arms stretched overhead.
3. Raise one arm and the opposite leg into the air (6-20 inches).
4. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds.
5. Lower both and alternate to the other arm and leg.
Lateral cable/resistance band walkouts
This resistance exercise uses isometric contraction to build strength in the transverse plane. This will help support the spine when doing twisting movements, both in the upper and lower back.
To do this exercise:
1. Attach a resistance band to something secure at your chest height.
2. Hold each resistance band with each hand and with your arms extended.
3. While keeping your core engaged and your arms in front of you, shuffle sideways for three steps. Try not to allow your torso to rotate.
4. Pause for a few seconds and shuffle back to the starting position.
5. Repeat the exercise for 10 repetitions and then repeat on the other side.
To increase the resistance of the exercise, either walk slower or further away.