Back Pain? Six Exercises to Strengthen Abs and Lower Back Muscles
Do you often experience back pain? In this article, we will describe six exercises to help strengthen your abs and lower back. These exercises are very simple and easy for anyone of any physical condition to perform, and are highly effective.
Your back often hurts if you have weak abdominal muscles, old hamstring injuries or herniated discs. To minimize back pain, you should maintain good posture and exercise regularly to strengthen your back muscles.
Opposite arm and leg elevations
This is a great first exercise routine for strengthening your abdominal muscles, to decrease lower back pain. To perform this move:
- Start in an all-fours position, with the palms of your hands flat on the floor and resting underneath your shoulders, and your knees bent underneath your hips.
- Raise and stretch your right arm and left leg at the same time until they are parallel to the ground.
- Hold this position for a few seconds (you should feel your abdominals firing), then return to the starting position. Then switch sides and extend your left arm and right leg.
- Try to do three sets of this movement, with 12 repetitions on each side.
The “swimming” exercise is very similar to the previous exercise. This time, though, you will support yourself on your stomach instead of on your knees. To perform this exercise, take the following steps:
- Start by lying on your stomach with your arms extended above your head and your palms on the ground. Your thighs should be lying on the ground and extended straight back from your hips.
- Once you are in that position, raise and outstretch your right arm above the level of your head, while doing the same with the left leg. You should feel a small arch in your back.
- Maintain this position for a few seconds, and return to the starting position. Then, stretch your opposite arm and leg to feel the stretch on the other side.
- You should do three sets of 12 repetitions on each side.
The third exercise in the routine to prevent back pain is the pelvis lift (also called a bridge pose). This exercise also works out your lower back and abdominals, since you have to contract your ab muscles every time you perform the movement. These are the steps to do a pelvic lift:
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet resting on the floor.
- Once you are in this position, keep your hands next to your body, with your palms resting on the floor near your hips. Keeping your back straight, lift your buttocks to lift your pelvis.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and do 12 more pelvis lifts.
When you do leg lifts, you are working your lumbar spine and abdominal areas, and strengthening your thighs and glutes, among other muscles. Follow these simple steps to do leg lifts:
- Lie (face up) on the floor and bend your left leg. Raise your right leg as high as you can. Keep a soft bend behind your right knee and do not force your leg farther than it naturally wants to go.
- Once you are in this position, hold your raised leg with both hands and maintain this pose for about 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, change legs and hold your left leg straight.
- Do this movement three times more.
Lumbar spine exercises for back pain relief
By performing this exercise, you will work and strengthen your lower back and obliques,which are located at the sides of your waist. Take the following steps to strengthen your back and obliques:
- To strengthen the lower back, start by lying on your stomach with your arms extended forward. Your palms, knees and feet should all be resting on the floor. Raise your trunk 10 times with your lower body reminding on the floor — this should stretch and strengthen your abs and back. Repeat this movement at least three times.
- To strengthen your obliques, lie on your side while holding your feet, and raise your body laterally. For best results, do 10 repetitions each for three series.