More than 31 million Americans experience low-back pain and 65 million feel discomfort at other parts of the back, according to the American Chiropractic Association, and about half of them have recurring episodes. Eight out of 10 Americans will feel the pain at least once in their lives.
These are some worrying numbers. People have generally accepted that this is a common problem and that’s why it’s not absolutely crucial that they fix it.
Symptoms can be eased or eliminated with medication or painkillers, which are some of the most dangerous legal drugs on the market. But why go through all the trouble when you can avoid them all together.
Ivy Karlinsky, personal trainer at Transform 180 Training, gives six exercises you can do to help strengthen your lower back and alleviate the tension.
1. Good Mornings
Begin by bending at the hips, moving them back as you bend over to near parallel. Keep your back arched. Reverse the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings. Continue until you have returned to the starting position.
This is a great exercise for the perfect beach bottom. To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for two seconds. Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.
Remain on all fours and tighten your abdominal muscles, keeping your spine and neck in a neutral position. Slowly extend your left leg behind you while reaching your right arm forward. Return to start, repeat on the opposite side.
4. Glute Bridge
Begin lying on the ground, knees bent. Begin the movement by driving through with your heels, extending your hips vertically. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet, squeeze your glutes at the top. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
5. Lunge with Twist
Step forward with the left leg and slowly lower the body down rather than forward, keeping the chest up making sure that the knees are bent to 90 degrees and the knees do not track past the foot. Keeping the abdominals engaged, rotate your torso to the left. Rotate the torso back to center and step back to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. As you inhale, lift your sitting bones and chest toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward. Exhale coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.