Are you suffering from back pain? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated over 40% of adults, both male and female, will experience back discomfort during their lifetime. Primarily, adults experience lower back pain, which is difficult to diagnose and treat. Worse, the cause of back pain is extremely hard to pin down.
Exercise is a commonly accepted avenue to travel, in terms of treating back conditions. Your back will function better and with less pain if you’re in good physical condition.
Unfortunately, lower back pain often forces those who exercise to compromise their form or perform exercises that are actually detrimental to their backs.
Let’s take a look at specific exercises that are good for your back, and a few more that may be harmful.
Three Exercise Movements That Help Reduce Lower Back Pain
- Swimming: Swimming is one of the best exercises to help loosen and stretch your lower back. Further, swimming is an excellent cardio workout with no impact, pounding, or bouncing. Start slowly with just a few laps, and work your way up to 20 laps. Not only is swimming good for your back, it’s one of the best workouts for your heart and lungs.
- Partial Curl: This exercise is excellent for your back and abdominal muscles. Plus, it’s easy to perform. Lie on the floor or a mat with your knees bent and your feet completely on the floor. Now, push your lower back into the floor and curl up, with your arms stretched in front of you, until your shoulders are off the ground. Hold for five seconds and release. Try doing 3 sets of 10. The partial curl will tighten your core muscles, strengthen your lower back, and will tighten your abs.
- Hamstring/Lower Back Stretch: This one is also easy to do. Lie on the floor with your left leg flat and your right leg bent at the knee. Now, lift your right leg and straighten it, locking your fingers behind your thigh (or calf if you’re more flexible). Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the left leg. You’ll feel the stretch in your hamstring and lower back. For an advanced stretch, lift both legs straight up and hold the back of each leg, one hand on each leg. This stretch will really loosen your back, but be careful to start slowly and gently and work your way up as your back is gradually stretched.
Don’t Do These Three!
- Sit Ups With Legs Straight: I cringe whenever I see someone doing this at the health club. Doing sit ups with legs straight is just about the worst thing to do to your lower back, short of improperly lifting a heavy object. The partial curl is so much more effective for your abs anyway.
- Hip Or Oblique Twists: This is another exercise seen far too often. Herky jerky twisting of the core and spine does serve any purpose and only increases the odds of injuring your back.
- Running On Concrete: If you like to run, use a high quality treadmill. If you run outside, look for a track or at least run on asphalt, which has a bit more give than concrete. Running on concrete is tough on your ankles and knees, and jarring for your back. Consider lower impact cardio options like swimming or indoor cycling classes.
If you suffer from back pain, it’s extremely important to add stretching and safe, low impact cardio exercise to your regimen. Be careful to avoid exercises that can potentially worsen your condition or cause a relapse. Remember, a little preventive maintenance and common sense goes a long way!
If you suffer from lower back pain, there are specific strategies you can use, on your own, to ease your pain. For more information, recommendations, and simple strategies to resolve your back problems, be sure to visit our site dedicated to eliminating lower back pain.