5 exercises for back pain. What can you do when you have it? Before we get into specifics, we want to tackle what muscles to strengthen: GLUTES and ABS. These are the muscles that’ll support your back. If you get these strong, then your back pain will be less. Just because the pain symptoms are coming from the back, doesn’t necessarily mean you are weak in that area.
In addition, it could also mean that your back muscles are being used too much and there are overactive. So you need to stretch the muscles surrounding it.: HAMSTRINGS and GLUTES. If these are tight, then the back muscles work more, so your body is not moving as well. Give these guys a break by getting it more flexible. Let’s go over 5 exercises that’ll help your back pain:
- Planks: I CANNOT stress enough of how important having a strong core is. It is so VITAL to protecting your back. The stomach is your best friend to a bad back. The goal would be to be able to do 1 minute on your toes without any back pain.
2. Bridges: these are to target the hamstrings and glutes. Once you get the double leg version down, then you want to progress to the single leg version. The strength difference between your left and right leg can be striking. I grew up playing basketball and I always jumped off with my left leg. Hence, my left leg is A LOT stronger than my right. A good repetition range would be 15 on the single leg and 25 on the double leg version. Always keep in mind to keep the stomach tight prior to lifting the hips. If you feel back pain during this exercise, then the core is NOT engaged properly or the version you are doing is too advanced. So find your level; either the double leg, figure 4, or single leg version.
3. Air squats: we do these on a daily basis. Getting in/out of a chair, toilet seat, car, the list goes on when we find ourselves in a seated position. So no matter what, we are doing squats. Gotta get up at some point, right? So let’s make sure the right muscles are being active! The key is to turn on the glutes and core during the squats. Weight should be on the heels. Before you figure out what repetition base is good for you, work on proper mechanics and making sure you feel the correct muscles being turned on. A good test would be to be able to hold the end range of a squat for 10 seconds without any back pain.
4. Hamstring Stretch: a good test to see if your hamstrings are tight or not is, can you touch your toes while standing (with knees straight)? If you CANNOT, then chances are more that you have back pain. Hence you are reading this blog. Hah. Having flexible hamstrings will ensure that you bend better. Picking things up from the floor, tying your shoes, getting in/out of your car. There’s more than one way to stretch a particular muscle, so find out which one is more convenient so you do it more often. Make sure it is at least 30 seconds, NOT JUST 5 SECONDS.
5. Low Back Stretch: this is key to loosen up the glutes/hip area. We don’t just move forward and backwards, we rotate left and right, so having flexible glutes would be key. When you have back pain, you feel stiff and are unable to move freely. Introducing a rotation stretch such as this will keep the muscles loose on a daily basis, so the back doesn’t stiffen up. The key on this stretch is to NOT rotate, keep the hips flat.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. To summarize, the key to minimizing back pain is to STRENGTHEN the GLUTES and ABS and STRETCH the HAMSTRINGS and GLUTES. This blog post is intended for Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog. Stay tuned for more next Wed…………………Kei