When the back is under strain and in pain, it can impact your entire body and how you move. Best case scenario you have limited movement and can only do a few light tasks, but in worse cases, you can be on your back in pain and looking for relief when there isn’t any. Back pain can be mitigated by regular exercise to strengthen those muscles, so here are 7 secret exercises to help back pain.
Bridges provide more than just a burn, it’s also a great way to relieve and strengthen your back. If you want to see the best results and avoid doing any more damage to your back, ensure that your feet are hip-distance apart and both shoulders are on the ground evenly sharing your weight. You can also add some resistance bands and move your knees apart and together to strengthen your thighs and glutes in the process, which both works to take on some of the weight your back takes.
2. Partial crunches
Depending on how bad that back pain is, partial crunches can be a great way to get some strength into your back again. Resist the urge to do a full range crunch and just lay on your back and only crunch up a half or quarter of what you normally would. As always, make sure you do this on flat ground and preferably a yoga mat.
3. Lower back rotations
Lower back rotations, or lumbar rotations as they are also known, can be a really great stretch to add into your regime, and don’t worry – it is nothing like a Russian Rotation. Keep your feet on the ground for this stretch and have them at a comfortable distance from your glutes so that you are not lying so tight together. Slowly rotate from one side to another as your legs fall to either side of your body, letting your lower back get that deserved stretch.
Cat-Cow is a favourite yoga pose for many, as it always feels good and allows us to stretch in a way that we don’t always get to in our normal day. Get into a four-point kneeling position and arch your back as high as you can to reach that Cat pose, and then slowly drop your back so that it’s as close to the floor as it can get and turn your face up for that Cow pose. Cycle through this as many times as you need.
Walking doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the wonders it does for our body. Walking at a steady pace can be an aerobic style exercise that has many benefits to the lower back. It relieves pressure that may be incorrectly allocated to that area of the body by poor posture while sitting or standing, and it encourages blood flow.
6. Rolling out
Rollers are a fantastic tool to have in your home for those times when you need to get into an area and roll out those tight muscles. There are a number of safe back exercises you can try with your roller, either using gravity to your advantage or using the ground and table for support instead. Always be careful when using a roller on your back, the idea is to relieve the muscles and you should never be balancing on your roller or putting the back under undue stress.
7. Glute stretches
If you have tried all these stretches and are still not seeing any relief, it might be time to actually stretch the glutes. When the glutes are overworked or strained themselves, the back takes on the weight and pressure resulting in pain. If the other supporting muscles in your body are stretched and limber, you won’t be seeing back pain too frequently.
Back pain can make life pretty uncomfortable, and all those tasks that you do on autopilot suddenly feel like a mission that you can’t sustain. Get to know the anatomy of your body and how your muscles work together based on your unique frame and posture, and trial these exercises to see how you go.