Lower back exercises can be a big help to sufferers of pain in the lumbar or lower back regions. Of course, you will need to know what is causing your pain and take advice from medical professionals on the types of exercises that you should do.
Lower Back Exercises
The following are some of the most effective lower back exercises that might be suggested for some people.
Cobra – backward spinal curl
Lie on the floor face down with toes pointing out and hands flat on the floor at around waist level. Push up from the hands, lifting the upper back and head, curling the spine backward, eyes looking up. Hips stay on the floor. Do not stretch more than is comfortable. Stay in position for a minute or two, then slowly lower down.
Hamstring stretch and forward spinal curl
After stretching the spine one way, it is important to balance with a stretch in the other direction. This is the pose known as Janu Sirsasana in yoga.
Sit on the floor with the right leg stretched out in front of you. The left leg is bent with the knee going down toward the floor and the sole of the foot resting against the side of the right leg. Bend down over the right leg with head down and arms extending as far as possible along the leg. You may be able to take hold of the toes, foot or ankle.
Feel the stretch in the hamstring along the back of the leg and in the lower back, but again do not push yourself too far. Stay in position for a minute or two, then slowly straighten up, rest, and repeat with the other leg.
You can do these bends either standing, sitting, or seated on an exercise ball. Extend the arms above the head with hands clasped together. Keeping the body in the vertical plane (so you do not bend forward), slowly bend the whole upper body over to one side, then the other.
Take special care not to go too far with this example of our lower back exercises. Take advice before attempting it if you have had back or neck injuries in particular.
Sit on the side of a chair without arms or on an exercise ball with feet flat on the floor. Without moving the hips, twist the upper body around to the right. Bring the left hand over against the far side of the right knee and the right hand behind you. Twist as far as you comfortably can to the right. Keep the head upright but turned to look over your right shoulder.
Hold for a count of 15 or 20, and slowly return to the font, leading with the head. Repeat the other side.
If you use a chair with a back, sit on the side of it so that the chair back does not get in your way when you twist around. E.g. the chair back is on your left when you are twisting to the right.
You can also do this exercise sitting on the floor. When twisting to the right, the left leg is bent and flat on the floor in front of you. The right leg is bent with the knee up in the air and the foot on the floor, hooked over the left knee. The left elbow comes to the outer side of the right knee and you twist around to the right. Do not move the hips, so the buttocks stay on the floor. Done this way, this is the pose known as Ardha Matsyendrasana in yoga.
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Lower Back Exercises – Be Careful!
Once again, let us stress that the lower back is a vital and sensitive area and medical advice is necessary if you have lower back pain. Check with your doctor before starting, to be sure that your chosen lower back exercises are suitable for your individual condition.