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How to Use Exercise to Strengthen your Lower Back

How to Use Exercise to Strengthen your Lower Back

The best way to prevent lower back pain is to exercise regularly and engage in strength training so that your core and back muscles are strong.

A regular stretching program to keep you limber will help too. However, if you already have back pain, contrary to popular belief, you still can and should start exercising to strengthen your body. You just need to take it slower and easier… but you need to exercise.

In most cases, it’s the lower back that will hurt. So, the muscles that you want to strengthen will be your glutes, hip adductors, core, abs and back muscles. The goal here will be to challenge them gradually so that they get stronger over time. You can’t just bang out a set of deadlifts with heavy poundage and expect to get away with it.

You’ll need to take it slow so that you don’t aggravate your condition. In this article, you’ll be given a few exercises that are very beneficial for back pain sufferers. Most are low impact and will not aggravate your condition.

Use common sense and check your ego at the door. It’s also important to get approval from your doctor before engaging in any exercise routine when you’re suffering from a bad back.

1. Planks
There are many different types of planks such as forearm planks, side planks, knee planks, reverse planks and many more. Have a variety of them in your training so that you target different muscles. These planks will strengthen your core… and a strong core is the first step to preventing back pain, or reducing it.

2. Bridging
This is one of the best back exercises out there, and yet it’s often neglected. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet form a right angle. Now push off your heels and raise your hips off the ground. Your knees, hips and shoulders should be aligned and form a straight line. Lower your hips and repeat again. Do this for 10 to 12 reps.

3. Deadlifts
This is one of the cornerstones of weight lifting. It requires good technique and proper form. You can learn how to do it from a trainer at the gym or by watching videos online. Always remember not to use too much weight, and not to jerk. Slow, controlled reps is what you’re aiming for. The weight you use should allow you to do about 10 to 12 reps. If all you can lift is a bar with no weights, then that will do.

You’re not trying to build mass or become a bodybuilder. The goal is just to strengthen your back so that you’re not in pain. You can progress over time.

4. Bird dog
Similar to the plank, and challenging too. There is minimal impact. Get into a kneeling position with your palm on the floor. Now, straighten your right leg outwards and above the ground, while you straighten your left arm outwards too.

Now you’ll just be balancing on your left knee and right arm. Hold the position for about 5 to 10 seconds… or longer if possible. Now repeat on the other side.

If you do these four exercises regularly, you’ll strengthen your back and core, which in turn will make you less susceptible to back pain. Do note that you should have a day or two of rest after training.

Approach your training with a slow and steady mindset, and you’ll be stronger in a month or two.



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