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Exercises to help lower back pain


Lower back pain is an affliction that can affect everyone. Particularly if you spend a lot of time sat down. The first thing to check is your seating position, try to concentrate on sitting up straight and not slouching. Pull your shoulders back and take big full breaths. Your core should be engaged as often as possible, so pull your tummy in (without holding your breath) at every opportunity. Just by having a good posture, you should feel your back pain ease off. Here are some great exercises which you can also incorperate into your fitness routine. Try to find a few minutes each day to work on your back!

Bottom to heels stretch

Stretches and mobilises the spine

Start position: Kneel on all fours, with your knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Don't over-arch your lower back. Keep your neck long, your shoulders back and don't lock your elbows.

Action: Slowly take your bottom backwards, maintaining the natural curve in the spine. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Tips:

  • Avoid sitting back on your heels if you have a knee problem.

  • Ensure correct positioning with the help of a mirror.

  • Only stretch as far as feels comfortable.

Knee rolls

Stretches and mobilises the spine

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small flat cushion or book under your head. Keep your knees bent and together. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.

Action: Roll your knees to one side, followed by your pelvis, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 10 times, alternating sides.

Tips:

  • Only move as far as feels comfortable.

  • Place a pillow between your knees for comfort.

Back extensions

Stretches and mobilises the spine backwards

Start position: Lie on your stomach, and prop yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine. Keep your shoulders back and neck long.

Action: Keeping your neck long, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backwards. Breathe and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Tips:

  • Don't bend your neck backwards.

  • Keep your hips grounded.

Deep abdominal strengthening

Strengthens the deep supporting muscles around the spine

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.

Action: As you breathe out, draw up the muscles of your pelvis and lower abdominals, as though you were doing up an imaginary zip along your stomach. Hold this gentle contraction while breathing from your abdomen for 5 to 10 breaths, and relax.

Repeat 5 times.

Tips:

  • This is a slow, gentle tightening of the lower abdominal region. Don't pull these muscles in using more than 25% of your maximum strength.

  • Make sure you don't tense up through the neck, shoulders or legs.

Pelvic tilts

Stretches and strengthens the lower back

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.

Action: Gently flatten your low back into the floor and contract your stomach muscles. Now tilt your pelvis towards your heels until you feel a gentle arch in your lower back, feeling your back muscles contracting and return to the starting position.

Repeat 10 to 15 times, tilting your pelvis back and forth in a slow rocking motion.

Tips:

  • Keep your deep abdominals working throughout.

  • Don't press down through the neck, shoulders or feet.

Modification Place one hand on your stomach and the other under your lower back to feel the correct muscles working.

Pictures don't really show the final two exercises, but please feel free to come and ask an instructor and we will be happy to show you!

Thank you to Debbie and Louise for demonstrating!

#backpain #exercises #pain #back #stretch #erectusspinae #mobility

Audlett Drive, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3NJ

Phone: 01235 537002

abingdon@fitnessintime.co.uk

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37 Rose Hill, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S401TT

Phone: 01246 769600

chesterfield@fitnessintime.co.uk

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