Elevate Spinal Care

How To Strengthen Your Lower Back

strengthen your lower back

Ways You Can Strengthen Your Lower Back

Lower back strengthening exercises can stabilize the spine and support the upper body. These exercises may be able to relieve or prevent lower back pain.

After completing a back strengthening routine, it is advisable to stretch the back muscles. This can prevent injury and muscle soreness. You may also experience increased flexibility and range of motion.

This article will discuss strengthening and stretching exercises to strengthen the lower back. These exercises can be combined to help with lower back pain.

Strengthening Exercises

These exercises will strengthen, stabilize and support your lower back. According to the North American Spine Society, a person should not perform a back exercise that causes acute or elevated back pain.

Glute bridge

The glute bridge is the function of a person’s gluteus maximus, which is the largest of all the gluteal muscles. This muscle is activated when someone extends their hips. External rotation is when the hip and knee open out from the body. Abduction is when the leg lifts off the body.

A 2019 review has shown that weak gluteus maximus muscles are linked to lower back pain. This symptom can be prevented by strengthening these muscles.

Glutes are a stabilizer for the lower back and can also be used to mobilize it. Stabilizing the lower back and hips with strong glutes is possible. They can also support and stabilize the knees when extended.

These steps are required to perform a glute-bridge:

  • Step 1 Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at the sides of your body, palms facing upward.
  • Step 2 Squeeze the gluteal muscles and tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Step 3 Lift your pelvis off of the floor. Keep lifting until the body is straight through the shoulder, hip and knee.
  • Step 4 Keep the position for at most 2 seconds
  • Step 5 Slowly return back to the starting position.
  • Step 6 Repeat the steps above 10-15 times.

Bird-dog

The bird-dog works the gluteal muscles. The bird-dog also works the gluteal muscles. These connect to the back of your spine and allow you to stand, bend and lift objects.

These steps will help you to perform the exercise.

  • Step 1 Start the exercise by placing your hands on your knees, with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over the knees.
  • Step 2 Tense your abdominal muscles and extend the right arm straight in front of you.
  • Step 3 Maintain balance while maintaining your position.
  • Step 4 Slowly lift your left leg and extend it straight behind you.
  • Step 5 Keep the position for 15 seconds
  • Step 6 Slowly return back to the original position and then repeat the process on the other side.
  • Step 6 Continue 5 times

Plank

Plank exercises are primarily for the abdominals but also engage the hip flexors, arms, shoulders and feet. This makes them a great exercise for stability. The quadratus Lumborum, the deepest back muscle, and the back extensor muscles may be activated by this position. It runs from the lowest rib to your pelvic bone.

You can do a plank using the steps below.

  • Step 1 Lay on your stomach, with your forearms against a table and your elbows in line with your shoulders.
  • Step 2 Pull the abdominal and gluteal muscles tightening.
  • Step 3 Lift the hips and both knees from the floor.
  • Step 4 Hold the position for between 10-30 seconds, without allowing your pelvis to sink toward the floor.
  • Step 5 Slowly return back to the starting position, then continue 5 times.

Modification: You can make the exercise easier by slightly bending your knees and keeping your feet on the ground. The person should keep a straight line between the knees and the shoulders.

Side plank

Side planks are a modified version to the plank. They work the quadratus lumborum, gluteus medius, and tensor fascia lata (TFL). These muscles are essential for hip stability.

The following steps are required for a side plank:

  • Step 1 Lie on your right side with your right leg bent and your left leg straight, with the foot on a table. Place your right arm directly below your right shoulder, with your forearm extended in front.
  • Step 2 Pull the right hip up off the ground by tightening your abdominal muscles.
  • Step 3 Lift your right knee off of the ground to straighten your right leg. Then, stack the feet on top.
  • Step 4 Hold the position for between 10-30 seconds while keeping your body straight.
  • Step 5 Slowly return back to the starting position and then repeat the process on the opposite side.
  • Step 6 Repeat the steps 5 times.

Modification If you find this exercise too hard, keep your bottom knee slightly bent.

Operation to draw in the abdomen

Strong abdominal muscles support the spine and align the hips. Poor core strength can lead to lower back pain.

Transversus abdominis (TA), a deep abdominal muscle. An exercise that can strengthen the abdominal drawing-in maneuver is the ADM.

These steps are required:

  • Step 1 Lay on your back, with your knees bent and your arms at the sides.
  • Step 2 Hold the spine in neutral and pull the belly button towards the spine.
  • Step 3 Inhale
  • Step 4 Inhale and tighten your abdominal muscles while drawing the belly button towards the spine.
  • Step 5 Hold the position for ten seconds and then release. You can rest for 15 seconds.
  • Step 6 Repeat 10 times

Crunches of the abdomen

Abdominal crunches are a great way to help build a strong core that provides better spine support and hip alignment.

Abdominal crunches include the following movements:

  • Step 1 Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat and at the hip.
  • Step 2 Cross your hands over the chest, or reach towards the feet with your arms.
  • Step 3 Tighten your abdominal muscles, lift your head off the ground and raise the shoulder blades and shoulders while inhaling.
  • Step 4 Lower to Start Position.
  • Step 5 Repeat the exercise 10-15 times.

Stretching exercises

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, back strengthening exercises should be followed by back stretching exercises. This helps to restore flexibility and range of motion, as well as prevent injury and muscle soreness.

Here are some lower back exercises people can include in their daily routine.

Knee-to-chest stretches

Stretches from knee-to-chest can be used to lengthen the lower back muscles and relieve tension.

The knee to chest stretch can be done by anyone:

  • Step 1 Lay on your back, with both of your legs flat on the ground.
  • Step 2 Lift your right leg and bend the knee towards the chest.
  • Step 3 Use both hands to pull your right knee towards the chest.
  • Step 4 For several seconds, hold the right knee against your chest.
  • Step 5 Return back to the starting position.
  • Step 6 Continue with the left leg, then return to the original position.

Kneeling back stretch

The kneeling back extension can be used to stretch the lower back muscles and ease tension.

These steps will help you perform the back stretch.

  • Step 1 Start the exercise by placing your hands on your knees and putting your knees at hip width.
  • Step 2 Round your back, pulling the belly button up towards the spine and tilting your lower back toward the floor.
  • Step 3 Keep the position for five seconds
  • Step 4 Rock gently backwards, bringing the buttocks close to the heels. Make sure your arms are extended in front.
  • Step 5 Keep the position for five seconds
  • Step 6 Move gently back to the original position. Repeat this 10-15 times.

Modified seated side-straddle

The seated side-straddle exercise is good for stretching the hamstring, abductors, and muscles in your middle and lower back. These steps are required:

  • Step 1 Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Your feet should be spaced apart enough so that your legs form a “V”.
  • Step 2 Bring the left leg up towards the right knee. Let the left knee drop out of the body.
  • Step 3 Keep your back straight and bend at the hips to reach for the right foot’s toes.
  • Step 4 : Move slowly around the spine, bringing your hands towards the right ankle or right shin and lowering your head as far as you can to the right knee.
  • Step 5 Hold the position for 30 seconds, then let go for 30 seconds. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
  • Step 6 Do 5-6 repetitions.

Summary

Lower back strengthening exercises and stretching exercises can be combined to improve strength, flexibility, and stability of the lower spine. They may also help to prevent lower back pain.

It is important to immediately stop performing any of these back exercises if you feel your back pain getting worse.

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