You gotta take care of that back of yours!
The back is like the steel to a sky scraper, -If it’s not strong enough the building collapses…
The back is like the steel to a sky scraper, -If it's not strong enough the building collapses...
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The back consists of the spine, muscles and ligaments, which all ensure that your almighty temple (that is your body) stay strong and upright.
As key components of the muscular network, abdominal muscles and lower back muscles -AKA your “core”, team up to make sure that your body remains solid and ready for movement. When these muscles are week or in bad shape they will affect the spine which purpose is to support the body.
And the result?
Ouch! Back pains, or even worse, -back injuries.
Okay, lets look at some core strength exercises for lower back pains to keep that back of yours in good shape!
Benefits of Doing Back and Abdominal Exercises
When your supporting muscles are weak or over-tight, they can suffer injuries which make them fail to support your spine as needed.
Besides, muscles with structural defects can lead to problems with your spines bone structure resulting from a poor posture of your muscles. The overall effect of this may be an increased risk of back pain or even injuries which may be challenging to deal with.
Consequently, having strong abdominal and back muscles can:
- Reduce the possibility of back pains.
- Reduce the severity of back pains, if any.
- Guard against injuries by responding efficiently to any stresses acting against the back.
- Help to avoid back surgeries resulting from constant stressing of the back muscles.
- Make the healing process from a back surgery fast and efficient.
- Help to improve posture.
Over the years medical experts all over the place have stressed the importance of having strong core supportive muscles to improve the overall body health. Building a strong core can be achieved trough movements and poses in certain popular exercises such as various forms of yoga. There is also a ton of exercise equipment on the market mainly constructed to help you in strengthening your core.
For health purposes, exercising the back and abdominal muscles should be part of your daily routines -like brushing your teeth.. The exercise you do should take a period between 10 to 20 minutes to complete, and they should also be exercises which actually work…
Because you know what?
A lot of exercises are actually a bunch of crap, -and can actually do more harm than good…
The Exercises You Should Avoid
Doing exercises are good for those lower back pains, -even though not all are beneficial.
As you start the exercises you may experience some mild discomfort, which is normal. The pain should go after a while as the muscles slowly adapts to the movement.
If the pain however do not let go during exercise, you should stop and seek the help of a doctor.
The following are some of the exercises that aggravate pain, and which you need to avoid in most cases:
This exercise puts greater pressure on the disks and ligaments of your spine, and can also overstretch the lower hamstrings and back muscles.
You need to ensure that the exercise you engage in works to strengthen the back as a whole.
As much as most people tend to believe that sit-ups strengthen their core muscles as wellas back muscles, this is not true…
The fact is:
Actually that the hip muscles are most used when doing sit-ups. Besides, sit-ups tend to put a lot of pressure on the discs in the spine -which is not beneficial.
This exercise is also considered as a good one to strengthen your core muscles, though that is mostly wrong…
As much as exercising to restore strength to your lower back is helpful in relieving pain, lifting both of your legs together as you lie on your back can be very demanding to the whole of your back.
In fact, when your back is weak, this exercise can cause more damage than benefits to your body.
The way to conduct the exercise would be to lie on your back with one leg bent at the knee and the other straight. Lift up the straight leg slowly, to about 6 inches and hold briefly. You should then lower the leg slowly and repeat the exercise for about ten times, after which you change legs.
Core Strength Exercises For Lower Back Pain
Even as some exercise go tough on your body, others will improve your back’s strength and give you a healthy body as an overall.
“About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months.”
Reference: ninds.nih.gov – Low Back Pain Fact Sheet
Here are some of the exercises you should be doing:
For partial crunches, you need to lie with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, then cross your hands over the chest or put your hands behind your neck.
You should then tighten your stomach muscles, and lift your shoulders off the floor as you breathe out. Don’t use your arms to lift your neck off the floor or lead with elbows. This will result in the exercise not being effective. Hold the position for a moment, and then slowly lower the back.
Repeat the activity 8 to 12 times while making sure the feet, lower back, and tailbone are all in contact with the mat on which you are lying on.
In addition to strengthening your core, it is also essential to strengthen your posterior chain to keep those back pains away…
This exercise is all about stretching those posterior muscles.
Lie on your back, bend one knee, and then loop a towel under your foot ball.
You should then straighten the knee, as you pull back on the towel. With this position, you ought to feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
Hold the position for a total of 15-30 seconds, while repeating the exercise 2-4 times for each of the legs.
This one as well aims at your posterior chain..:
For this exercise, you need to stand at a distance of 10 to 12 inches from the wall, after which you lean back until your back is at a flat position against the wall.
Slide down the wall so that your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back against the wall. Maintain the pose for a count of 10, then slide up the wall, while being careful not to fall.
Repeat the exercise 8-12 times.
Press-up Back Extensions
This one needs you to lie on the stomach with your hands under your shoulders.
Then push with your hands such that your shoulders will begin to get lifted off the floor. If comfortable for you put your elbows on the floor so that they stay directly under your shoulders, -and hold the position for a while.
Use your hands and knees to lift your body off the ground, and ensure that your stomach muscles are tight.
You should then lift and extend one of the legs behind while you keep the hips level. Hold the position for 5 seconds during the first time, then switch the leg.
Repeat the exercise for 8-12 times for each leg, and also try to extend the time for which you lift the leg each time.
You then need to lift and extend your opposite side arm and do exactly what you are doing with your leg. It’s a good way to learn how to stabilize the lower back during the movement of the arms and legs.
As you do the exercise, do not let the lower back sag, even if it means raising the legs just enough to let the lower back stay at the required position.
Knee to Chest
Lie on your back, as you bend the knees, and keep the feet flat on the floor. Then bring one knee to your chest as you keep the other foot flat on the floor. Hold for 15-30 seconds as you keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
You should then lower your knee and repeat with the other leg while doing the exercise 2-4 times for each leg.
Just like the knee to chest exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then tighten your stomach as if you were preparing for a punch. Press your back against the floor, while your pelvis and hips rock back.
Hold the position for 10 seconds while breathing in and out smoothly. Repeat the exercise for 8-12 times.
This one needs you to lie on your back, with knees bents, and only your heels on the floor.
Try to push the heels to the floor, squeeze your buttocks, and lift your hips from the floor. Continue lifting your hips off the floor till your shoulders, knees, and hips are all in a straight line.
Hold the position for around 6 seconds, after which you will lower your hips slowly, then rest for 10 seconds.
As you hips move upwards, try to avoid arching your back. You should also avoid overarching which is caused by tightening the abdominal muscles before and during the lifting exercise.
Aerobic exercises are aimed at strengthening your heart, lungs, and blood vessels, and can also help you lose your weight.
Swimming, bicycle riding, and walking can all help to reduce back pains while improving your cardiovascular system.
Start slowly at first, after which you can engage in intense training.
For swimming, avoid strokes that twist your body, and remember to keep it gradual.
Pilates combines core abdominal exercises with stretching and strengthening.
The only thing you need to do is ensure that you exercise under the instructions of an experienced instructor, as this may help you curb some back pain. Ensure that you inform the instructor of your back pain, as you may need to skip some moves.
Final Words – Keep Your Core Strong
A strong and solid core is essential to maintain a healthy body and to avoid back pains, -especially lower back pains.
By incorporating some core exercises in your daily schedule you will secure a healthy back for years to come, and potentially avoid those back pains often seen in the elderly generations.
In conclusion, the above guide should help you maintain a strong back and healthy body in general.
Ensure that you stick to the tips, to see better results.
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