3 Simple Exercises To Strengthen Your Lower Back


3 Simple Exercises To Strengthen Your Lower Back

Lower back pain is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. It most often starts when the muscles and ligaments in the lower back become overstretched or damaged. Your lumbar spine is comprised of 5 vertebrae and the load that is placed on this area of the spine through normal activity and motion can cause stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, muscles and bones.

This can happen after a sudden movement, such as lifting a heavy object, or it can occur gradually over time, due to poor posture or repetitive motions. Lower back pain can also be caused by arthritis, spinal problems, or other conditions. Regardless of the cause, it can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to ease your lower back pain and improve your overall spine health.

Building strength is one of the best ways to prevent or relieve pain lower back pain. The muscles and ligaments in the back support the spine and protect it from injury. When these muscles are weak, they can’t do their job as well, and the spine is more likely to be injured. The best way to strengthen your lower back, and in turn provide support and reduce the risk of injury, is to build strength in the stabilising muscles in your spine, core and glutes. With a strong foundation of strength in the muscles that work around your lower back, your lumbar spine will have more support and you will be less likely to strain yourself by compensating with other muscles.

In this blog, I’ll show you three simple exercises to strengthen your lower back using proper form.


Core Vacuum

The first exercise I give to my patients who need to strengthen their lower back is the core vacuum. This is a great exercise to activate and strengthen your transverse abdominals (TVA) or really deep core. These muscles are important for posture and a key component of your core strength.

There are a few variations of this exercise. The main technique centres on breathing in first, then breathing out all the air and drawing your tummy button in as far as you can towards the spine — you should feel a strong contraction in your deep lower core. Hold the stomach vacuum as long as you can, 20-30 seconds is good for beginners, repeating three times. Remember to breathe as you do this exercise. You can either breathe out continuously and pull in with your stomach at the same time or breathe out slightly and hold the contraction. You can try both to see what works best for you.

You can do this exercise on your hands and knees, finding a neutral or flat position in your lower back. You can also try it standing, as shown in this core vacuum demonstration video. This is a safe daily exercise you can practice anywhere!


Bird Dog

The bird dog exercise is designed to strengthen your lower back by targeting the deep spinal stabilising muscle called the multifidus. This tiny muscle runs between each vertebra in the spine and is responsible for sending important messages to your brain about the position of your lower back, and research has shown that people with lower back pain often have atrophied or small multifidus muscles.

To perform the bird dog exercise correctly, start on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Keeping your spine in a neutral position, extend one arm straight out in front of you and lift the opposite leg straight out behind you, maintaining a 90-degree angle at both the hip and knee. Hold this position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating on the other side. Perform 6-10 repetitions on each side, 2-3 times per day for best results. Here’s a video to help.

During this exercise, the core muscles stabilise your midsection while you move your arms and legs. It’s important to keep your abdominal muscles tight throughout this exercise and not allow your belly to drop toward the ground.


Glute Bridges

The Glute Maximus (bum) is the strongest muscle in the body. It evolved in such a way to assist humans to move into a bipedal (upright) stance by providing a powerful hip extensor and spinal stabiliser. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle of excessive sitting has meant that many people suffer from weakness in the glute max which can be a big contributor to lower back pain.

Glute bridges are a simple and effective exercise for building glute max strength. You can easily do them at home with just your bodyweight or add weight in the form of a dumbbell or barbell if you go to the gym.

Get started by lying flat on your back with feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart, legs bent to 90 degrees. Drive your heels into the ground, and gently raise your hips and upper body off the ground, extending your hips until your thighs and torso are in line with each other. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, and hold for two seconds. Slowly lower back down to the starting position and repeat. Aim for three sets of 8-15 repetitions then rest. Check out this video for extra guidance.

Along with strengthening the glute max, this exercise also works the hamstrings, low back, and core muscles, making it a great workout for all your lower body.


Start Strengthening Your Lower Back Today

That’s it! Three exercises to help you start building muscle support in your lower back.

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, these are a few exercises you can do each day to help build strengthen your core and lower back muscles. We suggest starting with core vacuum, bird dog and glute bridges as they’re low impact, simple and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes of your time each day. For more useful advice, check out our health tips blog.

If you have any questions or continue to experience chronic lower back pain, please get in touch—we’d be happy to help. As a chiropractor, we can help to identify what’s causing your back pain and create the right treatment plan.

Dynamic Chiropractic is a clinic that provides a range of chiropractic treatments, including spinal adjustments, exercises and stretches that strengthen muscles, release tension and improve wellbeing. We also educate patients on strategies to incorporate healthy habits into their lives.

Our passion is to help patients to get back to feeling their best and achieving their goals.

Book a consultation today!

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