5 Simple Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be one of the most debilitating—and definitely most common—types of pain you have to deal with. Anything can cause back pain, from a bad night of sleep to uncomfortable seating to a wrong movement at the gym. Knowing how to deal with the back pain is crucial for post-injury recovery. You can do all kinds of stretches to help yourself recover, but sometimes what you need is a good workout to strengthen your lower back. Here are the best exercises to relieve lower back pain:

Glute Bridge

This movement targets both your glutes and your lower back, helping to encourage better stability in both sets of muscles—muscles that are critical for the stability of your lower back and hips. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tense your abs as you thrust your hips upward to the sky. You’ll feel the tightness in your butt and lower back. Make sure not to thrust up so high that you strain your lower back. Keep the focus lower, on the mid-point between your butt and back.

Bird Dog

This is an excellent movement to target not only your back, but your abs, obliques, and all of the muscles required for a stable foundation. Start on your hands and knees, with your balance evenly distributed. Without shifting your weight, extend your right arm and left leg until they are straight. Hold for a 1-count then return to your original position. Again, without shifting your weight, lift your left arm and right leg until they are straight, hold for a 1-count, then return them to their original position. Repeat 5-10 times per side for an excellent back pain-relieving exercise.

Dead Bug

This is a fascinating movement that engages your core thoroughly, even your oblique muscles! Lie on your back with your knees bent and your legs at a 90-degree angle, your shins parallel to the floor. Stretch your arms straight over your head. Now, extend your left leg until it is perfectly straight, just an inch or so above the ground. At the same time, extend your right arm until your thumb is almost touching the floor. Hold for a 1-count, then return both arm and leg to their original position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg, with 5 to 10 repetitions per side.

Forearm Plank

Plank is an amazing exercise to stabilize your core, and it will target both your abs and your lower back muscles. Doing the plank on your forearms engages your upper and lower back more effectively because your shoulder muscles are doing a lot of the work of keeping your upper body stable. Get on your stomach, with your toes on the floor. Rest your forearms on the floor and push up until only your toes and your forearms are touching. Squeeze your core and glute muscles to hold the position for a count of 30 to 60 seconds. Rest, then repeat 3-5 times throughout the day.

Superman

The Superman exercise will help to strengthen your lower back muscles and glutes, giving you better stability and strength for those spinal erectors. Lie on the floor on your stomach, with your arms extended above your head and your legs straight. Lift your head and chin and look up, then lift both your arms and legs off the floor. Your goal should be to lift until your shoulders and knees are both off the ground, with your weight on your stomach, chest, and thighs. Lower back down, rest for a 1-count, then repeat.

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