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Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Lower back pains can be frustrating at best, and debilitating at worst. It may stop you from getting in a workout every day, or even getting in a full day of work. Thankfully, a bit of training can help you to get rid of your aches and pains! Here are a few of the best exercises for lower back pain:
Straight Leg Iron Cross
This exercise will help to increase the mobility in your hips and lower back, and will be a wonderful stretch for your core. Lie flat on your back, with your legs extended. Raise your right leg into the air, and bring it across your left side to touch the floor. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, taking deep breaths to help you relax the muscles and joints. Bring it up, lower it to the floor, and repeat with the left leg. Do this a few times per side to boost your flexibility and mobility.
Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is one of the best exercises for your lower back. Using the kettlebell will help to increase your mobility, focusing on your hamstrings, abs, and glutes at the same time. Take a wide stance, with your toes pointed slightly outward. Bend your knees and lower yourself to the kettlebell, using your hips and legs to do most of the work. Smoothly lift the weight from the floor until you are standing straight, and thrust your hips forward to keep your back and shoulders straight. Control the kettlebell's descent, and repeat for a set of 12 to 15 reps.
This is an excellent exercise to do for your lower back and oblique muscles (your sides). It's just like a regular deadlift, but with the weight resting on one side. Assume the squat stance, and place the kettlebell to the RIGHT of your right foot (outside your stance). Keep your back straight, but use your hips and knees to lower yourself to the ground, grasp the kettlebell, and bring it up into a deadlift. Repeat on the left side.
There are two ways to perform this exercise: 1) Lie flat on the floor, and have someone hold your legs; or 2) Use a back extension machine. Place your hands on the back of your head, keeping your elbows nice and wide as you perform the hyperextensions. Be careful not to jerk with this movement, but make each rep smooth. Your glutes should do most of the work, though you'll feel the burn in your lower back as well.
This is an excellent lower body workout, but it will also help to strengthen your back and core. Instead of doing a squat with the weight on your shoulders, grab a dumbbell and hold it to your chest as you dip into the squats. Keep your elbows pointed at the ground, as this will focus the strain on your upper back. Perform a regular squat, and keep the dumbbell at chest level for the full set of 12 to 15 reps.
Plank with Reach
This is an excellent exercise to try for a stronger lower back and core. Get into the traditional plank position (as if you were going to do a push-up), with all of your weight resting on your hands and feet. Without letting your hips drop, lift one hand from the floor and reach directly in front of your face until your arm is extended. Bring it back into place, switch hands, and repeat the reach. Do this 5 or 6 times per side, for a total of 30 to 60 seconds of plank time.