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Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower BackHaving a strong lower back is an important part of living a pain-free life. Your lower back muscles are constantly working throughout the day, ensuring that your spine stays erect as you stand and sit. If you don't have strong lower back muscles, you could end up suffering from lower back and leg pain. It's essential to strengthen your lower back, so here are a few exercises you can do:
BridgeThe bridge is one of the best exercises to do for a strong lower back, and you'll find that it will help you to strengthen those muscles effectively. To perform the bridge, lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Thrust your hips into the air, lifting your buttocks and lower back off the floor until you feel your weight on your shoulders and feet. Clasp hands beneath your buttocks, and hold for up to 60 seconds.
HyperextensionsFor this exercise, you'll need either a Roman chair (a piece of gym equipment) or just a simple bench and someone to hold your feet. Lie face down on the bench, letting your upper body hang off the end of the bench or Roman chair. Lower yourself until your face is nearly touching the floor, then lift your torso as high as you can without pain. Lower and raise again, repeating this exercise for 20 to 25 repetitions.
Alternate Arm and Leg Lifts
This is a tough exercise, but one that will do wonders for your lower back muscles. To perform the exercise, lie on your stomach on the floor, with your arms extended over your head. Lift your right arm off the floor, lifting your left leg at the same time. Your right shoulder should come up, and you should feel most of your right pectoral (chest) muscle lift. Your left thigh should completely leave the ground, with only the hip touching. Hold the lift for a one-count, then lower the right arm and left leg to the floor. Repeat with the left arm and right leg, and do a set of 10 to 15 repetitions with each side.
Kneeling Arm and Leg LiftsFor this exercise, you will be on your hands and knees instead of lying on the floor. Make sure your knees are hip-width apart, and place your hands directly beneath your shoulders. With smooth movements, extend your right arm until it is at the level of your head, and extend your left leg until it reaches hip height. Hold for a one-count, then lower and repeat with the left arm and right leg.
DeadliftsDeadlifts are one of the best exercises for your lower back, and you'll find that they'll do wonders to strengthen those supporting back muscles. For this exercise, you will need a barbell with some weights. Grasp the barbell at roughly shoulder width, and stand with your feet spread slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend forward, keeping your back perfectly straight, and lower until your upper body is at a 90 degree angle to your legs. Clench your buttocks as you stand back up, using only your lower back to do the work.
Good-MorningsThis exercise will also require a barbell, and it's much harder to do than deadlifts. The barbell should sit behind your neck, with the weight resting on your shoulders. You may need padding to prevent it from hurting your neck. Spread your legs just wider than shoulder width, and keep your knees straight. Bend slowly forward, lowering until your upper body is at a 90 degree angle to your legs, and clench your hips and buttocks as you stand upright once more.