Many of you have experienced or are currently experiencing low back pain, whether it be minor or completely debilitating.
It can feel like little jolts shooting into your glutes and legs, stiffness and trouble getting going, or maybe even constant aches that don’t dissipate.
While a literal pain in the butt sometimes, a lot of lower back pain can be treated by smart strength training. Not every exercise is appropriate for everyone, and not all exercises are a cure.
However, there’s a general agreement that an exercise program that challenges the torso in various directions can develop strength to help alleviate the pain.
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Here are some exercises to consider, after first checking with your health care provider to make sure it’s OK for you to try them:
Dead bug — On your back, begin with both arms straight up toward the ceiling, and your legs up and bent at a 90-degree angle at both hips and knees.
Fully extend right arm backward and left leg forward, achieving a parallel position with the floor. Hold that position for a few seconds, return to neutral position, and extend the opposite arm and leg.
This movement should challenge your abdominal muscles.
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Dumbbell deadlift — The deadlift, of any kind, can be your saving grace for lower back pain. I like to begin with teaching the dumbbell deadlift.
Start with two dumbbells of the same weight in each hand, arms dangling on the side of your legs. Maintaining your arm position and a strong torso engagement, drop into a squat, with chest poking out, shoulders back and butt back.
Feel the weight in the center of your feet, and keep your knees from caving in. Stand back up and perform the movement again.
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Lateral lunges — Start tall, feet close, toes forward. With left leg, make a step (roughly two feet) and drift your body left and down, again, toes forward and knee forward.
Your right leg should remain straight, and knee locked. Stand up and perform the movement in the other direction.
Try these three movements two-to-four times per week, and hopefully you’ll begin to see progress on your back pain.
Lisa Hilinski is owner of Premier Personal Training.
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