Following on from yesterdays post about how to fix lower back pain, I hinted at sharing today with you some exercises that can help you strengthen your lower back.
First off, like I mentioned yesterday, get yourself assessed by a physio or chiro or other professional first.
That should be obvious.
But if you have a long term issue and want to know how to strengthen your lower back, or have been cleared by your treatment go-to person, then you’re ready for this action I’ll share today.
You can see the long form video below:
But, seeing as this is a written form of communication, I’ll lay it out here for you.
Do these 5 exercises (especially #5 which is the most important by far)
1) Back Extensions
Start with just your bodyweight, but you can also add some resistance via a mini band around your thighs for extra hammy/glute activation, or use a resistance tube for an extra upper body workout.
2) Waiters Bows/Deadlifts
Start with the bodyweight version only which I call a Waiters Bow. Then you can progress to the weighted version using tubes, mini bands or weights.
Great for targeting your hamstrings and glutes in the back of your legs.
3) Hip Extensions
Or Single Leg Hip Extensions if you need to make these harder. These look basic when you do them with both legs on the ground but they are a great base builder for glute and hamstring strength.
You can also make these harder by using a mini band around your thighs or placing a weight on top of your thighs or by placing a foam roller under your feet.
4) Glute Bridge March
Following the trend for the last 2 exercises, we need to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes to help with your lower back. They are all connected as part of your posterior chain.
These take the Hip Extension above to another level.
This time lift your hips up and hold them in the air while marching your legs alternately up and down.
You can make these harder by coming up on your heels, so your toes are pointing up towards the sky, or place your feet on a foam roller. You can even use a mini band around your thighs above your knees.
5) Transverse Abdominis Activation
The best way to explain this is to scroll back up to the first video and forward to the 7:30 mark and I’ll show you how easy it is to do.
The next best way is to explain it here.
- put your fingers where your belly button is
- draw a line around to your lower back and find your spine
- then come just a little bit outwards with each finger either side of your spine
- now draw your belly button in
Can you feel pressure on your fingers now? That’s your transverse abdominis in action.
And this is the muscle that lies deep down in your core we need to get stronger.
Simply do that trick as often as you can every day and hold for 10 seconds each time.
Eventually you won’t need to draw your fingers around your back cause you’ll get to understand how it should feel.
I suggest having a cue for this. Every time you stop at a red light or a train station. Every time you get a text message or email. Every time you’re on social media.
Make it something that happens a lot so eventually your body gets used to doing this pretty much all day.
It is the easiest way to strengthen your lower back and probably the most effective.
Hopefully these 5 tips have helped you to strengthen your lower back.
And did you notice there wasn’t an ab exercise amongst them?
We need to strengthen all the muscles around your lower back = not just focus on getting the abs stronger.
Finally, if you liked this mini series, let me know and if you’d like to see other similar features.
I’m always open to ideas for more content. I’ve got a few things lined up but it’s always better to hear what you actually want to read about.
PS – apologies for the longer email today but I wanted to get a bit of content across that hopefully you benefited from!