Most everyone experiences low back pain at some point in their lives, and if you have, you know it’s no fun! This blog post although titled “Exercises for Low Back Pain” may as well be called “Exercises to Prevent Low Back Pain”, as you need not wait until you have pain to perform them. In fact, I prescribe these exercises to patients who are prone to low back pain. The exercises listed below are easy to perform and will create lumbar (low back) stability and improved posture.
Lumbar Rehab Program
Perform these exercises once or twice a day for best results.
Exercise 1: Bridging
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet shoulder width apart. Slowly raise your hips off the ground. Return to the start position. Repeat for a total of 10 times.
Exercise 2: Bridging with Ball
Lie on your back with your ankles on the ball. Raise your bottom off the floor, maintain a neural spine (don’t bend it). Return to start position. Repeat- 10 times.
Exercise 3: Land Swim
Lie face down and stretch your arms over head (place a towel roll under your forehead if your neck needs support). Raise one arm and the opposite leg. Repeat with the other arm and the other leg. Perform 10 reps.
Exercise 4: Land Swim with Ball
Lie on your top on top of the ball. Balance on your hands and toes. Be sure and keep your head neutral for support. Raise one arm and the opposite leg. Relax and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating sides until you’ve completed a total of 10 reps.
Exercise 5: Chest Lift with Ball
Lie on stomach with ball and balance on your hands and toes. Keep your head in a neutral position. Raise one arm and the opposite leg. Relax and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating until 10 reps are complete.
Exercise 6: Crunches on the Ball
Lie with your back on the ball and spread your feet to balance your body. Cross your hands over your chest (or for more difficulty place your hands behind your head). Pick a spot on the ceiling and raise up toward it. Slowly lower to the start position. 10 reps.
Exercise 7: Obliques with the Ball
Lie on your on top of the exercise ball and spread your feet to balance your body. Place your hands behind your head and then take one elbow and reach toward the opposite knee. Repeat on the other side. 10 reps, alternating side to side.
Exercise 8: Squat with Ball (You’re almost done….)
Place an exercise ball between the wall and the small of your back. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart then bend your knees and lower your body down until your knees make a 90 degree angle. Hold for 3 seconds then go back to the start position. 10 Reps.
Exercise 9: Ball Pass
Lie on your back holding an exercise ball in your hands above your head. Lift your hands, neck and upper body up as your lower body raises up and pass the ball from your hands to between your ankles. Press the ball with your ankles to contract the inner thigh. Lower your body down, return your hands above your head and feet down (now the ball is touching the floor. Then lift up again and pass the ball back to your hands and lower your body down to the start position. Repeat 10 times.
Wow! Great job! And great way to maintain or build a healthy spine that will never have back pain (again).
Disclaimer- If you are experiencing low back pain, check with your chiropractor, physical therapist, or medical doctor to make sure these are safe for your body to perform.