How often do you stay seated during the day? 🐒
How often do you stretch? 🙆♀️
How often do you exercise? 🏃♂️
If you’re suffering with lower back tension – or have done in the past – it’s time to get moving! Even from home, there’s plenty you can do to help keep your spine healthy and strong. 💪
Stretching and strengthening the lower back can be achieved with a few key exercises. 💁 ♀️
Here’s our top 5 ways that you can start from the comfort of home:
1. GLUTEAL BRIDGE
Benefits: This exercise helps strengthen hips and maintain hip flexibility. This exercise can help correct the impulse to sit too far forward in your chair at your desk, which causes hip flexors to become tight.
- Start by lying on the floor, face up.
- Bend your knees, keeping feet flat on the floor.
- Keep arms at your sides with palms down.
- Lift your hips off the ground so your knees, hips and shoulders make a straight line.
- Squeeze those glutes! Keep abs drawn in to prevent overextending.
- Hold for a few seconds and then release back down.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
2. CAT CAMEL (OR CAT-COW)
Benefits: Help get the lower back moving! It’s all about mobilisation and loosening the lower back muscles.
- On your hands and knees, keep hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Make sure your back is in a neutral position.
- The “cat” part of the stretch is lowering your back down to the floor while lifting your head, curving your spine.
- The “camel” part of the stretch is tucking your head and tailbone in, arching through the spine, to make a little ‘hump’ in your spine.
- Move gently from cat to camel before returning to neutral.
3. LUMBAR EXTENSIONS
Benefits: A good bend in the spine helps promote lower back extension – stretching out the lower spine will keep things flexible and mobile.
Tips: There are many different types of lumbar extension exercises. We’ll talk about the prone press up here.
- Start on your stomach, placing your forehead on the floor. Keep your elbows bent and forearms resting on the floor on either side of you.
- Keep your hands in line with your shoulders, placing your palms on the floor.
- As you exhale, press up, keeping your back, neck and head in alignment. Keep forearms pressed to the floor, and don’t worry about getting your elbows straight! It takes time to gain flexibility, though you should never lock them straight. Keep your shoulders open and wide.
- Hold, and then slowly lower yourself down.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
Benefits: Strengthen your core, reduce back pain, improve your posture and balance!
- Put your hands directly under your shoulder, slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Ground toes into floor, squeeze glutes and stabilise your body as if you’re about to do a push-up.
- Don’t lock or overextend knees.
- Keep neck and spine neutral, in line with your back.
- Hold for 20 seconds and don’t forget to keep breathing!
5. SIDE PLANK
Benefits: Engages the obliques more than a standard plank, and strengthen that core.
- Lie on your side on the floor with one leg stacked on the other.
- Prop up your body on a hand or elbow, keeping feet stacked.
- If you can, make it trickier by raising the opposing arm or leg in the air.
- If you need more support, cross the upper stacked leg so that it is on the floor, propping you up.
Be aware of your body and go slowly. If you experience pain stop and come and see us as soon as possible! Don’t keep pushing with an exercise that’s causing you pain. Pain is a warning signal. So, listen to the body and go slow for a strong and healthy spine.