Eight Exercises to Try for Lower Back Pain
It’s a new year, but you might still be struggling with old problems. Specifically low back pain, tightness, or irritation…especially if you spend a lot of time sitting for your job. So we met up with strength and conditioning coach Luka Hocevar to bring you four exercises you can incorporate into the beginning of your workout to help mitigate these issues. This is part 1 of a series on low back pain, and you can click here for part 2 (coming soon!).
For this first exercise, we’re heading to the bar! If you have pull up bar in your house or at your gym that will work. Grip the bar, bend your knees, and exhale. Keep your spine long as you shift your hips from left and right; the goal here is to lengthen that spine. Hold this position for 30–60 seconds.
Grab a resistance band (if you don’t have one check out ours here) and put it around your low back. With the band secured, adjust your position to modified tabletop with knees stacked under hips and arms stacked under shoulders. Arch your back to prep, and then push the band away using your low back muscles. Slowly control the band back to the starting position. Complete 10-12 repetitions of this one and focus on controlling that band.
Don’t leave tabletop just yet! Move your hips back into child’s pose. Start to raise your hips up into the air so that you’re almost in a downward facing dog. You’ll feel this in your hamstrings; make sure to “walk the dog” so to speak and pedal your feet out to deepen that stretch. Roll forward through a plank pose so that the tops of your feet touch the floor and your upper body is pressing away from the floor. Look up for a few breaths and then reset back to child’s pose. While there, shift your hips from side to side to open up that low back. Complete 5 – 6 repetitions, focusing on moving slowly through the motion and breathing.
6 reps per leg
From child’s pose, plant your feet straight out behind you to a push up position. Bring your right leg forward to that your right knee is near your right elbow. Lock out your left leg, drop into your right hip, then lower your back leg. You should feel this stretch in your glutes. Alternate sides until you’ve done 6 repetitions per side.
30 seconds per side
We can have our foot back on a chair (a Bulgarian split squat stand works great for this). I’m going to push my ribs down, squeeze my back, and lean back. You’ll feel a massive stretch. Next, I try to push my quad down for about 5 seconds and release, try to get a little more range of motion each time.
3 Sets x 10 seconds (each side)
What you’re going to do is sit on the ground and position your legs at 90-degree angles. I’m going to turn my belly button towards the knee, then I push my butt back and try to close this gap. You’ll feel a big stretch. I’m going to push my foot into the ground.
I’m going to get as wide as I can while keeping my knees and ankles aligned. I put my elbows down on the floor and push my hips back until they can’t go any further. I push into the ground with my knees and ankles for 10 seconds. Then I relax and try to push away from the ground for another 10 seconds.
10 reps each side
It’s a hard name but easy to do. We’re going to stay on all fours. We’ll lift our leg up and back and bring it around, this will get our hips moving nicely, without our back rotating. If you notice my back is flat and I’m just bringing my hip around.