Want to get better spinal performance and less back pain? An easy way to do this is to do lower back pain core strengthening exercises. Back strengthening exercises improve the connection of the deep and shallow core muscles to the spine. If you have certain health conditions like osteoporosis, consult your doctor to make sure you’re ready for back exercises.
Exercises that improve back strength
Here are some exercises that you can do to improve your back strength:
- Supine spinal twists: Lie with feet flat on the floor, slowly drop your knees to the right and left. Keep the shoulders planted firmly against the floor.
- Bird Dog: On all four or seated in a chair, round the back and arch the back.
- Abdominal draw-in: While lying on your back, inhale and widen your rib cage both front to back and side to side as if you are blowing up a balloon. Then exhale and bare down as if you are letting out the air of a balloon from all sides pulling your navel in and drawing in your rib cage.
- Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back draw your navel to your spine and tip your pelvis so your tailbone lifts off of the floor slightly.
- Rolling Bridge: Start with a pelvic tilt then progress to rolling up your spine and lifting your hips farther off of the floor.
- Back extensions: Lying on your stomach with arms and legs flat on the floor. Lift your head, shoulders and upper chest off of the floor. Be careful to keep your neck long and look at the floor so as not to hyperextend the neck.
- Cat-Cow movements: With hands and knees on the floor, shoulder width apart, pull your head up while letting your stomach drop towards the floor. Then, rotate the other way, pulling your head down while pulling your stomach in and curving your back towards the ceiling.
- Cobra Pose: Lie on the floor on your stomach with feet pointed out straight behind you. Then push your chest and neck up with your forearms flat on the floor next to your core.
Back strengthening exercises for seniors
Seniors can take on a gentle exercise program focused on back strengthening too. Each of the above exercises can be done by seniors, only with modifications. They are also good for individuals with limited mobility such as those recovering from an injury. You should do these exercises more slowly and gently. You can even do them before you get out of bed in the morning.
- Seated cat-cow: While seated, gently curve the spine inwards, sticking the belly out. Then slowly curve it the other way, curving the belly in.
- Gentle spine twist: While seated, turn to the left, placing the hands on the left leg and behind you. Then slowly turn to the right, and place your hands on your right leg and behind you to the right. Slowly return to center.
Back strengthening exercises at home
The best back strengthening exercises you can do at home and on your own are ones that are gentle on your body and are easy to learn. Here are some more you can start practicing at home today:
- Knee to chest stretch: Lie on your back with your legs straight on the floor. Then, pull one knee slowly towards your chest at a time and back to the floor. You can also pull both knees towards your chest at the same time.
- Bridge exercise: Start with a pelvic tilt then progress to lifting up your spine and your hips farther off of the floor.
- Shoulder blade squeeze: Squeeze your upper back and shoulder blades together, gently but firmly, for 10 seconds. Then release.
For these easy back strengthening exercises you can do at home, you don’t need any additional equipment. In fact, you don’t need any equipment at all. When exercising, you can practice these simple movements every time.
A personal trainer can help you with proper technique for more advanced back strengthening exercises.
Lower back strengthening exercises after injury
If you’re able to start lower back strengthening exercises after an injury, it can speed up your healing time and prevent further injuries. These exercises can also reduce chronic lower back pain.
As with all exercises, start slow and work your way up to the full exercise. If you’re approved by your doctor to start exercising after an injury, start with gentle and slow movements as described above. You can move onto the full exercises after you have healed a bit.
If you experience pain, stop! That’s your body telling you to do something else or slow down.
Contact us for more information about lower back pain core strengthening exercises.