You can stretch and strengthen your lower back in as little as 5-10 minutes a day.
When I was younger, I didn’t have to worry about exercises to strengthen my back, because I was very active, into sports, hiking, etc. But… getting older, being less active, and working from home has caused me some real back pain problems.
My back got weaker because of less physical activity, sitting in a chair most of the day, and the wonderful process of getting older! I haven’t kept my stomach strong because of this, which supports my spine. I’ve had disc problems, pelvic disalignment, and a lot of lower back pain. For those of you that have suffered from bad backs, you know how debilitating this can be.
So, I found some quick and easy back toning exercises to not only help strengthen my back, but increase resilience and lower back flexibility.
So, once you know you just need to strengthen your back, you can start a routine of quick exercises that will get and keep your back in good condition. These excercises will help stretch and strengthen your back while making it more resilient, so you can be more active without worrying so much about twisting and turning, lifting, odd angles, etc. I would recommend using an inversion tableto make these exercise easier and effective.
Stretches for Lower Back
#1 – Stretching/Loosening:
(Very important before doing other exercises):
- Lay on the inversion table (or other firm, flat surface) on your back
- Bring both legs to your chest gently with your hands, and exhale.
- Hold this position for a count of 5-10, depending on your comfort level.
Do this once or twice, depending on how good it feels to you. This is very helpful in ’stretching’ those muscles out, limbering them up, and preparing your back for the back strengthening exercises or any physical activity.
#2 – Stretching:
- Laying on your back, gently pull one knee to your chest with your hands, and hold for 5-10 seconds, depending on your comfort level. Breathe normally while you’re doing this.
- Do the same with your other leg, and repeat this process with both legs.
Back Muscle Exercise
#3 (also stretches the hamstrings):
- Lay on your back, and lift one leg up in the air. Do your best to keep it straight, but only do what you can, and increase it next time.
- Clasp your hands behind your knee, and pull your leg gently to you.
- Do this with your other leg, and repeat the process again with both legs.
As with all of these exercises, Don’t Strain Yourself. Do the other leg and then repeat.
#4 – Back Strength Exercise:
- Lay on the floor on your back.
- Bend your knees and cross your legs.
- Keeping your legs crossed, let them slowly fall to one side so you’re laying on your side.
- Gently put your higher arm to the opposite direction of the way you’re laying. Again, do not force it.
- Bring your legs back to the center, cross the other way, and let your legs slowly fall down to the other side.
- Bring your other arm across, away from your body. (Some people will hear a little ’snap’ in their spine when doing this. Generally, this exercise is excellent for aligning your back, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this. However, that’s another reason to stress stretching and limbering up beforehand.
#5 – Lower Back Strengthening Exercises:
- Lift one arm and stretch it above and to your side.
- At the same time, lift your opposite leg up and as straight as possible, keeping both raised off of the floor.
- Hold this position for a count of 5-10, depending on your initial comfort level
- Do the same with the opposite arm and leg, holding for a count of 5-10, and repeat for both sides.
You might not be able to lift your arms and legs far off the floor in the beginning. Don’t worry about that. The most important thing is that you don’t strain yourself. As you do this, you will get stronger and more agile. Increase your count and sets as this gets more comfortable.
#6 (Sit-ups w/Knees Bent): Strengthening your stomach helps a lot in supporting and strengthening your back and spine.
- Lay on the floor with your knees bent
- Do a couple sets of sit-ups in sets of 5 or 10, depending on the shape you’re in. Be your own best judge in determining the number of sit-ups, and times to repeat this process. Just make sure as you’re mastering one level, you increase them. Increasing your sets, and increasing sit-ups by 5 is a good general guide.
- Rest a few seconds, and repeat the process 5-10 times if you can; again, depending on your comfort level.
Next time increase the sit-ups and/or sets, and go from there. BUT, again, don’t over-strain yourself!
It won’t take you long to do these exercises, and using both the stretches and back strengthening exercises will do wonders for your back strength, resiliency, and flexibility. But, you’ll also ‘feel’ better! You’ll notice if you do this consistently, as that’s the key, you will have more energy and stamina, as well. But, most importantly, you’ll notice a huge difference in your back (and stomach) strength, etc.
Doing these quick and simple back strengthening excercises just 5-10 minutes a day (or longer if you wish – just don’t overdo it!) is all it will take to stretch and strengthen your lower back in a short amount of time at home.
For more on back stretch exercise or inversion table information, please visit Inspirational Bodies.
Bio: Hey, my name is Chris, the owner ofInspirational Bodies, which is a free resource for expert safety information for your body and mind health, from back pain tofitness. We cover it all.