Based on some relevant statistics, majority of people in the US will face back pain at some point in their lives. This number is not related only to the people suffering from lower back pain, but also for those who are suffering from upper back pain, Medical News Today and sciatic nerve pain too.
You can find many articles on the internet talking about how to relieve back pain. However, it is a much better idea to protect yourself from this unpleasant occurrence. That’s why we have come up with 13 simple exercises to strengthen your back and reduce back pain.
It is crucial to understand that these back exercises that we will present are designed for people who don’t have any pain or problems with their back. In case you feel pain or you are suffering from injury you should avoid these exercises or consult your doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor before engaging in such activity. These professionals give you instructions about the suitable exercises for your health condition.
The main goal of these exercises is to stretch all muscles groups around the spine, improve spinal flexibility and improve your muscle’s strength and balance.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Back and Reduce Back Pain
To keep your back straight, try some of the following exercises (perform them about 2-3 times per day):
1. Cat stretch is an exercise focused on the lower back. Keep your neck relaxed and make deep breaths while you keep your back arched up to the ceiling. Hold that position for a couple of seconds and exhale, drop your back and chest towards the ground while keeping the abs firm and raise your head a little bit. Repeat this exercise for ten times.
2. Bend knee to chest. If you want to work your low back and activate your hip muscles then this is the right exercise to start with. Simply, lie down on the ground and pull your left knee in the direction of your chest while your tailbone remains on the floor. Each stretch should be held for about few seconds. After that, perform the same procedure with the right knee. Repeat this exercise for three times.
3. Ankle over knee is a perfect exercise for your hips and lower back. Lie down on the ground and bend both of your knees with your tailbone on the floor all the time. Put your right ankle on the left leg’s knee and push your right knee downwards with your right hand. Keep this position for few seconds and repeat that for three times. Of course, perform the same exercise with the right leg.
4. Press up. For this exercise, you will have to lay on the ground relying on the both (bent) forearms. After that, press your hand firmly in order to stretch your back. Keep your abs tightened while performing this exercise. Your neck and head should be in line with your spine. Hold this position for a few seconds, take a small break and repeat for 5 to 10 times.
5. Knee rolls. Keep your knees bent and together while you are laying on your back. The upper part of the body should be completely relaxed and your chin tucked in a little bit. Roll your pelvis and your knees to one side and keep your shoulders on the floor all the time. Hold this position for one breath and return to the initial position. Repeat this exercise for 5 times and keep changing the sides.
6. Pelvic tilts is designed for strengthening and stretching the lower back. Lie on the floor, bend both knees and keep your feet hip-width apart. The upper part of your body should be completely relaxed and your chin tucked in a little bit. Once you in this position flatten your lower back on the ground and contract your abdominal muscles. This action should be performed by tilting the pelvis in the direction of the heels. Remain in this position for a few seconds and then return to your initial position. Repeat this exercise for 10 to 15 times.
7. Raise your hips. Lie down on the floor and put your hands parallel to your body. Bend the legs and flatten your feet while they remain on the floor. Keep your knees aligned with the toes. Lift your back and hips until you notice that your body is held only by your shoulder blades. Try to remain in this position for three deep breaths. After that, lower your hips slowly and repeat for about 10 times.
8. Kneeling lunge stretch exercise is designed for muscle stretching located between the lumbar vertebrae and your thigh. These muscles are known as hip flexor muscles. The hip flexor muscles can pull out the spine from the alignment in case they are very tight. Get in the position illustrated below while avoiding to lean forward (remain upright). Keep your hips even and stretch the front part of your upper thigh. Hold this position for few seconds and do the same with the other side after that.
9. Quad opposite arm-leg raise. Keep your body balanced with your knees and hands. The knees should be under your hips and apart while the hands should be positioned slightly forward and shoulder-width apart. Lengthen your left leg and right hand at the same time. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with the other side of your body.
10. Side plank. Lie on your left side, with straight legs, balancing your body with your left forearm. Keep your elbow right under your shoulder. Slowly contract your abs and raise your hips off the ground while keeping straight line. Maintain your neck in a position that is in line with the spine. Hold this position between 20 and 40 seconds and slowly lower the body. Repeat this exercise for three times and change the sides every time. If the exercise is too difficult for you, start performing it with bent knees.
11. Front Bridge exercise is an excellent exercise for core muscles strengthening. Pull your belly button and maintain your body in a straight position without locking the knees. Keep breathing normally. Keep this position as much as you can. Repeat this exercise for 2 or 3 times. Extend the time of holding this position over time.
You can also read about exercise without movement that tightens every muscle and helps you get rid of the extra weight here. 12. Shoulder blade stretch. Sit on a stool or chair while keeping a good posture and position the shoulder blades backwards. Remain in this position for several seconds and relax after that. Repeat this exercise for 5 times.
13. Chin Tuck Exercise. The process of aging, especially if accompanied with health conditions like osteoporosis and Parkinson’s disease, affect the posture of our body. The upper back tends to lean forward, which means that the neck and head are pushed forward and out of proper alignment too. This situation results in chronic back and neck pain. Perform this exercise while sitting on a stool or chair with your body straightened. Don’t tip the head in any direction and pull your head and chin straight back. Once you do that you will feel a stretch at the lower back part of the neck. Relax and get back your chin in a normal position. Repeat this exercise for 8 to 10 times.