Exercises To Help

Fitness expert Sara Jones shares some ideas to help strengthen your back.
Sara Jones

Fitness expert Sara Jones shares some ideas to help strengthen your back.
Your question:
I would like to know some exercises that will strengthen the lower back muscles. -- Julie L.

The fitness expert answers:
I would suggest first making sure that your back pain is coming from a weakness (loose muscle) or a tightness (strong muscle). If there is anything wrong as far as a medical problem, you need to consult your physician before starting an exercise program.

Many times I have seen that the low back pain comes from having a weak muscle that needs to be made stronger or just the opposite, a strong muscle that needs to be stretched. Usually, it is not just one muscle, but a group of muscles that need to be stretched and/or strengthened. Here is a list of exercises/stretches that might aid in your back pain:

Stretches:

  • Pelvic tilts lying on your back with knees bent. These will aid in stretching your abdominal muscles
  • Knee-to-chest stretch bringing your bent legs to your chest while lying on your back. This will stretch the hamstrings, butt and low back muscles.
  • Trunk flex on hands and knees (like a cat stretch). This will stretch the back, abdominals and the back of your legs (hamstrings).


Exercises:
  • A variation of curl-ups (crunches) to strengthen the abdominal muscles -- do not forget about your side stomach muscles (obliques).
  • Single leg extension while lying on your back bringing your leg up one at a time. This will strengthen the back of your legs (hamstrings) and your butt and at the same time stretch your hip flexor muscles (the muscles in front of hip joint).
  • Controlled trunk extensions while lying on your stomach and bringing your shoulders slightly off the ground (keeping your head in line with your spine = don't look up). This exercise will strengthen the back extensors (low back).
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Tags: back


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