Exercises To Help
Fitness expert Sara Jones shares some ideas to help strengthen your back.
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:
- 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).
- 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).