Spring Back Into Shape

Your lower back is the anchor of the core support system for your entire body. Keeping it strong and stable provides support for everyday tasks and movements like standing, lifting and bending. There are many exercises to strengthen the lower back that help alleviate and prevent pain while strengthening the core, leg and arm muscles.

Try these exercises that also increase blood flow to the lower back area, which may also reduce stiffness.

Supermans can strengthen back extensors to maintain good posture.

  • Lie face down on the ground and stretch both arms out in front of the body keeping legs stretched out and flat on the ground.
  • Raise both the hands and feet, aiming to create a gap of about 6 inches between them and the floor. (If both arms and legs are too difficult, just lift arms off the ground with feet down.)
  • Keep arms and legs outstretched and hold position for 2 seconds.
  • Return to starting position and repeat 10 times.

Floor bridges can help strengthen the core, glutes, and hamstrings, while having minimal pressure on the low back.

  • Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, hip width apart.
  • Place your arms at your sides.
  • Draw in your core and abdominals.
  • Lift the hips off the floor until about inline with knees.
  • Hold position for 5-10 seconds and return slowly to the floor.
  • Repeat 10-12 times.

Knee-to-chest stretches can help to elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain.

  • Lie on the back on the floor.
  • Bend the knees, keeping both feet on the floor.
  • Use both hands to pull one knee in toward the chest.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, keeping the abdominals tight and pressing the spine into the floor.
  • Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg.
  • Repeat with each leg 2-3 times.

Exercises for the lower back are simple to do and may be modified depending on your fitness level. As with any exercise program, consult with your primary physician before starting.

"The more you care, the stronger you can be."   Jim Rohn