Generic lower back pain is common, painful and for a lot of people hard to get rid of. Very often this kind of back pain remains undiagnosed and a big worry for a lot of people is what exercises they can safely perform.
If you are a regular reader of Laurens Fitness you know that we have addressed the importance of gluteal function for a pain free back. Though it won’t always be the cause of your worries, you definitely can’t hurt your back by getting stronger glutes.
If you want to go into hip extension, which is basically bringing the leg back behind the body you usually use your glutes. If you are suffering from chronic back pain then that hip extension is primarily done by the hamstrings. Consequently to then move into back extension your lower back muscles fire up and take a lot of load. Although this doesn’t sound like much, the loads it creates on the components of the lower back is very high and causes a viscous injury cycle. A lot of people who suffer from lower back pain actually have super strong backs…it’s everything else around it that is malfunctioning and causing the chaos.
Getting your glutes integrated back into that movement pattern is a very effective and important way to break that cycle and start to be on your way to a pain free back. Combine proper glute function with some other essential exercises to help back strength and you can’t go wrong. Glutes are important, but it is also critical that you get your core/ ab exercises right. The worst thing you can do when you suffer from lower back pain is to start doing sit ups. These put a lot of pressure on your lower back and are completely unnecessary and unsafe for a lot of people.
I didn’t make this stuff up, despite having success on myself and various other people I have to credit this knowledge and these exercises to Dr Stuart McGill. For anyone researching back pain and how to cure it, you would have surely come across a lot of his work. He is a spine specialist and the best in the business. These six exercises are inspired by him and are sure to help you lower back pain.
Six Safe Exercises For Lower Back Pain
Get on all fours and get prepared for pain relief. This exercise will make sure you can take your spine through a good range of motion without putting any load or stress on it. We’ve spoken about not going into flexion when performing sit ups or other exercises, but the fact is during the day you need to tie your shoes and pick things up and you will be bending your back frequently. This helps you keep your back neurally ready for common tasks and is important for someone suffering from lower back pain.
These little beauties are the base exercise you need to do. Clams will help you to start fixing your hip weakness and reintegrate your glutes. These really isolate the glute muscles, but only if performed correctly. Make sure you only move from your hips and your lower back stays immobile. Check out this video.
Performing the side plank is very important for your lower back. You need to be able to engage the abdominal wall and protect your back. Make sure you are able to hold this position on your knees for at least ten seconds before your move up onto your feet.
Stir The Pot Planks
Another great exercise to train your core and hep your lower back. Spinal endurance is important if you want to maintain a healthy lower back, and this exercise helps to build that as well as correct some bad motor patterns. Remember it’s not always the lower back that is weak.
When you perform the bridge make sure you squeeze the glutes to ensure they are activating more than the hamstrings. Come up to parallel before you go back down and make sure you can complete them correctly with two legs before you move onto one leg.
You have seen these before on Laurens Fitness. They are a great lower back stabiliser and a way to isolate the glute muscles. Hold at the top for maximum effect.
Suffer from back pain? Try these exercises and leave a comment!