Back pain is one of the most persistent, chronic pains we must deal with in our lifetime, and we’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t had to deal with it from time to time. That is why it’s important to work on the right areas and muscles that not only prevent muscle pain by lowering the stress on our back and lower back areas, but also help to alleviate the pain that comes with it.
Here are eight simple yet effective exercises you can perform a few times a week to protect your back in the present and in the future.
1. Standing Hamstring Stretch:
- Put the heel of one leg on a stool about 15 inches high. Keep your leg straight. Lean forward, bending at the hips until you feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh.
- Make sure you do not roll your shoulders or bend at the waist when doing this. You want to stretch your leg, not your lower back.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat with each leg 3 times.
2. Knee to Chest:
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor.
- Keep your lower back pressed to the floor, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Then lower your knee and repeat with the other leg.
- Do this 2 to 4 times for each leg.
3. Spinal Stretch:
- While on the floor with your left leg extended straight, pull your right knee to your chest (as in exercise #2), then put your right arm out to the side.
- Next, use your left hand to slowly pull your right knee toward your left side so that your right foot rests on the back of your left knee.
- Finaly, turn your head toward your right side.
- Hold for 20 seconds, then reverse the movements and repeat.
4. Quad Opposite Arm-Leg Raise:
- Balance your body on your hands and knees, with hands located shoulder-width apart and slightly forward, and knees below your hips and slightly apart.
- Lengthen your right leg and left hand simultaneously.
- Return to the base position and do the same with the other side (Lengthen your left leg and right hand simultaneously).