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Exercises to Strengthen Your Back and Prevent Low Back Pain

By Edited May 30, 2015 2 4

In this article, you will learn back strengthening exercises to use in your core workouts to develop a stronger lower back and core. This can help prevent back injury and chronic pain. Neither age nor profession matters as everyone is at risk for developing low back pain (LBP) during their lives. In fact, 80% of the population experiences low back pain at some point.[1] Developing the supportive muscles of the back, hips and abs are important to minimize this risk for LBP. Use the exercises to help accomplish your goal of having a strong back.

 

Braced Leg Extensions

2 sets x 10-15 reps (both legs)

While lying on your back with knees bent, straighten out one knee while keeping the leg off the ground. Bring the knee towards the chest slowly, then return to original position. Next, perform on the other leg.

Contract you stomach muscles (pull belly button in towards the spine) to keep your spine from moving the entire time.

 

Bridging

2 sets x 10-15 reps

While lying on your back with knees bent, straighten out one knee while keeping the leg off the ground. Bring the knee towards the check slowly, then return to original position. Next, perform on the other leg.

Use your stomach muscles to keep your spine from moving the entire time.

Perform 10-15 repetitions on each leg.

Single Leg Bridging

2 sets x 10-15 reps (both legs)

This is a more advanced form of bridging. Perform as described in Bridging above, but extend one leg during the exercise. Switch legs after each set.

Bird Dog

2 sets x 10-15 reps (both sides)

While on hands and knees, slowly lift your leg and opposite arm upwards.  

Your arm and leg should be straight and fully out-stretched. Do not allow your back to arch and you may place a stick along you back to make sure you a being a still as possible.

Plank

3 sets - Hold to fatigue each time

Lying face down, lift up on your elbows and toes. Try and maintain a straight spine. Do not allow your pelvis to drop to the floor or stick up in the air as you get tired (Shoot for holding 30-45 seconds each set). 

Multifidus Lifts

2 sets x 10 reps (Hold 5 seconds)

On your hands and knee with one knee on a 2" raised surface (a thick book with a towel), lift your other knee up off the floor using your lower back muscles. Hold 5 seconds, then return to original position. 

Try not to shift towards the knee on the object. Also do not raise your pelvis too high, only to where your hips are level.

Prone Back Extensions

2 sets x 10 reps (Hold 5 seconds)

While lying on your stomach, slowly raise your chest off the ground.  Then lower slowly back to the ground.

Hint: Place a pillow under your hips if you have low back discomfort.

Side Planks

2-3 sets - Hold to fatigue each time (Both sides)

While lying on your side, lift your body up on your elbow and feet. Try and maintain a straight spine. Hold to fatigue each set.

Summary

Use these exercises daily to help strengthen the back, gluts, abdominals and other core muscles. This will help you develop a more supportive system to prevent low back pain. Developing a strong core is key to good back health and chronic pain prevention.

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot
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Also an informative read in preventing low back pain.
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Comments

Aug 8, 2013 1:35pm
mkomma
Thanks! I have a weak lower back that prevents me from doing the things I once loved. I really needed this!
Aug 8, 2013 1:44pm
jssaggie12
Fantastic, I sincerely hope it helps your back get stronger. Best wishes!
Aug 10, 2013 11:00am
DB_DPT2010
Good advice!
Aug 10, 2013 12:10pm
jssaggie12
Hey thanks man! Hopefully, someone can get some use out of this.
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Bibliography

  1. Vallfors B. "Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment." J Rehab Med Suppl. (1985): 1-98.

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