You go to bend over to pick up the paper or lift your child and wham it hits you. Lower back pain! Probably everyone has experienced lower back pain in their life and for some unfortunate individuals it is a chronic condition. The core is important to everything we do, from sitting to walking to running, our abs and lower back are engaged all the time.
If you are reading this and suffer from chronic back pain or even if you have never experienced any back pain in your life these three exercices below are excellent at ensuring you keep your lower back and core healthy. Please always check with your doctor before partaking in any exercise.
Stuart McGill is a spine researcher based in Canada. These are three excellent exercises that he recommends to help rehabilitate your spine and prevent injury, so these exercises are great even if you do not as of yet suffer from any lower back pain.
Exercise 1 Curl Ups
- Lie on your back with your arms tucked in under your lower back and keep one leg straight and one leg bent
- Raise your shoulders and neck off the floor. Try to keep your neck as straight and still as possible.
- Try to hold this for as long as possible. Shoot for between 5-8 seconds.
- Switch legs and repeat. Always move in a slow controlled fashion. Quality always trumps quantity.
Exercise 2 Bird Dog
- Begin by getting on your knees on all fours.
- Straighten out your right arm in front of you and your opposite leg (right) behind you.
Basically you should feel like you are in a super hero pose flying through the air but with one arm and leg grounded to help you keep balanced. Hold this for 5-8 secs then do the reverse arm and leg.
Note: Always listen to your body. If it is too painful to stretch out both your leg and arm begin by just stretching out your arm and slowly over time build your way up to performing this exercise fully.
Exercise 3 Side Bridge
- Lie down on your side and push yourself up onto your elbow keeping your elbow tucked in under your shoulder so as not to add any extra strain to the shoulder joint
- Keeping your legs straight place your highest foot onto the ground directly in front of your lower bottom foot. So if you were lying on your left hand side, your right foot would be your top foot and your left foot would be your bottom foot.
- Put your non supporting hand on its opposite shoulder, so basically crossing over your torso. Ensure your body is not twisted. You want to maintain a natural curve in your spine.
- Lift your hips up off from the ground. Hold for 5-10 seconds, lower yourself down and repeat this 3 or 4 times.
- Switch sides