"A strong lower back is important because it maintains good posture, prevents low back aches, supports the spine, and enhances performance of daily activities" - Serah W.
Here are some exercises that strengthen the lower back muscles improve core stability and alleviate pain:
Start in a push-up position and hold yourself up on your forearms and toes.
Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
Hold this position for as long as you can, then lower yourself back down.
Repeat this exercise for three sets of at least 30 seconds.
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2. Bird Dog
Position yourself on your hands and knees with your back flat.
Stretch your right arm forward as you extend your left leg backwards keeping your gaze forward.
Hold this position for 30 seconds and lower your arm and leg back down to the initial position.
Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Do 10 repetitions with each arm and leg.
3. Hip Bridge
The hip bridge targets your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.
Lie flat on your back with arms extended on your side.
Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor.
Hold the position for a couple of seconds before lowering your hips back on the floor.
Do three sets of 10 repetitions.
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The superman is an exercise that mainly targets hip flexor and glutes and lower back muscles.
Lie flat on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched.
Slowly lift both arms and legs and chest off the ground, keeping your gaze forward.
Hold this position for a count of 10 and then release.
Do three sets of 10 repetitions.
The deadlift is a compound exercise that targets your lower back muscles, glutes and hamstrings.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Hold a dumbbell or a barbell in front of your legs with palms facing down.
Keeping your back straight and chest out, bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips, lowering the weight to the floor.
Engage your lower back muscles and lift the weight back up to the starting position.
Do three sets of 12 repetitions.
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6. Dead Bug
Lie on the mat with both arms extended towards the ceiling.
Lift your legs off the floor at a 90 degrees angle. Flex your feet and tuck your pelvis so your lower back presses into the floor.
Engage your core as you extend one arm behind your head and the opposite leg out in front of you until both hover above the floor.
Exhale, then reverse the move to return to the start. Switch sides and repeat all through the sets.
7. Side Plank
Side plank is a perfect exercise for strengthening the core without stressing your back and protecting your spine thus reducing back pain.
Lie on your side with your legs stretched straight and feet stacked on top of each other.
Place one elbow in a 90-degree and brace your core and butt muscles as you lift your hips off the floor. Support your weight on your elbow.
Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat on your other side.
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8. Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow exercise is a spinal mobilization exercise that helps to loosen the spine.
Begin on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and knees under your hips.
Inhale and arch your back, lifting your head towards the ceiling.
Exhale and round your back, bringing your chin to your chest.
Repeat this exercise for three sets of 15 repetitions.
Squats are full-body exercises that target and strengthen the muscles in the lower back and activates the spinal muscles.
Stand with feet a little wider than the hip with toes facing front.
Push your hips back until the knees begin to bend.
Ensure your knees track forward in line with the middle of each foot.
Keep your chest lifted and squat down until your knees are at 90 degrees.
Push through your heels to return to a standing position. Keep your core tight throughout the movement.
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10. Back Extension
Back extension exercises improve the stability and strength of your erector spinal muscles.
Lie on your stomach with your arms extended outwards on both sides.
Rest your hands on your lower back or fold them behind the head.
Slowly lift your chest off the floor and pause for a few seconds before lowering back down to the starting position.
Repeat this movement for three sets of 15 repetitions.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands behind your head.
Hinge forward at your hips keeping your back straight until your chest is parallel to the ground.
Return to stand and repeat the move until the required sets are done.
Doing exercises that focus mainly on core stability improves the strength and stability of the lower back muscles, which reduces the risk of back injury and reduce the severity of an existing pain. Consistency and diligence are crucial when practicing these exercises. By including the mentioned exercises in a regular fitness routine, you can build a stronger lower back.
Remember to start with a low weight and progressively load as you rack up the sets to optimize on hypertrophy. As always, consult a healthcare professional if you experience pain and discomfort before beginning any new exercise program.