As a fitness trainer, I often hear my clients complain about lower back issues when performing abdomen exercises. This pain can occur for many reasons such as a weak core. Your core muscles consist of your abdomen, back, and pelvis. Poor posture, incorrect lifting technique, and carrying around a GUT can all cause lower lumbar pain.
Most people stop working out after experiencing even slight back pain, but that is not the solution. Most back pain goes away with conservative care, which includes rest, ice alternating with heat, and over-the-counter medicine. If pain is severe, I recommend stopping your routine and seeing your physician; otherwise, consider following movements and exercises.
Having a strong core musculature stabilizes and braces the spine to reduce injury. Although there are many exercises to help strengthen your core and back, there are also exercises to avoid. Sit-ups are not a good idea. Leg presses, deadlifts, military presses, and lunges with the load on the shoulders may also worsen the pain.
One key to improve back pain is to maintain good posture at all times: working out, sitting at your desk, or standing for long periods. Maintaining good posture decreases back pain and allows your lat muscles to stabilize your spine. Physicians recommend observing your sleeping position and repositioning as needed. Sleeping on your side in a fetal position on a firm comfortable mattress reduces stress on your back. Adding a pillow between your legs will help take stress off your hips. The worst sleeping position when you have back pain is lying on your stomach, because it exaggerates your spinal arch and may cause strain.
Consult with a health care professional, trainer, physician, or physical therapist, before doing any exercise for back pain. With their approval, try these exercises to strengthen your core and reduce back pain
CORE EXERCISES FOR BACK PAIN
Make sure you warm up at least 8-10 minutes before performing any exercise routine. Warm up with jump roping, cycling, or dynamic stretching. STRETCH. STRETCH. STRETCH after workouts, after getting out of the shower, and before bed. Tight muscles are often responsible for lower back pain, so stretching while your muscles are warm helps loosen them up. Add the exercises below to your ab routine to begin strengthening your core.
Lie on your back flat on the floor. Raise your feet so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Rotate your pelvis forward pressing your lower back into the floor. Place your hands behind your head with your fingertips lightly touching and elbows back. Make sure your chin is not tucked and there is a fist worth of space between your chest and chin. Raise your shoulders off the ground until your entire abdomen is contracted.
Get on all fours and tighten your abdominal muscles, keeping your spine and neck in a neutral position; you should be looking at the floor. Slowly extend your left leg behind you while reaching your right arm forward.
Lay down flat on your back. Position your feet flat on the ground, fold your legs so your knees are in a bent position, and raise your toes. Place your hands on your sides flat on the floor. Raise your hips as high as possible squeezing your glutes, hamstrings, and your core. Lower your hips and repeat the movement before allowing your hips to meet the floor completely.
Modified Side Planks:
Lay on your left or right side with your bottom leg bent. Raise up on your forearm, making sure your shoulder is directly over your elbow. Raise your hips contracting your core. Hold it as long as you can.
To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds. Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. When holding the contracted position, you should look like superman when he is flying. While inhaling, slowly lower your arms, legs, and chest back down to the starting position.
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