Lower Back Strengthening

    This very simple exercise is great for the low back. Some of the main causes of low back pain are weak low back muscles as well as tight pelvic muscles. This exercise addresses both problems at the same time.

     Lie face down on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. It is important that you keep the abdominals tight throughout this exercise. The lower back should be open and flat. Keep your weight balanced in the upper thigh and pelvis, with your belly pulled up off of the ground. Try to suck your belly in as far as you can and breathing into the chest, slowly lift your arms and legs into the air as if you were pretending to be superman. If this is easy for you to do try extending one leg at a time. Reach out as far as you can with one leg. Then let that leg relax while you reach out with the other. Try arching to one side then the other, as if you were trying to turn while soaring through the air.all the while keeping the belly sucked in as far as posible.

     This exercise can also be good for the upper back and neck. With your arms by your sides, look straight forward at the floor beneath you as you slowly lift the head. Hold it steady for 30 seconds then rest with your head down and turned to the side. Lift the head and hold again and then turn your head to the other side and rest. Continue by doing 8-10 repetitions turning the head to the opposite direction and rest between each repetition. This will strenghten and open the back of the neck. Then lift and rotate your head right to look at your shoulder and then the left to strenghten the sides of the neck. You can also do side bending with the head by bringing the ear to the left and then the right shoulder.

     Start off easy with this exercise and don’t do it if your back is currently in pain or spasm. Rest often in between repetitions. This is a powerful exercise which extends and lengthens the Illiopsoas Muscles (located deep in the lower abdomen and pelvis), as well as the musculature of the chest and neck. Go easy and work your way up to longer sessions.

     As with all of the tips at this site you should consult a physician as to the appropriateness of this technique for you.