If you have back pain, don’t make the mistake of lying down too much to avoid the discomfort. Your back will only get better if it’s exercised. In the US, back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults. According to stats compiled by Statista, there are three main causes of back pain. Stress was named as the cause by 29 percent of US adults surveyed, 26 percent put the blame on weak muscles, and a further 26 percent believed that physical work was to blame. Whatever the reason for your back pain, the best thing you can do is to exercise to use your back and strengthen the muscles within it.
Some exercises will add to your pain, but partial crunches will strengthen your back muscles. You’ll need to lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor to begin with. Then put your hands behind your head, resting the back of your neck. To begin with, take it easy as you raise your shoulders off of the floor. Breath out while your shoulders rise from the floor, then hold for one second before slowly lowering yourself back. Only repeat this eight to 12 times, and always maintain the correct form to make sure you don’t injure yourself during this exercise.
This is another exercise that will strengthen your back. It’s also another that begins with you lying down on your back. Bend one knee and keep your foot flat on the floor then straighten your other leg directly above you and loop a towel over the sole of your foot. Now slowly pull the towel back towards you. This will gently stretch your hamstring, which you’ll feel down the back of your leg. Hold for at least 15 seconds, but 30 seconds is ideal. Only do it two to four times for each leg before moving onto another exercise.
Abdominal Chair Crunches
A strong core is the best way of reducing your back pain, and chair crunches are a good idea because they will increase your abdominal muscles. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your lower legs resting on the seat of a chair and your feet touching the back of the chair. Now place your fingers behind your head and lift your chin gently. This will tighten your abdominal muscles and make your core muscles contract. Do a series of 10 and then repeat a maximum of three times.
This is another exercise that will improve your core, but it will also work your lower back muscles. You’ll need to lie face down on the floor and place your elbows on the ground on either side of your body. Now lift yourself up slowly from the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Be careful not to strain your lower back by making sure your core muscles are tight and your bottom is lifted as high as possible during this exercise. Only repeat these five times, to begin with. Increase the frequency when you’ve strengthened your core.
You’ll need to kneel on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips to begin this exercise that will tighten your core. Now slowly lift your right arm and extend it forward. Now slowly lift your left leg and extend is back. Hold that position for 10 seconds and then slowly lower your leg and arm back to their starting position. Repeat three times on each side of your body.
All images via Pixabay