Lower back strength training to relieve stress
YYou know how moms hold all their coats on a family outing? That’s basically how lower back pain happens. No, it’s not literally because of keeping the coat. In our bodies, when the hamstrings are tight, the glutes are tired, or the core is inactive, one part of our body has to compensate and carry the weight: the lower back.
Essentially, without our other muscles absorbing the stress they’re under during activities like walking, the load goes on to the lower back (like mom wearing a coat). Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the muscles designed to handle that, which is how low back pain happens.
That’s why “strengthening your lower back” isn’t really about building muscle in your lower back. It’s about activating your core and glutes.
This 16-minute workout by Kat Atienza, trainer and founder of Session in Brooklyn, is designed to do just that. It starts with a warm-up that will gently wake up and get the blood flowing to the areas you’ll be working on, with moves that include the hamstring push, quad pull, plank to pike and kneeling.
From there, you’ll be up to the challenge with a few rounds of strength training. Some moves are designed to target one muscle group or another, while others — such as a weighted plank — will do double duty.
“Think about your core, glutes, quadriceps, all those muscles that really help support your lower back,” Atienza says.
She’ll also give you tips on how to get the most out of these exercises, as much of this work is learning how to find and activate your abs and glutes, so you can do it in no time. Real life to avoid low back pain. For example, in the “good morning” vertical hip rotation, you want to make sure that your tail is tucked and your glutes are in line with the rest of your back, so you’re doing the hip rotation like a core-back-buttock unit rather than relying too much on the lower back to work.
Do this exercise on its own, or combine some exercises into others, and you’ll end up letting your lower back share some of the load.