Many people struggle with lower back pain, often caused by sitting for long periods hunched over at a desk and weak muscles. There are a few easy moves to incorporate into your weekly routine to help improve posture and reduce injury.
The lower back is actually part of the core and building core strength can help to prevent injury as well as create better overall posture and back health. These moves specifically help to strengthen the lower back area.
Move 1: Bridge
Start by lying on your back on the floor, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart directly under the knees. Allow the palms of the hands to rest on the floor beside the torso. Lift the hips and lower back off the mat, pressing into the soles of the feet. Continue to lift the upper back and chest, roll the shoulders under, lifting onto the back of the shoulders, protecting the neck. Breathe in this pose holding for up to 20 seconds. Exhale and release down by moving the shoulders and rolling the spine down onto the mat from the shoulders to the hips. Repeat this up to 5 times and then hug your knees gently towards the chest and rock from side to side.
Move 2: Cobra
Start by lying on your stomach, place your hands under your shoulders drawing the elbows close in towards the body. Inhale and slowly press into your hands, lengthening the arms, drawing the chest up. Do not extend your arms fully if you feel pressure in the lower back. Draw the shoulders back.Ensure you are feeling the back muscles working rather than just the arms.
Hold for 10 seconds and lower back down gently. Repeat 3 times.
If you’re a beginner, start by holding Baby Cobra, just by lifting your chest up off the mat, keeping your arms bent at the elbow.
Move 3: Locust
Start by lying on your stomach. Sweep your arms so that they are extended out in front of you. Firm your butt and lift your head off the mat followed by your chest, arms and finally lifting the legs. Lengthen and stretch through the toes. Working with the breath, continue to raise your arms encouraging the shoulders and chest to lift further off the mat. Keep the head neutral, chin down to allow for length through the spine into the neck. Breath here for 15 seconds and release with an exhalation. Repeat up to 5 times.
Stretching the arms out in front of you means an added arm workout. Make the move easier by sweeping the arms back or even by alternating sweeping arms backwards.