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Exercise Tips For A Strong And Stable Low Back

It has been shown that between 60-85% of the American population will experience some incidence of lower back pain in their lifetime. Such a high prevalence of back pain not only causes discomfort but also a loss of productivity at work. Not to mention how it can affect overall health.

The largest causes of back pain are from sitting too much, lifting with improper form, and trying to lift weights that are too heavy. Fortunately, there is something that can be done to counteract the prevalence of injury and to rehab once there is a low back injury.

How Most Low Back Injuries Occur

First, too many people underestimate the importance of a strong lower back and the amount of pressure the lower back takes just from daily activities. You apply two to three times your body weight with each step you take walking. The load bearing pressure from weight training incorrectly or lifting heavy objects with improper form can be major culprits of low back injuries.

Proper Form With Weight Training To Prevent Low Back Injuries

Most back injuries come from doing spine-loading exercises, i.e. a barbell squat or deadlift. This is due to improper form. Proper form is to have the feet facing forward at a hip to shoulder width apart and you should stick your behind out which gets the weight on your heels and serves to keep the back flat.

This also keeps the knees from going in front of the toes. Doing the exercises correctly this way places the emphasis on the glutes, quads, and hamstrings instead of the lower back.

Strengthening and Stability Exercises For The Low Back

As stated previously, spine-loaded exercises can cause injury when done wrong, but done correctly these exercises are invaluable to strengthening and stabilizing the lower back.

Squats, deadlifts, straight-legged deadlifts, and hack squats (bar on collar bone, not behind the neck), then eventually single leg squats and deadlifts are all extremely beneficial for strengthening and stabilizing the low back through integration.

Plank or bridge variations should also be done at least twice a week. These not only strengthen the lower back, but also the entire core; which in itself lowers the risk for lower back injury.

Superman variations, whether on the ground or on a stability ball, will allow low back integration and also provide a stretch of the abdominal wall.

Stretching For The Low Back

Along with doing these exercises, perhaps the most important way to avoid injury is to ensure low back mobility. The first step is to use a foam roller for self-myofascial release. Rolling over the entire low back, glute, and hamstring area breaks down the tissue and readies it for stretching.

As a certified Charleston personal trainer that has worked with numerous clients with low back pain, I cannot assert enough the benefits of using a foam roller for self-myofascial release. After using the foam roller, focus on hamstring, IT band, piriformis, and low back stretches.

Following these guidelines to strengthening, and stabilizing the lower back, and incorporating a stretching routine post workout, two to three days a week will ensure you stay active and out of the doctors office.

And do not forget to give your back some rest and relax in products from Scientific Bracing.

Jason Nichols is a certified Charleston personal trainer with Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of the Shaping Concepts personal fitness programs with Jason by filling out the web-form at the top of this page.


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Category: Corrective Exercise.