These four quick exercises can be performed even if you’re experiencing lower back pain.
Many people hurt their backs while exercising due to over-training, inappropriate posture and body mechanics, or a combination of the two.
Personal trainers Maddy and Alex Weaver, dubbed the ‘Soul Sisters’, came up with an essential workout that will not only help relieve back pain, but help prevent it.
Their regimen, made up of four workouts performed in 30 second intervals, includes heel taps, arm and leg extension, the side plank, and the bird dog.
Back injuries are common. About 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their live, according to a 2013 study by Consumer Reports.
For many people, back pain and exercise go hand-in-hand.
However, this pain, which often comes from weak muscles or poor form, can be relieved and prevented by workouts that strengthen the abdominal muscles.
‘Since your abs are the front anchor of your spine, if they are weak, then the other structures supporting your spine (your back muscles, for example) will have to work harder,’ physical therapist Graeme Keys wrote.
‘By developing stronger core muscles, you’ll be less likely to injure or strain your back muscles,’ he added.
#1. The Heel Tap
The Soul Sisters start of their routine with the heel tap.
They provide tips for proper form which includes lying on your back with your knees bent in table top position, or with the shins parallel to the floor.
Then they instruct to lower the right heel to mat, then return it to starting position. Then bring down the other leg and return it to starting position.
Make sure your back is flat on the map at all times.
#2. Arm and leg extensions improve strength and flexibility.
This exercise helps to improve core strength, coordination, balance and flexibility
The proper form for this exercise is the same as the Heel Tap: lie on your back with your legs up and knees bent so that the thighs are perpendicular to the mat and the shins are parallel to the floor.
Your arms should also be perpendicular to the floor.
To do this exercise you need to extend your opposite arm and leg out.
For instance, if you extend your right arm, then your left leg should be extended as well.
Then bring your arm and leg back to starting position, and do the same thing with the other limbs.
#3. Side planks are great for stability
The side plank is a stability exercise that targets the core.
For this exercise, you need to lie on your left side with your knees straight. Then prop up your body on your left elbow and forearm.
Suck in your stomach to work out the core, then raise your hips until your body is straight.
Do this for 30 seconds.
#4. The bird dog strengthens abs and improve balance
This exercise is great for people with lower back pain.
The Bird Dog strengthens the abs, lower back and butt muscles while improving balance.
For this exercise, you need to start on all fours: with your hands beneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.
Then you raise your right arm out in front of you and kick out your left leg until you’re in a straight line. Slowly bring your arm and leg back to the ground and continue on the same side for thirty seconds.
Then switch sides.
Once you’ve finished this set, repeat all four workouts three to five times.