How To Eliminate Lower Back Pain
- DAN NORTH
When it comes to lower back pain, the root cause isn’t always just your back. Actually, it usually has less to do with your back and more to do with the supportive areas surrounding your back.
Your repeated activities and habits have direct implications on your body.
When you sit for long periods, which many of us are doing right now, you can expect a few things to happen:
- Hip mobility decreases
- Core engagement/activity decreases
- Glute engagement decreases
- Forward head protrusion increases
- Forward rounding of shoulders increases
- Weakness and tension in the upper back increases
So, we know why we might be experiencing lower back pain, but how do we address it?
There are a few simple, but highly effective exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Some require no equipment, others require very small, inexpensive pieces of equipment (such as resistance bands or a foam roller).
Note: You won’t see any benefit from these exercises unless you’re consistent in practicing them. How consistent do you need to be? Think about it this way. If you were locked up in a cell, and told that the only way you could leave was to do 100 push-ups in 30 days, how often would you train so you were ready? Once a week? Twice a week? No. You’d probably do push-ups every day so your body was prepared. This principle of consistency and effort applies directly to relieving pain and improving your body’s ability to move freely. In order to improve, you need to be consistent.
1. ROLL OUT AND STRETCH YOUR GLUTES
Roll out your glutes daily for at least 1-2 min using a foam roller or lacrosse ball.
The pigeon stretch is one of the best stretches to target the glutes. You can do it on a couch if you don’t have access to a bench. It’s all good.
Although this scaled version of the pigeon stretch is easier to get into position for most people, the stretch you feel in the glutes is amazing.
This one is taken from Kelly Starrett and is an amazing way to effectively target the glutes while improving hip mobility at the same time
2. STRENGTHEN YOUR GLUTES
Glute bridges are a staple in any program and are one of the more “user-friendly” exercises you can do anywhere. Add a Hip Circle or resistance band around the knees for extra tension.
No equipment necessary for this one. Again, a staple in many programs and is not only an effective exercise to strengthen your glutes, it’s also a great warm-up tool before your lower body workouts.
3. STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE
As with any exercise, there are tons of different variations of core exercises you can implement into your routine to help reduce your back pain. However, to keep things simple and straightforward, start with the dead bug. This is, in my opinion, the single most effective exercise to teach you to engage your core. It’s an anti-extension exercise, meaning your lower back is resisting the urge to extend as you stretch out your limbs. This forces your core muscles to stay strong and support the lower back while your arms and legs are in motion (this is the key function of the core). Watch the video and try it for yourself.
- Stretch and roll out your glutes daily
- Strengthen your glutes
- Strengthen your core
- Be consistent
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