I’ve been struggling with lower back pain for the past 3 months, to the extent that getting up from my bed has been agonising.
It started when I was exercising at the gym with weights and stupidly it was an exercise that I hadn’t done in a long time… the weighted inclined sit ups.
The next day I knew there was something wrong as I could hardly get out of bed.
It didn’t help that everyday I had a 4 year old weighing a solid 20kg asking me to pick him up and play… I was in absolute agony.
I rested for a week and I thought I was clear so went to the gym again and decided to keep it light on my back, but found out that everything had an effect on my lower back…
Even bench press to some extent
And so I was back in pain and decided over the Christmas and new year period, I would lay off the weights completely (that was my excuse to keep out of the gym!) and just do some lower back exercises at home to help reduce the nagging pain I kept getting in my back.
Warning, if you are experiencing lower back pain right now, these exercises are going to make to shout ‘OOH’ and ‘AHHHS’!, but you only need to do 2 minutes of these a day to feel the benefits! (obviously the longer you do them, the better you feel)
I am not a personal trainer, these are just lower back pain routines I’ve tried out that have helped me remember them without having to resort to watching videos or having a written document in front to remind me.
The official names of these exercises maybe a bit off as I don’t care what they are called… all I care is that they help me with my lower back pain!
I like to go through a routine so that I don’t miss any of the exercises, so I work from lying down to standing up and I stretch for 10 seconds per stretch per side…
The “being a lazy git” stretch
This lower back exercise involves you doing pretty much minimal but is good to relieve some pain.
So I lie down on the floor on my back and put my hands under the arch of my back. I then stretch up to make the arch as high as I can, then push down against my hands. If you don’t feel anything, then remove your hands and from under your back and try again.
If you’re feeling this stretch already, you’re going to love the next ones
The “Rolling into a ball” stretch
Moving on from the “being a lazy git” exercise, you just need to tuck both your knees into your chest while lying down on your back. I find this quite painful initially but after a couple of seconds it feels great and i can feel the pain in my lower back subside.
Pull into your chest as hard as you can whilst trying to relax your back. This is one of my favourites to stretch my back and you can really feel it.
The ‘T” Stretch crossover to the right
From rolling into a ball, you stretch out your legs and your arms so you’re in a “T” shape. Lift one knee up, then place across your body. If you need to, use one of your arm/hands to put pressure on the same knee and push that stretch
The ‘T” Stretch crossover to the left
Repeat the same but with the other leg
Right… now that we have done the stretches lying down, we are up on our knees
“Frightened Cat” pose
On all fours, you are arching your back so that you look like a cat that’s been frightened. Try to concentrate on pushing your hips in to really create that arch.
“Drinking Cow” pose
From frightened cat to drinking cow pose. Imagine you’re a little cow that’s drinking from an udder and really push your backside up into the air. For me as a guy, I feel really self conscious doing this in the gym as I feel someone is going to kick me up my backside, which is why I mostly do this at home!
As you might have guessed, the names of the above stretches aren’t real… but this cobra one is.
Straight from “drinking cow” pose, lie on your front, then use your arms to push your up half of your body up while pushing your hip down into the ground.
“Being a turtle” pose
After you’ve pretended to be a cobra, roll up into the child pose and pretend to be a turtle. Pull your knees in and try to put your head as near to your knees as possible. You can leave your arms stretched out in front or by your side, whichever you feel more comfortable with.
On your feet
The “Watching tennis game with your body” Stretch
Like watching you favourite tennis players Nadal/Federer, you’re twisting your body from left to right, but with an added difference…. You keep your head looking forward and therefore isolating your waist and your back.
So take a shoulder width stance, put your hands on your hips and twist left to right but keep your head and your eyes looking at one spot in front of you.
“Hula hooping” Stretch
This is very similar to the previous action only this time you’re isolating a different part of your body. Keep your up half of your body still draw as big of a circle as you can with your hips. Go in one direction and then the other.
Up against the wall
And finally, this is an exercise I’ve only just found out about but has been absolutely brilliant in helping my lower back pain. It’s not that common but it works anywhere from the home, the gym or event at work.
Find a sturdy wall and stand arms length away from it.
Put your arms out on the wall and slowly move your feet away from the wall so that your just above 90 degrees to the wall.
Now with your head slightly looking up and your backside pushing up, gently push against the wall through your arms.
You should feel the lower back pain subside quite a bit, but also your front abs feel stretched too.
Here is a video of the professionals doing it:
There you have it… my easy to remember exercise routine to help you reduce lower back pains.
If it’s helped you, or if you have any other good exercises that you swear by, just comment in the box below!