Strong back muscles can make staying in good posture easier and reduce your risk of hurting your back when lifting things. While you COULD go to the gym to strengthen your back, you don’t have to as there are several excellent at-home exercises you can do almost anywhere and anytime.
I like to do my strengthening exercises first thing in the morning. I only do one or two because that’s all you need to keep your muscles in good shape. In fact, if you were to do a whole lot more, you’d just tire your back muscles out and that could increase your risk of poor posture and back pain. When it comes to back strengthening exercises, think quality over quantity.
Here are five of my favorite back strengthening exercises. Some of them work the muscle of the lower back directly while others affect the core muscles which support your lower back like a strong and stabilising corset. Make sure to do a variety of exercises to strengthen you back from all angles. For example, you could do different exercises on different days.
I’ve also recently published a 5 minute stretching for back pain relief that you can find here.
How many – do as many repetitions as you need to so you feel mild fatigue in the target muscles. You should feel a small amount of discomfort but no real pain. If it hurts, you are either doing too many or doing it wrong! Rest a minute and then go again. Do two to three sets in total.
Breathing – don’t hold your breath as this will increase your blood pressure and makes the exercise harder than necessary. Your muscle need oxygen!
Equipment – all you need for these exercises is a mat ( I use this one, available at amazon.com) or a folded towel to lie on. This will make sure you stay comfortable.
Music – I use a bluetooth speaker (I use this one that’s available at amazon.com) and listen to this song
1. Hip bridge
This exercise not only works your lower back, it also works your hamstrings and butt at the same time. These muscles work together anytime you bend down to pick something up. Strengthening these muscles will make sure that you have more power for lifting things and that will reduce your chances of hurting your back.
2. Bird dog
This amazing exercise works your lower back and your core all at the same time. It’s also good for your posture. This means it’s perfect for when you are running short of time. Do it slowly, smoothly, and deliberately to get the most benefits.
Your abs play a crucial role in supporting your lower back, but many abs exercises can actually cause back pain. Planks are different because they not only strengthen your entire core, they are also easy on your lower back. Remember not to hold your breath though!
4. Floor back extensions
If you spend a lot of time sat with a rounded back, this is the exercise for you. It not only strengthens your lower back, it also helps to teach you not to round your back. Place your hands behind your lower back for an easier workout, or extend your arms in front of you to make things harder.
5. Kneeling good morning
This unusual exercise is a good way to strengthen your lower back without resorting to going to the gym. If you find balancing tricky at first, put your feet under something sturdy – such as your couch. If you find kneeling down is uncomfortable, fold your exercise mat into quarters to make it thicker.
More about Back Pain
Understanding the causes is half way to find the solution to your problem. I’ve shared the causes of my back pain and the most common causes. Changing simple behaviours have a huge impact on your back health. Take a minute, learn more about your body. Invest time on improving your health. Find more here.