10 BEST EXERCISES FOR LOW BACK PAIN RELIEF.

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1 10 BEST EXERCISES FOR LOW BACK PAIN RELIEF

2 Disclaimer The information in this guide is presented in good faith but no warranty is given, nor results guaranteed. Please consult your physician before engaging into this or any other fitness routine. Only a trained medical professional can assess the cause of your back pain and decide whether this workout is suitable for you or not. The reader assumes full responsibility for the use of the information presented in this guide. Please use common sense and your doctor s guidelines before attempting to follow this or any other fitness regimen. 2 P age

3 Introduction 3 P age

4 Low back pain affects about 80% of the world population at some point of their lives. This pain can be aggravating and chronic, or acute and debilitating; it can be caused by lifestyle, sport s injury or even a sudden move that you don t even remember. No matter what causes this pain or how it affects you, you want a reliable way to get rid of it. The most obvious answer would seem to take a pain-reliever or muscle relaxant and forget about the pain. Unfortunately, this approach only helps for a short period of time and soon the pain comes back and continues to control your life. For a long time doctors and scientists believed that rest was the best way to get through a spell of low back pain but modern research proves that physical activity is a much better doctor than bed rest. Gentle and safe exercise helps you relieve low back pain, avoid depressive moods associated with chronic pain and lack of physical activity, and, most importantly, prevents pain from coming back. However, it s important to know what exercises you can and cannot do if you are suffering from back pain. Some exercises that are beneficial to a pain-free individual will only aggravate the pain and make your condition worse. It s important to be gentle to your spine and give it a mild and pleasant wake-up call rather than throw it into a military boot camp. The following 10 exercises will help you get through a bout of low back pain safely and comfortably. This routine will help you warm-up, gently stretch and strengthen your back muscles without aggravating your pain. 4 P age

5 This workout will take minutes of your time and you can do it as often as you want. It is preferable though to do this workout EVERY MORNING (when your back is the tightest and you feel the most discomfort) for at least 2 weeks to see lasting results. 5 P age

6 Warm-up for Low Back 6 P age

7 1. Cat-Cow stretch Starting position Stand on all fours with your knees as wide as your hips and your wrists directly under your shoulders. Keep your lower back in neutral position, your neck parallel to the floor and the crown of your head reaching straight forward. Movement Exhale and round your back like an angry cat. Drop your head down and look between your legs, let your tailbone reach towards the floor. Try to keep your abs tight and reaching towards your spine. 7 P age

8 Inhale and drop between your shoulders, open up your chest to the front, let the crown of your head reach towards the sky/ceiling. Imagine that you are a cat who wants to be petted. Important: try to keep your lower back in neutral position instead of sagging down. Focus Keep your abs (your core muscles) tight at all times to protect your lower back. Imagine that somebody put a wide tight belt around your waist that prevents you from releasing your ab muscles. 4-6 reps 8 P age

9 2. Tail Wag Starting position Stand on all fours with your knees as wide as your hips and your wrists directly under your shoulders. Keep your lower back in neutral position, your neck parallel to the floor and the crown of your head reaching straight forward. Movement Lift one foot of the floor while still keeping that knee down. 9 P age

10 Imagine that the foot is your tail and you are wagging it side to side while trying to look at it at the same time. Gently bend in your waist and look at your foot from one side and then from the other. Keep your neck in a long neutral position and don t let it initiate the movement. 10 P age

11 Focus Keep your abs tight at all times to protect your lower back. Focus on gentle side-to-side movement in your waist rather than your neck or your shoulders. Do 3-5 reps on one side and then switch feet and do the other side. 11 P age

12 3. Windshield Wipers Starting position Lie down on your stomach (prone position) with your hands under your forehead and your toes curled up (imagine that there is a wall behind you and you are standing on that wall with your feet.) Movement Imagine that your feet are windshield wipers and you are cleaning your windshield slowly side-to-side. Let your heels go to one side and your legs and hips follow the movement, then move to the other side. 12 P age

13 Focus Keep your glutes (butt muscles) and your lower back as relaxed as possible and encourage gentle rotation in your lower back area (rotating pelvis on the base of your spine.) 5-10 reps or as many as you want. 13 P age

14 Strengthen 14 P age

15 4. One Leg Lifts (prone) Starting position Lie down on your stomach (prone position) with your hands under your forehead. Contract your abdominal muscles by imagining that there is an ice cube under your navel. Movement Flex one foot and lift that leg off the floor. Go only as high as it is comfortable for you and focus on keeping both hips down. 15 P age

16 Focus Keep your abs contracted at all times and keep your lower back elongated (as opposed to contracting it when you lift your leg too high.) Keep reaching through your heel back like someone is trying to pull your leg away from you. Do 6-10 reps on one leg than switch to the other one. 16 P age

17 5. Opposite Arm and Leg Lifts (Bird-Dog) Starting position Stand on all fours with your knees as wide as your hips and your wrists directly under your shoulders. Keep your lower back in neutral position, your neck parallel to the floor and the crown of your head reaching straight forward. Movement Phase 1: Inhale as you slide your opposite arm and leg out and exhale as you slide them back in. Note: do only Phase 1 if you are experiencing acute low back pain and move on to Phase 2 only in 1-2 weeks or once the pain has subsided. Alternate your arm and leg every time. 17 P age

18 Phase 2: Inhale as you slide your opposite arm and leg out and lift them up in the air parallel to the floor. Exhale and gently lower your arm and leg down and slide them back in while contracting your abs. Alternate your arm and leg every time. Focus Imagine that somebody is pulling your head and your hips away from each other. You are getting real length in your spine, especially in the lower back area. Keep stretching through your fingers and your toes when you reach out and focus on keeping your entire back as stable as possible. Prevent your hips and shoulders from rocking side-to-side as you slide/reach your arm and leg out reps. 18 P age

19 6. Imprinting Starting position Lie down on your back (supine position) with your knees bent at a comfortable angle, your feet standing flat on the floor hip-width distance apart. Keep both arms by your sides (in the pictures my arm is behind my head only to show you the movement in your low back.) Keep your lower back in neutral position: imagine that ants can crawl under your low back. Movement Exhale as you tighten your abs and gently press your lower back into the floor. Imagine that you are lying on a soft sandy beach and you want to imprint your lumbar 19 P age

20 (low back) vertebrae into the sand. Also at this point you will squish all imaginary ants under your low back. Inhale and gently arch your low back up. Press your tailbone into the floor and let your lower ribs lift off the ground. Focus As you press your low back down imagine that somebody is pulling your hips away from your ribcage. Consequently, the space between your low back vertebrae increases. Keep your glutes (butt muscles) as relaxed as possible and initiate the movement from your deep ab muscles. While arching your back up keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. Don t lift your shoulder blades off the floor reps. 20 P age

21 7. Bridge with Hip Drops Starting position Lie down on your back (supine position) with your knees bent at a comfortable angle, your feet standing flat on the floor hip-width distance apart. Keep your arms by your sides. Keep your lower back in neutral position: imagine that small ants can crawl under your low back. Movement Phase 1 (Bridge): Exhale as you imprint your spine into the floor (see the previous exercise) and start lifting your hips off the floor. 21 P age

22 Inhale at the top and exhale as you lower your hips back down. Go slow and focus on lengthening your low back and reaching your tailbone away from you. Note: Keep your mid-ribcage on the floor at all times. Don t lift up too high. Phase 2 (Hip Drops): Exhale and lift your hips up (see Phase 1.) Inhale at the top. Exhale and start lowering your hips down by stepping down imaginary steps. Lower one hip, then the other one and initiate gentle rotation of your pelvis on the base of the spine. Make as many steps as you need to get all the way down. 22 P age

23 Focus Make this movement as smooth and fluid as possible don t jerk your hips up or drop them down. Focus on lengthening your low back out. Keep your ab muscles gently engaged. Start by lifting only a few inches off the floor. Never go higher than the tips of your shoulder blades. 4-8 reps 23 P age

24 8. One Leg Lifts (supine) Starting position Lie down on your back (supine position) with your knees bent at a comfortable angle, your feet standing flat on the floor hip-width distance apart. Keep your low back in neutral position. Lift one leg up towards the ceiling and keep your knee gently bent. 24 P age

25 Movement Inhale while lowering your leg down and exhale as you lift your leg back up. Start with a small range of motion and with a bent knee. Don t let your leg go higher than a 90 0 angle with the floor. Gradually increase the range of motion by lowering your leg parallel to the floor and straighten up your knee as much as possible. 25 P age

26 Focus Keep reaching through your heel out like someone is pulling your leg away. Keeps both hips down and don t let them separate from the floor as you lift your leg up. Maintain neutral low back position throughout the entire exercise (don t flatten your back when you lift your leg up.) Lift your leg up only to a 90 0 angle with the floor. Do 6-10 reps with one leg then switch to the other one. See next exercise for a smooth transition. 26 P age

27 Gentle Stretch 27 P age

28 9. Hamstring Stretch Starting position Finish One leg Lifts (see previous exercise) by bringing your leg up towards the ceiling. Movement Hold on under your thigh or behind your calf. If your hamstrings (the back of your leg) are too tight then you can take a belt or a long towel, bring it behind your thigh and hold on to the ends of it for a stretch. Focus Keep your lower back in neutral position. Don t let your hips or tailbone separate from the floor. Keep reaching through your heel as high as possible. Hold for 30 second each leg. 28 P age

29 10. Knee Twists Starting position Lie down on your back (supine position) with your knees bent at a comfortable angle, your feet together. Bring your arms out to the sides in a T-shape. Movement Slowly drop both knees to one side and look in the opposite direction. 29 P age

30 Hold for 10 seconds then bring your knees back up and drop them in the opposite direction. Focus Focus on gentle rotation in your waist. Keep both shoulders glued to the floor as you twist your knees side to side. Keep reaching your tailbone out like somebody is trying to pull your hips away. Do 6-10 twists alternating sides every time. Hold the last two twists for 20 second each. 30 P age

31 Final Words 31 P age

32 In order to get full benefit from this workout stick to this simple low back routine for at least two weeks. Devote 15 minutes 4-7 days a week to this workout to relieve your back pain and loosen tight muscles in this area. Once the back pain is gone you can move up to a back strengthening routine that will prevent back pain from controlling your life ever again. You can watch a video recording of this workout if you click here Make sure to check out for more simple and fast routines for a pain-free back. To your pain-free back, Anastasiya Goers 32 P age

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