One of the most common muscle and skeletal disorders in our society is low back pain.
Low back pain is a common com- plaint that doctors hear from their patients and the pain could be the result of a strain, sprain or disc degeneration.
I’ve had low back pain at times and it’s no fun. If you think about it, there’s a few daily activities that can cause a pain in our back.
For example, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, bent over the sink brushing our teeth, and sitting at a desk too long or driving too long can all irritate our back over time.
When we sit too much in our day, the core muscles relax, the front hip muscles shorten and the hip muscles in the back (our buttocks/glutes) lengthen and get weak.
Here’s five body weight exercises to help with low back pain (American Council on Exercise, ACE).
These exercises help strengthen the backside of our core area. Lay on the floor face down on your belly with arms extended over your head.
Raise your arms, head and chest off the floor and hold for as long as you can then relax and lower.
Remember to breathe and not hold your breath.
Start in a sit-up position with your arms down by your side. Push your feet into the floor and tighten up your buttocks muscles and raise your hips off the floor.
Try to create a straight line from your heels to your shoulders then lower hips to the floor.
Position yourself on your hands and knees in what is called the quadruped position.
Keep the core stable and raise your right arm and left leg up to your core/torso height.
Then lower and do the same movement for the opposite arm and leg. At the top of the movement, move your arm and leg out to the side to make it a bit more challenging.
Laying on your belly, position your elbows under your shoulders and straighten your legs until your body is in a straight line and you’re up on your toes.
Hold this position for as long as possible or until 30-60 seconds.
The side plank helps to strengthen the often neglected rotational muscles in the core.
While laying on your side, position your elbow directly below your shoulder and pull the hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line facing side- ways. Hold this position the same as the regular plank.
I often do these exercises in the week to help strengthen and stretch my back and core muscles. Hoping that you will also. Here’s to your healthy and strong back.
Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, www.manorhouse.org. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.