How many hours do you spend sitting each day? If you’re like the average American, then the answer is way too many! A recent study found that the average American spends 13 hours a day glued to their chair(and then sleeps for another 8), which causes a number of health problems, one of which is back pain. Chronic back pain, which affects millions of Americans each year, can be due to sedentary lifestyle and/or heavy use, which might sound a bit contradictory, but worry not! Health Fitness Revolution has already made a list of 10 exercises to build a stronger back, which will help reduce back pain. Now we are bringing you 10 exercises for chronic lower back pain (and are totally free!):
- Decompression Breathing:
Get some extra oxygen to strengthen your spine and relieve stress. Decompression breathing strengthens and lengthens your body. Stand up straight and touch your toes together. Your heels should have a bit of space between them. Shift weight back toward your heels and bring them in toward each other. Extend your arms over your head and lock your fingertips together. As you inhale, lift your ribcage away from your waist. Tense your core as you exhale, holding the lengthened spine and torso.
- Founder to Forward Fold:
This back-strengthening move helps build a foundation of a strong core and chest. Bend forward and angle your hips behind you. Inhale and place your hands out in front of you with your fingers together. Raise up as you keep a pulled feeling in your core. Now place your hands on the ground and angle your hips as far back as possible. Hold for 30 seconds. If necessary, establish a counter-balance between your hands and hips.
From all-fours, place your left leg straight behind you, the top of your foot facing down. Bend your right knee and bring your foot in toward you and fold your foot in toward your thigh. Bend forward. Widen the elbows and place one hand on top of the other as a pillow for your forehead. Hold for 2-3 minutes then switch to the other side.
- Thread the Needle:
This beginner’s yoga pose is great to alleviate stiffness in the back, shoulders, and neck. Begin flat on your back, with both knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you and bend your elbow. Now bend the right knee like a figure four, with the outer left ankle to the right thigh. Lift the left foot into the air, bringing the left calf parallel to the ground. Thread your right hand between the opening of the legs and interlace your hands behind your left thigh. Hold 2-3 minutes and then repeat on the other side.
- Forward Fold:
Start at the full founder position. Put your hands on the knees and push your knees back. Bend your knees and transfer the weight to the heels. Place your feet on the ground and put your feet back. Now push up, and away, reaching your hands as far forward as possible to counterbalance. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. To stand up, transferring your weight through your feet, push and stand up. Sweep the arms back into Modified Founder position. Press the heels into the ground and bring your hips forward to stand up.
- Two Knee Twist:
Lie on your back with your knees bent in to your torso, your arms stretched out on the ground. Lower your knees to the right and then twist them to the left. Hold for 1-2 minutes.
- Adductor-assisted Back Extension:
This is another popular This well-known exercise isolates some of the deeper muscles of the lower back. Add in a little extra support from your inner thighs and some increased activation of the hamstrings, and you’ve got a recipe for building back muscles strong like a superhero’s.Start on the ground, lying on your stomach. Flex your feet and zip your legs together, keeping just a slight bend at the knees. Press your hips and knees into the ground and lift your elbows up until the hands “float” above the ground. Pull your shoulders down towards your butt while lifting your chest off the ground. Keep your neck long and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Legs Up a Wall:
Push your butt up against the wall with your legs on the wall. This pose will relax the muscles in your back and help heal your legs. This is a great way to wind down after a vigorous leg workout. Hold for 5 minutes.
This pose is a great exercise to strengthen your butt and back. Lower your back leg into a lunge a stand tall. Raise your back heel off the ground and place your hands out in front of your heart. Lean back into your butt, keeping your knee stationary. You will feel a burn in your hamstrings. Flex your core and keep your spine neutral. Slowly reach the arms overhead. Hold for about half a minute.
- Cat-Cow: Begin on all fours as if you were a feline. Your shoulders should be haunched forward and your back up. Look like a cat that is scared. Your neck long and eyes soft, Draw your shoulders into your back. This is the table pose, now go bovine mode. Inhale and lift your back up. Lift your head, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and look straight in front of you.As you exhale, return to channeling to Cat Pose. Round your spine outwards and arch your tail bone. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.Oscillate between Cow and Cat on each inhale and exhale, matching your movements to your own breathing. Breathe 5-10 times and keep an even distribution of weight.