Stretch for spinal strength
As more and more people suffer from back pain every year the importance of simple back exercises, particularly stretching, is vital for strengthening and keeping mobility in your lower back. 400,000 people across the country, equivalent to a city the size of Edinburgh, are absent from work each day as a result of back injury and 4 out of 5 people will have debilitating back pain at some stage in their life.
Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of your spine can help reduce the risk of long and short-term back problems. If your back and abdominal muscles (core strength) are strong, it is more likely that you will have good posture. The spine is kept in its correct position by these muscles and thus more able to remain pain free.
Stretching is vital for strengthening and keeping mobility in your lower back. As more and more people suffer from back pain every year, the importance of simple back exercises is paramount. With increasing numbers of people leading active and healthy lifestyles, lower back exercises and stretching should be carried out prior to any form of activity to avoid any risk of injury.
Here are some general exercises, if you feel any pain or discomfort while doing them, stop and seek medical advice:
- Pelvic Tilt – These are important exercises and should be performed frequently. The pelvic tilt strengthens the gluteal (buttocks) and the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with knees bent. Squeeze the buttocks tightly together and pull in your stomach muscles. With your lower back against the floor, hold for a count of 5. Relax and repeat 3 times, increasing gradually to 10 times.
- Hip Curl – To stretch lower back and buttocks. Start on your back, your legs bent. Keep both shoulders against the floor. Bring up your feet, keeping knees together. Lower your bent knees toward your left hip, then your right hip. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times, increasing gradually to 10 times.
- Double Knee Raise – This will stretch the lower back and hamstrings. Begin with both knees bent. Hold a pelvic tilt while you perform the exercise. Pull your knees to your chest. Use your hands to pull your knees slowly towards you. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Return to your starting position. Begin with 3 repetitions, slowly increasing to 10.