Why does it seem like one day you can dance the night away and the next you’re on the couch with a heating pad on your lower back? When you’re active, you don’t want anything to sideline you. But according to the American Chiropractic Association, lower back discomfort affects up to 80% of the population at some point in life.
It’s not something to be overlooked. Some things that can contribute are poor posture, weak core, tight glutes, tight hip flexors or collapsing arches in your feet.
For some relief, consider trying these four exercises.
Hip Bridge into a Roll Down
Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart. Push through your heels and lift your hips up into bridge position. From there, without lifting your heels, tuck your tailbone under. Roll your spine onto the ground by engaging your upper, middle and lower core. This helps to release the sacrum in your low spine.
Windshield Wiper Stretches
Start in bridge position but with feet wider than hip-width apart. Take both knees toward the ground on one side. When your hip flexors get tight, they can tug on your pelvis creating an anterior tilt. This can contribute to low back pain. So, in this exercise focus on stretching the hip flexors and obliques around to your low back. Make this move active by taking your knees right and left slowly like windshield wipers.
Bird Dog with a Stability Ball
Come onto all fours with a stability ball between your glutes and a wall. Scoot back so that there’s resistance from the ball against your glutes. Brace your core and reach your right arm forward. It should feel challenging to take your hand off the floor. If it’s not, scoot backwards. Alternate reaching your right and left hand.
Lower and Lift
Lie on your back with arms out to a “T.” Reach your feet to the ceiling with legs together and straight so your body is at a 90-degree angle. Lower the legs towards the floor. When your core is engaged, lift the legs back up. If your back arches, you’ve gone too low.