Ask The Trainer:"Exercises I can do to ease my back pain?"
Apr 30, 2019
Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT
A lot of back pain especially lower back pain generates from other areas of your body being either sore and tight or unstable. Working on a strong core and identifying those areas that are associated with back pain is the first step. Generally tight hip flexors can lead to pain and lower back soreness. Stretching the hips will help alleviate some of this pain. My favorite hip stretches are the 90/90 hip stretch and the ½ kneeling hip stretch. Other exercises to ease back pain are supine posterior pelvic tilts. Basically laying flat on your back, engaging your abs and pushing your back to the floor while lifting your hips up slightly and holding for a few seconds. Bridges are also a great way to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes that can help in minimizing pain. Deadbugs, Knee to chest stretch and bird dogs are other great core/stabilizing exercises to incorporate in your daily mobility routine. Foam rolling the mid back and upper trap area is a great way to loosen up your upper back as well as the Lats. Everyone will experience back pain at some point so it is important to have the tools in place to minimize the chances and to prevent it from happening again.
Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS
Getting rid of back pain is not done overnight or in an instant, but there are ways to ease up the pain. Back pain can caused from multiple reasons and it is important you find the root of the problem before attempting anything you have never done before. A good way to relieve a tight back is by getting your body warmed up to start your day. You start with holding a hamstring stretch with one leg and actively moving your other leg up and down while maintaining even hips on the ground, this is known as Active Straight Leg Raise. While on the floor, the Cat Cow exercise is also useful as it targets your abdominal and spine area. Bird Dog is also a great exercise to help you understand how to stabilize your hips to help understand the mind body connection. Once you are finished with these you can foam roll or doing a figure 4 stretch which target your glutes to help ease up any tightness.
Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT
When it comes to relieving my back discomfort, I have my routine of mandatory exercises to help loosen me up. I almost always start with deadbugs. I find that that starting with core exercises that allow me to keep my spine neutral is a great way to align the spine for the rest of my workout. After a few rounds I’ll switch to planks so I can concentrate on keeping my spine in line while adding a little bit of difficulty to the core. Once I feel that my back is a little looser, I’ll usually finish with partial crunches. I like these a lot because it allows me to engage the upper core while minimizing spine flection. After my exercises I finish with a figure 4 stretch to really loosen up the lower back and glutes. Usually this enough to have me up and moving better but on occasion before I stretch out I will do some soft tissue massage with a lacrosse ball.