Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stretches to Improve Lumbar Support

No matter your daily routine or level of back health, a few lumbar-focused exercises can help increase flexibility. Because these moves are specifically designed to loosen muscles and strengthen the core, their focused actions add stability right where you need it most. From the spine, to the hips, to the entire lumbar section, a few stretches and/or exercises each day can greatly improve one’s lower back.

First, start with small stretches to get your muscles loosened and warmed up. Exercising on “cold” muscles – especially within an already injured area – can greatly increase the risk for tightness and ongoing pains. This can be done by simply bending at the waist and reaching for your toes, leaning side to side, or bending sideways with an arm above your head. Start slow to see which movements ting or pull in the back; you will also increase your flexibility over time.

Bach Arch

This move is done standing, with feet placed shoulder-width apart. Palms should sit on the lower back while you bend backward and take deep breaths. Hold for five seconds and repeat multiple times.

The Pelvic Tilt

Next, try lying on your back and placing your arms flat on the floor, knees should be bent with the bottom of your shoes also on the floor. Now, press your rear into the floor so the base of the spine makes contact. Hold this for a few seconds and repeat several times.

Side Stretches

Similar to warm up movements above, the side stretch can help loosen muscles that are harder to locate in “regular” poses. Place one arm straight up into the air and bend the side toward that arm until you feel it stretch. Hold and alternate sides/arms for an even, thorough stretch. [Nismat]

Gaining flexibility throughout the lumbar and lower back is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add strength. Incorporate these moves into your daily routine for a stronger, less painful lower back.