I hope you had a great weekend, but most importantly, I hope you were free of back pain.
On Friday, I touched on some solutions to handle sporadic lower back pain and, as promised, today I’m going to focus on some things you can do for more lasting results.
Back pain is often caused by a buildup of stress on the back, plenty of which comes down to poor posture. Therefore, if you can improve your posture and engage the other muscles in your core—lower back, abdominals, and obliques—you can relieve some of the burden placed on your back. The straighter you stand and the stronger your core muscles are, the less lower back pain you are likely to experience.
Three Ways to Increase Core Strength and Eliminate Back Pain
1) Reach to the Sky
The first movement you can try to increase core strength and improve your posture is to start by standing with your feet directly under your hips. Stand softly on your feet with your spine fully lengthened. Engage your abdominal muscles so you’re standing as straight as possible, then take your arms, raise them above your head, and aggressively reach towards the ceiling. When you do this, you’ll feel your abdominal muscles and back pull in. Hold this position for about 10 to 20 seconds, then release and repeat.
The cobra and plank poses are also good for improving core strength.
2) The Cobra Pose
A cobra pose strengthens the erector muscles in the spine and other lower back muscles using extension. For the cobra pose, lie on your stomach with your palms flat on the floor near your ribs and extend your legs straight behind you. Next, start pulling your abs in and use your back muscles to lift your torso and head off the ground, extending your arms. Be careful not to push up; you want to activate your core, not your arms. Hold the position at the peak for about 15 seconds, lower yourself, then repeat.
3) The Plank Pose
To perform a plank, get on your hands and knees with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Come down to your forearms and extend your legs behind you with your toes tucked under, as if you were doing a pushup. Next, pull your abs in and hold the position for as long as you can.
These movements can help improve overall core strength that can lead to better posture and less back pain. Incorporate them into your lifestyle today and reap the rewards of good posture for years to come!