The outbreak of the deadly virus and the digital technology advancements have diverted our lives more towards the internet. As a result, we aren’t as physically active as before, and we remain seated most of the time. Seating for a long time, especially in an uncomfortable posture, may cause back pain, negatively affecting our lives.
The lower back is a crucial structure in the human body, which is almost like a foundation of our body’s strength, and it’s essential to keep it healthy and in shape to keep up with daily life and prevent injuries. It consists of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles that all work together to support the upper body’s weight and provide mobility for everyday motions. Muscles in the lower back are in charge of flexing and rotating the hips while walking or performing daily tasks.
If your lower back muscles are weak, your body will use passive structures for stability such as ligaments – the tissue that connects spinal bones or discs, and this can cause pain. On the other hand, a healthy lower back reduces the risk of back pain and improves the body’s stability and coordination.
So, while your job, lifestyle, or pandemic situation may require you to remain seated for an extended time, different exercises will help strengthen your lower back at home and possibly prevent and relieve the back pain.
Who doesn’t love plank? Perhaps the majority of those who have tried it. For some people holding this position may seem like a never-ending process. However, planks are amongst the most effective exercises you can perform for your lower back. Planks don’t require a lot of investment in time. You can do them everywhere without any equipment. Planks will strengthen the muscles that allow you to maintain a neutral spine posture, reducing the stress to your back even when you are sitting. Plank elevates abdominal strength and core stability that will improve your balance and flexibility so that your movements are more efficient, and you possibly prevent the risk of injury.
- To perform the standard plank, position your hands under shoulders in a similar way you’d do a push-up. Then pop up on your toes to keep your body in a straight line from head to toe and position your head to be in line with your back. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, you can extend it and hold it for as long as you can keep the body’s proper position.
Another way to strengthen your lower back without any equipment is to perform bridges.
- Simply lie on the ground and with your hands at your sides. Bend the knees, with the feet flat on the floor under your knees. Raise your hips until you form a straight line from the shoulders to the knees. Hold the position for 10-60 seconds, and then return to the ground.
How many bridges you perform and how long you keep the posture depend on many factors, and like with the plank, you can increase the amount of exercise as you get more comfortable with it.
3. The Lower Back Rotational Stretch
The lower back rotational stretch is a simple stretch you can perform at home without much effort. It can relieve the tension in your lower back and strengthen core muscles to improve stability and prevent injuries.
- Lie back on the mat; bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the ground. Keep your shoulders on the ground with arms extended and roll bent knees over to one side. Keep the position for up to 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Then roll the knees over to the opposite side, hold for up to 10 seconds and return to the starting point.
4. Planks With Leg Raise
Here we come, planks again, but this time we are here to offer a more entertaining way of performing planks – with leg raise. Instead of holding one position while hundreds of thoughts cross your mind, you lift your feet while performing the exercise.
- Like you do the plank, go in a push-up position with your arms extended. Lift your one foot upwards a few inches and down again. Repeat the same for each foot. The exercise helps with your body’s flexibility and is a wonderful way to stretch out the lower half of the body.
5. Child’s pose
The child’s pose is an excellent and easy way to stretch the lower back muscle and inner thighs while stabilizing the spine and looking like a professional yogi. This movement promotes flexibility and will strengthen your back. It’s one of the easiest postures to achieve and doesn’t require the investment of a lot of energy.
- Kneel on your mat. Touch your toes together and sit on your heels. Then extend your knees hip-width apart. Place your palms on top of your thighs. Take a deep breath, and on an exhale, move your torso down between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms on the ground. Relax your shoulders toward the floor. Keep the pose for as long as needed.
6. Wall Sits
Wall sits can be a powerful exercise for those with lower back pain or weak lower back muscles without putting stress in different parts of your body.
- Rest your back flat against the wall and slowly slide down as if you are taking a seat on a chair until your knees are slightly bent. Hold for the posture for about 10 seconds, then carefully slide back to the starting position.
Your body needs to stay healthy to keep up with daily tasks and maintain a quality of life. Even knowing that, it becomes tough to find time for supporting our overall wellness. Regularly exercising will help you keep your back strong and healthy, so you can stay in shape even when your job requires you to remain seated for an extended time. The exercises above don’t require much investment of time or help of special equipment, so we hope they will help you strengthen your back at home without much trouble.
Make Room for Recovery
More workouts don’t always mean faster results. If you worked out and gave it all every day, you would be reaching an injury rather than a goal. Make space for recovery between workouts, and incorporate some weeks of lower intensity. It is during recovery that your muscles get stronger as they build back up. As part of your recovery process, make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night (the body recovers faster and more efficiently when we sleep) and that you eat a diet rich in protein.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, try the New Leaf Botanics CBD+Melatonin softgels. If your sleep quality is poor due to sore muscles and pain, take 30 minutes to stretch before bed. The flow of blood and relaxed muscles will help you fall asleep faster. To relieve some of the muscle discomfort, apply the New Leaf CBD + Menthol Sport Cream for a cooling and relaxing sensation. The cream is enriched with aloe leaf juice and olive fruit oil to nourish and hydrate your skin. Here’s to a healthier and happier YOU!