Lower Back Workouts you can do in the gym and practice at home
In Part 1 of our series on lower back workouts for lower back pain relief, we reviewed some of the causes and effects of lower back pain, and highlighted an exercise we utilize at Rock Solid Fitness to combat this problem, using the Nautilus Low Back Machine.
But what if you don’t have a Nautilus low back machine, or any other back machine? There are still some very effective exercises and techniques you can use to strengthen not only your low back muscles, but your entire midsection. By doing so, you can effectively create an “internal back brace”, which will not only serve to relieve current back pain, and also reduce the risk of injuring your back in the future.
At Rock Solid, we use our Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization Program (DLSP) for this purpose.
What the heck is a dynamic lumbar stabilization program?
The key concept that makes dynamic lumbar stabilization effective is the principle of bracing.
Bracing means contracting your waist muscles-including your rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis. This will to stabilize your lumbar spine, and maintaining that contraction, as you dynamically move your limbs.
The practical application of this principle in everyday life includes
-Bracing when you lift something
-Brace when you move something away from your body
-Bracing during sports and leisure activities
To be able to do this without thinking about it (which is the ultimate goal), You can practice using dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises.
In the video below, Melissa is demonstrating exercise # 3.3 in our DLSP, Quadriped Arm and Leg Raises.
To perform the exercises, you first find your neutral spine position, which is described and demonstrated in the video.
Next, you brace your abdominal muscles, contracting your entire waist area to tighten the muscles. Do this in the same way you would if you thought someone was going to punch you in the stomach, or like what happens when you cough or sneeze.
To test whether or not you are bracing correctly, poke all around your waist with your fingertips, including your sides, the middle near your belly button, high low, all over. If you’re doing right, everywhere you poke will feel tight (even though there may be some soft stuff on top LOL), and it should be a little hard to breathe.
Once you are in neutral spine and braced, you attempt to straighten your right arm and left leg at the same time. Try not to allow any movement in your waist or hips as you do this. To make sure and provide yourself some feedback, you can utilize a yard stick, as shown in the video.
Return your right arm and left leg to the starting position, then do the same thing with your left arm and right leg. Your goal is to do this continuously for 1 to 3 minutes, maintaining a tight brace the entire time.
Practice these lower back workouts twice a week, and before you know it, your lower back will be bulletproof!