All Posts tagged Low back exercises

‘abdominal hollowing’ technique

 Core stability training begins with learning to co-contract the TA and MF muscles effectively as this has been identified as key to the lumbar-support mechanism.

 To perform the TA and MF co-contraction, you must perform the ‘abdominal hollowing’ technique with the spine in the neutral position. Use the following guidelines: Start by lying on your back with knees bent. Your lumbar spine should be neither arched up nor flattened against the floor, but aligned normally with a small gap between the floor and your back. This is the ‘neutral’ lumbar position you should learn to achieve. Breathe in deeply and relax all your stomach muscles. Breathe out and, as you do so, draw your lower abdomen inwards as if your belly button is going back towards the floor. Pilates teachers describe this as ‘zipping up’, as if you are fastening up a tight pair of jeans. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds and stay relaxed, allowing yourself to breathe in and out as you hold the tension in your lower stomach area. Repeat 5-10 times. 

•It is absolutely vital that you perform this abdominal hollowing exercise correctly otherwise you will not recruit the TA and MF effectively. Bear in mind the following points:

Do not let the whole stomach tense up or your upper abdominals bulge outwards, as this means you have cheated by using the large rectus abdominus muscle (the six-pack) instead of TA.

Do not brace your TA muscle too hard; just a gentle contraction is enough. Remember it is endurance not max strength you are trying to improve.

Do not tilt your pelvis nor flatten your back, as this means you have lost the neutral position you are trying to learn to stabilise.

Do not hold your breath, as this means you are not relaxed. You must learn to breathe normally and maintain the co-contraction of TA and MF.

Use your fingers for biofeedback on either side of your lower abdomen to feel the tension in the TA muscle.

Once you have mastered abdominal hollowing lying on your back, practice it lying on your front, four-point kneeling, sitting and standing. In each position, get your lumbar spine into neutral before you perform the hollowing movement.

More

Low Back Pain Exercises

Press Up

Relax the buttock and abdomen; fully extend elbows and press up.

Hold for 3-4 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 3 sessions per day.

Piriformis Stretch

Lie on your back with knees bent. Cross one leg so the ankle rests across the opposite knee. If wanting an added stretch gentle move bent leg toward chest; hold stretch by holding leg under knee. Keep your back flat.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 1 time per set.
Two sets per side, per session.
Complete as often as needed daily.

Bridge Up & Down

Draw the stomach in and squeeze buttocks as tight as possible. Move the pelvis up and down. If you begin feeling pain in your lower back, pause and start the exercise over again.

Hold for 2 seconds.
Repeat until fatigue.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Opposite Arm/Opposite Leg (On All Fours)

Tighten stomach and raise right leg and opposite arm. Keep hips level and draw the abdomen in as tight as you can.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 30 to 50 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 2 sessions per day.

More

Low Back Exercises

Lower Trunk Rotation

Legs and thighs are raised to 90°: Rotate thighs and legs from side to side, keeping knees together. Keep abs tight.

Repeat 20 times per side, per session.
One set per session.
Complete one session per day.

Opposite Arm/Opposite Leg (On All Fours)

Tighten stomach and raise right leg and opposite arm. Keep hips level and stomach very tight and drawn in.

Hold for two breaths.
Repeat 30 to 50 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

One Leg Bridging

With legs bent, lift buttocks so hips are level and elevated. Then slowly extend one leg; keep thighs level and stomach tight.

Hold for :30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Deep Squat

Stand with feet shoulder/hip width apart. Squat deeply trying to keep heels on the floor. Keep head and chest up.

Build up to 50 squats per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

More