Hello. Informative blog coming up. I’ve tried not to be dry and dull.

This blog is aimed at anyone who suffers regularly from an ache in the lower back area caused mostly by incorrect posture when seated too long (at a desk or in a car) or from lack of exercise. It is intended as a guide to help you strengthen muscles at home. It is not intended as a replacement for any treatment you think you might need. If you have constant chronic back pain, then you must consult a medical professional .  (Serious hat on there, did you notice?).

If you have a constant niggle in your lower back, it is possible that the surrounding muscles are weak and need strengthening. These muscles, when strengthened, will contract round the spine and support your lower back.

The video below shows me demonstrating 4 very simple exercises to strengthen a) your glutes (that’s your buttocks) and b) your deep and superficial abdominal muscles. If your glutes are stronger,  then your pelvis is better supported. If your abs are stronger, then your spine is better supported.

The exercises are nothing new and they are very basic, you might even describe them as boring. However put put together, they will work, so it’s up to you which is the more irritating…..having the chore of exercises or suffering with lower back discomfort.

Doing all 4 exercises will take less than 10 minutes per day.  Come on, you spend three times that looking at your phone.

Please watch the very short video. These are accompanying notes in the same order as the video. If any of the exercises are painful (in the wrong way) then omit them.

HIP RAISES

Dead easy to do. Lift your hips off the ground and squeeze the buttocks at the top of the move for a couple of seconds. When you return to the floor, don’t rest, just lift up again. Do it with control, not speed. THINK about the muscles you are working. Aim for 10-20 reps.

PLANK

Pick your level and time yourself. Aim for 10 seconds at first and slowly build it up. When you can do 30-40 seconds, then take one knee off the floor.  Try and absorb the effort of holding the position in your stomach, rather than on your knees and elbows. Continue with the progressions as shown but stick with what is doable without pain.

ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES

Do them slowly. Breathe easily and regularly, exhale going up, inhale going down. Touch your head down on the floor between reps, but don’t rest it. Think about driving your ribs towards your hips and ‘crushing’ your abs together in concertina-style. Keep your spine still, no tilting. Aim for 10-20 good reps, then progress to the next level if you can, but go slowly.

SINGLE LEG EXTENSIONS

This is the most demanding exercise in this list. When you extend the leg it is very important to exhale and sink all the stomach muscles downwards towards the floor (not the spine, just the muscles). Bit like you might brace them if someone is about to kick a football in your stomach. As one does.  You may only be able to do 2 on each leg at first. Then rest and do another 2 on each leg. THINK about your abdominal muscles when you do it, not your legs. The lower you take your leg, the harder it is for your abdominals.

It does take a bit of gumption and willpower to put time aside to do these. But 10 minutes every day will reap rewards.

I hope you find them useful.

Annie
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