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7 Lower Back-Strengthening Exercises

Posted by Bryan Potok on

Strengthening the lower back muscles can help ease and even prevent lower back pain. The best way to strengthen these muscles, as well as the arm, core, and leg muscles, is through exercise.

 These seven exercises help strengthen prosthetic users' lower back muscles.

Furthermore, studies show that adding exercise to your daily routine relieves lower back pain because of increased blood flow and reduced stiffness.

You can start strengthening your lower back today with the seven exercise moves below. You can do these exercises while wearing your prosthetic limb to ensure alignment.

Bridges  

Bridges work our gluteus maximus, the large muscles of the buttocks. We engage this muscle when we move our hips, specifically when bending into a squat. You will need a mat for this exercise.

  • Lie on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Make sure to set your feet hip-width apart.

  • Place your arms at a diagonal by your sides for better support. Then press your feet into the floor.

  • With your shoulders firm on the mat, raise your hips. Make sure your body forms a line from the shoulders to the knees.

  • Lower your hips and can rest for a few seconds.

  • Repeat this move 15 times, resting for a minute between sets. Do three sets per session.

Lower-limb amputee performing a bridge exercise with his prosthetic leg.

Photo courtesy of Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

 

Cat-Cow Stretches  

Cat-cow stretches help lengthen the back and ease tension in the muscles. You can perform this stretch twice a day to diffuse any tension that tends to build up in your back muscles throughout the day. You will need a mat for this exercise.

  • Get onto your hands and knees. Knees should be hip-width apart.

  • Arch the back, pulling the belly button up toward the spine.

  • Slowly relax the muscles and allow the abdomen to sag toward the floor.

  • Then arch the back, sinking the spine to the floor.

  • Return to the starting position.

  • Repeat three to five times.

Cat-cow stretches help relieve tension in the back muscles.

 

Draw-In Maneuvers  

This move allows you to work on the transversus abdominis, the muscle on the abdomen's side and front. Strengthening this muscle stabilizes your lower back area and spine. You will need a mat for this exercise.

  • Lie on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms by the sides.

  • Take a deep breath.

  • When it's time to breathe out, pull your belly button toward the spine. While doing this, tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your hips still.

  • Hold this position for five seconds.

  • Repeat five times.

 

Spinal Twist

This exercise helps relieve tension in the trunk and lower back. You can do this twice a day to relieve any built-up stress in your back muscles throughout the day. You will need a mat for this exercise.

  • Lie on the mat with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.

  • Keep your shoulders firm on the floor, then gently roll both bent knees over to the left.

  • Hold this position for five to 10 seconds, then return to the center.

  • Gently roll your bent knees over to the right side, then hold. Return to the center.

  • Repeat two to three times on each side.

The spinal twist help ensure a healthy spine and a strong lower back.

Image courtesy of Gaia

 

Side-Lying Leg Lifts  

This move strengthens the hip abductor muscles, which support the pelvis. Keeping these muscles strong helps you maintain your balance and improve mobility. You will need a mat for this exercise.

  • Lie on your left side with your legs stacked on top of the other but keep your lower leg slightly bent.

  • Engage your core by drawing your belly button into your spine.

  • Raise the top leg off the floor. Make sure to keep it extended and straight. If this is too much for you, you can keep your top leg in line with your hips.

  • Hold the position for two seconds. Repeat this move ten times.

  • Turn onto your right side and repeat the leg lifts with your right leg.

  • Perform three sets on each side.

Side-lying leg lifts help amputees keep their back strong.

Image courtesy of Popsugar

 

Seated lower back rotational stretches  

This move strengthens the lower back and works the core muscles, thereby helping relieve lower back pain. This stretch can be done any time when seated, but we suggest keeping it to a maximum of twice a day. You will need a stool or chair without armrests if possible.

  • Sit on the chair and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.

  • Twist at the core to the right. Make sure to keep the spine tall and the hips square.

  • Position your hands behind your head or place your left hand on your right knee to stretch deeper.

  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then repeat the same move on your other side.

  • Repeat the move three to five times.

The seated lower back rotational stretches can relieve tension in the back muscles.

 

Supermans  

Strengthening your back extensors—the muscles that run along both sides of the spine—is essential to maintaining good posture. When your back extensors are weak, support for your pelvis and spine decreases, which can lead to lower back pain. Incorporating supermans in your exercise routine can help keep your back extensors strong. You will need a mat for this exercise.

  • Lie face down on the mat. Stretch out your arms and legs.

  • Lift both arms and legs off the floor. Aim to create a gap of about six inches above the floor. Stretch your limbs outward as far as possible.

  • Engage your core muscles by pulling in your belly button and lifting it off the floor if possible.

  • Keep your head straight and your gaze on the floor to avoid straining your neck.

  • Hold this position for two seconds, then return to the starting position.

  • Repeat ten times.

Incorporating supermans into your exercise routine will help strengthen the muscles at both sides of your spine.

Image courtesy of Calorie Bee

Do these exercises daily. You can also incorporate them into your workout routine. Remember, the key to a healthier lower back is in being consistent. This is when you'll see results.

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<a href="https://amputeestore.com/blogs/amputee-life/7-lower-back-strengthening-exercises-for-amputees">7 Lower Back-Strengthening Exercises</a>

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