The lower back is one of the most important parts of the human body. Studies show that a person who suffers an acute back injury is over 60% more likely to experience a second and subsequent incident, especially in the first year. Studies also show that for those who do back exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles, the risk of recurrence drops by around 50%.
For this reason, workouts for the lower back become increasingly important, both for the prevention of back injuries and also to decrease the likelihood of a recurrence.
Reasons for Lower Back Pain
Some of the initial causes of stress on the lower back include poor posture, lack of physical fitness, inactivity, heavy lifting without using proper lifting techniques and a person being overweight. Smoking has also been found to have effects on back health.
The lower back is subject to many forces of strain which can result in pain. The lower back area of the body supports all of the upper body weight and the spine can experience degeneration of the spinal discs. Once these gel-like discs start to break down with age or pressure, they can bulge causing them to lean onto the spine. This causes the brain to receive pain signals which will be felt as back pain.
Best Workouts to Strengthen the Lower Back
Exercise is not the only option for preventing back pain. Good posture, correct lifting techniques and maintaining an acceptable body weight will all help. Swimming and yoga can also have a positive effect on lower back strength. Regular exercises should be performed to strengthen low back muscles. 2-3 times a week is considered optimal for the following exercises.
- Stand like a runner getting ready to begin a race. Bend your knee so that you move forward and the head is over the knee area. Lower yourself so that the other knee can touch the ground. This exercise should be repeated in sets of 10.
- Lie face down on the floor and place your hands level with your chest on the ground. Slowly push your chest up and hold the position for a few seconds. Lower your chest to the ground again. This exercise should be repeated in sets of 10.
- Lie on the floor on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat. Lift the chest area off the ground without elevating your hips. Straighten one leg and hold the stretch. Then change to the other leg. Now place your hands on your knee and pull your knee toward your chest area. Keep your other leg stretched out while you pull your knee towards you. A minimum 10 sets of leg raising should be completed in each session.
Will Fat Reduction Help?
Anyone who is overweight is definitely placing more strain on their lower back than is normal. Fat reduction through diet control and regular exercise is a great way to ensure the strain on this area of the body is kept to an absolute minimum.
Embracing workouts for the lower back can definitely help to reduce the chances of a recurrence of a back injury or help to prevent one in the first place. If you are overweight, you should also focus on fat reduction. Fat loss, combined with regular exercises such as those listed above, will go a long way to strengthening lower back muscles and ensuring the lower back is able to cope with any strains placed on it.