Ever suffer from back pain? A long day at work, heavy lifting, a new workout, an uncomfortable mattress, or even chores around the house can cause an aching back. You may feel like taking it easy, but staying active with back exercises will help relieve back pain and bring healing faster than rest.
If you’re prone to back aches and pains, these stretches are for you. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day of these simple exercises will stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as surrounding support muscles. And lucky for you, most of these exercises are done on the floor with little to no equipment needed. Repeat each exercise three times at least once a day.
The Orange County boot camp wants you to note that if you’ve suffered a back injury or have osteoporosis, consult with your physician prior to doing these stretches.
Lower Back Rotation
Get on the floor and lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. While keeping your shoulders against the floor, roll your knees over to the left side. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then bring your knees back up. Now roll your knees over to the right side and hold.
Knee to Chest
In the same position on the floor as the lower back rotation (on your back with knees bent), take both hands and reach down and grab your left knee. Pull it up toward your chest and hold it there for 20–30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Now pull the right knee up toward your chest and hold. Lastly, pull both knees at the same time and hold.
As a variation, work another back muscle by crossing your right knee over your left knee and raising your left knee toward your chest. Switch legs and repeat.
Another back exercise is the bridge. Again, start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Keep your head and shoulders on the ground and contract your abs and glute muscles. Raise your hips up toward the ceiling and hold this position for about 30 seconds and lower. Repeat.
Arch Like a Cat
On the floor, get on your hands and knees. Let your back and belly lower toward the floor. Slowly raise your abs toward the ceiling, making an arch with your back. You’ll look like a scared cat. Lower your abs down, and repeat several times.
Seated Lower Back Rotation
To do this exercise, get off the floor. Sit up straight in a chair with your right leg crossed over your left leg. With your left elbow against the outside of your right thigh, twist your torso and stretch toward the right side. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
This is a good back exercise to do several times during the day if you’re sitting at a desk for long periods of time.
Lower back pain is often caused by a tight hamstring muscle. Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring your left knee up to your chest, then straighten your left leg and lift your foot towards the ceiling. Lower your leg back down, and repeat with your right leg.
Another exercise that the boot camp in Orange County want you to do while sitting in a chair is a hamstring stretch. Sit on the edge of the chair, straighten one leg and lift your foot as high as you can.
Stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as your core and abdominals with the bird dog exercise. Get on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Point your fingers forward, and keep you back straight. Lift your left arm straight in front of you at the same time you lift and straighten your right leg behind you. Lower, and then raise your right arm and your left leg. Continue alternating sides.