This week we have a special blog post from Glenwood City trainer and wellness coach Sandy Kopecky. Sandy regularly works with people to not only increase their strength and endurance but also to help stabilize shoulders, low backs, necks and more. This blog post focuses on ways to stabilize the back and she shares 3 simple exercises she recommends to reduce back pain.
Back Pain….Here are my Top Three Back Exercises that I use in my Training Classes with great success. Remember the point of these three is not to get stronger, but to build endurance and control of your spine.
This exercise involves the core muscles, back muscles and even the glutes!
~~To start get on the floor on your hands and knees in a quadruped position. Make sure that your back is relatively flat.
~~Raise your left arm forwards and at the same time extend your right leg straight back.
~~Raise your arm and leg until they are in line with your torso. To increase activation of your back muscles even more during this exercise, you can clench the fist of the arm you’re raising,
~~I suggest start with 1- 20 sec hold and switch to the other side and repeat. If you feel sharp pain in back drop leg slightly.
2. Child’s Pose (this is one of my favorites)
There are so many benefits to this…it helps relieve stress, stretches the hips and thighs….Plus Child pose gently stretches the low back, massages and tones the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion and elimination. ***Not recommended if you have severe knee injuries or if you are in your third trimester of pregnancy.***
~~Begin on all fours. Exhale and lower the hips to the heels and forehead to the floor. Have the knees together or if more comfortable, spread the knees slightly apart.
~~The arms can be overhead with the palms on the floor, the palms or fists can be stacked under the forehead, or the arms can be along side the body with the palms up.
~~Breathe slowly and deeply, actively pressing the belly against the thighs on the inhale.
~~Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.
~~To release: place the palms under the shoulders and slowly inhale up to a seated position.
3. Seated Knee to Chest Stretch
This is especially helpful for those that cannot get on the floor AND for the office workers sitting all day.
~~While sitting in a chair (please make sure the chair is stable), raise one knee as if you are marching until you can reach it with your hands.
~~Use both hands to pull the bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the lower back and back of the hip.
~~Your hands can be on top of your knee or behind your knee for comfort.
~~Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times on each side.
Changing positions, taking breaks, and walking are still great ways to relieve strain, but performing the stretches explained in this article will improve your flexibility and may help reduce your risk for back pain….and of course scheduling adjustments with Dr. Austin will help keep your back pain free.
Sandra Kopecky: Personal Trainer/Wellness Mindset Coach
Sandy’s Health & Wellness Studio