Our tendency to sit for long periods of time doesn't always result in lower back pain, but it often plays a role in those who struggle with the issue. Chronic lower back pain affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Due to the complexity of the back, many different ranges of motion can cause pain. Not only does this affect your fitness routine, but also your everyday life.
Those who experience pain often turn to stretching, which can provide comfort, but isn't always the solution. In addition to stretching, there are exercises you can do to relieve back pain. Travis Uriarte, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at Athletic Physical Therapy in California, recommends trying four exercises to help strengthen the connected muscles and resolve the issue.
Note: Each exercise can be counted for repetitions (10 to 15 each side) or for time (1 to 2 minutes).
Deadbug1 of 8
Before you perform the full deadbug exercise, practice it in three separate progressions.
In the first progression, start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent, feet on the ground and arms straight in the air. Alternate your arms up and down, keeping them straight and bringing them about six inches from the floor on the way down.
Keep your core braced throughout the exercise. Pretend like you're getting ready for a punch to the midsection.
Deadbug Part 22 of 8
For the second progression, lift your knees to about 90 degrees. Continue to alternate your arms up and down.
Deadbug Part 33 of 8
Once you master the modified versions of the deadbug, advance to the final progression by simultaneously bringing your opposite leg down with each arm.
Attempt to fully straighten your leg and hold it about six inches above the ground at the bottom of the movement. Pause for a count before alternating sides.
Clams4 of 8
Lie on your side with your core gently braced. Keep your feet together and spread your knees apart in a controlled motion.
Concentrate on engaging your glutes—make an effort to really feel them working throughout the exercise.
Note: For an advanced variation, try the exercise with a resistance band around your knees.
Bird-Dog5 of 8
Perform this exercise in two progressions. In the first progression, start on your hands and knees. Lift one arm straight out in front of you with your core braced, similar to the deadbug.
Return your arm to the starting position in a controlled motion and alternate sides.
Bird-Dog Part 26 of 8
Once you master the modified version of the bird-dog, try incorporating your legs.
To perform the full exercise, simultaneously lift your opposite leg with each arm. At the top of the movement, attempt to straighten the lifted limbs and form a straight line from the lifted heel to the opposite hand.
Child's Pose7 of 8
Start on your hands and knees with your knees pushed outward. Sit back toward your heels and stretch your arms forward. Let your head rest on the floor.
Take deep breaths and try to feel the sides of your stomach push into your thighs as you inhale. Hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths and repeat for 3 to 5 repetitions.