How to strengthen lower back
My idiot back played up again over the weekend (happens from time to time), so I missed a workout/run session for the first time in weeks. Bit hacked off about that. The good thing is, today it's pretty much back to normal which I am sure is down to Deep Heat cream (I used Ralgex previously - useless for me at least). Usually when my back gets like that (at first, it was literally painful just to stand never mind run), I'd be out for a week at least (a few days of actual back problems, followed by a few days to let it recover properly), but this time round I used Deep Heat twice throughout the day - after the first application it was much improved, and as I said upon waking up today, I felt fine. So I'll be back out there tomorrow or Wednesday.
I'm pretty sure it was down to a certain hamstring exercise I've been doing on my machine - so I'm dropping that from the programme - it does put quite a bit of pressure on the lower back.
Speaking of back issues, what are the best exercises to do to strengthen the lower back so I can minimise these issues in future? I'm doing 'posture pull' that strengthens the lower back, but what other exercises could I do?
Thanks in advance for any help.
OK - so ab work and upper leg work then - if that's the case, good because I work on those areas every time I do a work out. Thanks for your reply.
Edit: Do you usually wait a few days after a back episode before running again, or do you run as soon as it actually feels better?
I'd give it a couple of days RR. Wednesday - easy jog out to see how it feels - any twinges turn for home.
It's particularly the transabs which support the low back - the lowdown ones. I've been loads better since taking up Pilates 2 years ago.
My physio calls then trans-abs: This from the LiveStrong Website (the first one when I googled trans-ab exercises.... sorry, I know what I mean
Trans Abdominal Exercises
When most people think of a nice set of abs, they are thinking of the rectus abdominal muscles. These are the "washboard" muscles that <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/running/" title="run">run</a> up and down the middle of your torso. But for good <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/health/" title="health">health</a> and support, you should work the entire group of core muscles, including the sides of your torso. The transverse abdominals begin just under your ribs and run along the side of your rectus abdominals into your pelvic area. Doing specific <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/general-fitness-exercises/" title="exercises">exercises</a> aimed at training the transverse abdominals can add to the strength of your abs.
The Wood Chop exercise requires either one hand weight or a medicine ball. The weight should give the intensity of a moderately hard feeling. To begin this exercise, kneel on one leg. Hold the weight above your head off to one side with both hands, so that your opposite arm is diagonally across your body. Slowly bring the weight down diagonally across your body to the opposing leg. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do both sides for a total of one to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
The Hay Bailer is the opposite movement as the Wood Chop. You are still kneeling and using just one weight gripped with both hands. This time, though, move the weight from the down position on one side to the opposing side's up position. Return to start and repeat on both sides for one to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
The Hip Rotation exercise may feel like it is more of a leg workout, but in fact, you are using your transverse abs to support your body. To begin this exercise, get into a pushup position with your hands and toes supporting your body off the ground with your chest facing the floor. To perform the exercise, lift one foot off the ground and bend your knee so it comes in toward your chest. Slowly move your bent knee across your torso, so that your inner thigh is close to touching your stomach. Then move it so that your hips rotate in the opposite direction, so that your outer thigh is facing the ceiling. Keep your back straight and do not allow your buttocks to sag during the movement. To make this exercise a little easier, assume a table top position with your bent knee supporting your weight instead of your toes. Perform one to three sets of 10 to 15 reps on each side.
The Trunk Rotation exercise will require either one hand weight or a medicine ball. To perform the exercise sit on the floor with your back straight, your shoulders back and your legs extended out in front of you. Grasp the weight with both hands and slowly rotate just your torso from side to side. Keep your pelvis straight and your legs still. For a harder version of this exercise, slightly bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor while performing the rotation. Try to do one to three sets of 10 to 15 reps per side.
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