Fitness and Workout Routines

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Back Pain Exercises

You can minimize low back pain with exercises that strengthen your hamstrings, abdominals, back, hips and thighs. Do not progress into any strengthening program until you have prepared your body aerobically for approximately 12 weeks. This prepares your body for the demands of a strength-training program. To achieve this aerobic/cardiovascular condition commit to recreational activities like swimming, walking, jogging, hiking or cycling.

Before beginning any strengthening and flexibility program you should warm up your muscles with slow rhythmic exercises for a total of 10 minutes. For example, walk indoors or outdoors at your home. Ensure you are breathing during all exercises i.e. exhale on exertion and inhale back to starting position.

Exercises to Strengthen your lower back:

Phantom Chair Squats (strengthen legs, back, hips):

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your back facing the chair. Unlock your knees and tilt your pelvis back place your hands on your waist. Bring yourself almost into a seated position on the chair but don’t allow yourself to physically touch the chair. Ensure that your knees are inline with your ankles in this squat position preventing your knees from passing your toes (less strain on your knee ligaments). Then bring yourself back into a standing position. Repeat 5 to 10 repetitions.

Prone Leg Raises (strengthen hips, back):

Lie on your stomach with your hands by your side or below chin and tighten the muscles in one leg and lift that leg approximately 2 inches from the floor. Hold for 5 secs then release lifted leg to the floor. Repeat on the other leg. Complete 5 repetitions on each leg.

Supine Leg Raises (strengthen abdominals, hips):

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides keep one leg straight and one leg in a bent knee position with that foot on the floor. Squeeze the muscles in your straight leg and lift that leg approximately 50 degrees from the floor and hold for 3 seconds and release that leg to the floor. Repeat 5 repetitions then change legs.

Partial Sit Up (strengthen abdominals):

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor and reach with both hands toward your knees. Exhale and release back to the floor. Make sure your chin is off your chest and your eyes are towards the sky or ceiling. Repeat ten times.

Stretch for the Low Back:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your knees toward your chest. Place both hands under your knees and gently pull your knees as close as possible to your chest. Do not raise your head. Do not straighten your legs as you lower them. Go back to a bent knee position with your feet flat on the floor. Start with five repetitions.

Stretch for your Abdominals:

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your hands below your chest with your elbows tucked beside you. Keeping your legs straight. Gently lift your head and chest off the floor allowing your upper bodyweight to be on your bent elbows. Feel your abdominals lengthen. Hold for 5 secs and release. Repeat 5 repetitions.

You may complete these exercises every other day. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength-training exercises 2 to 4 times per week.

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