Lumbar Back Pain
Lumbar Back Exercises
When I was in high school, I was a member of the ski club and in preparation for the upcoming ski season we would start to do a wide range of exercises to prepare the body. Now that we are heading into winter here in the North East, and my kids are a little older, I plan to teach them skiing this winter and so have decided to revive my high school tradition of preparing for ski season.
The one big change in the exercises from back then to now, is that now I am forty plus and the fitness routine which would generally only include strength training for the legs and core, now must include strength training for the lower back and lumbar spine as well. Yes, like the many millions of others who have crossed forty I too have to give my back some special TLC to ensure it’s good health and well being :-).
Lower back pain, specially in the lumbar region is much too common and one of the best types of exercise for this kind of pain and stiffness is Yoga. There are a wide range of yoga exercises for the back and at the end of this article I have listed a few of them for you. But for the ski training, I picked the one below specifically, because it has the additional benefit of working on the arms and shoulders, along with toning the lumbar back region. Here’s why…
If you have ever skied, you know that for beginners a lot of time is spent on your butt and one of the most frustrating aspects is trying to get up after you have wiped out :-). So, I picked Yoga Bridge Pose, as it not only works on your lower back, but it is also great for strengthening your arms and shoulders. This strength is very helpful in the beginning, as a lot of arm and shoulder strength is needed to get up while slipping down the hill on your backside. In addition, this pose also increases the flexibility of your back, hips, shoulders, feet and ankles, and the health of all these regions is key to the sport of skiing.
So below is the pose for October that we can do together. And whether you are preparing to ski or not, this is a great exercise for your body, back and health. You will find the other poses we have been doing monthly in the series list below and feel free to browse that list, as it has some great poses in it as well.
I have included for you both illustrations of Yoga Bridge Pose for Lower Back, as well a more recent video I created of this pose. For full details of the pose and how to practice it, please visit the following article – More Free Yoga Postures – Yoga for Strengthening Back.
Please note there are several variations to bridge pose and some are great for beginner’s while others are suitable only for advanced practitioners. Find the level that suits you and build up from there. With any exercise that targets the back, especially the lumbar region, it is important to be cautious.
YouTube Video –> Yoga Bridge Posture for Lumbar Back Strength
Bridge Pose for Lower Back and Shoulders
Illustrations of Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose for Lower Back Full – Illustration #1
Advanced Bridge Pose Illustration #2
Free Yoga Posture – Easy Bridge Pose Variation – Illustration #3
Yoga Bridge Pose for Strong Lower Back:
A. How to Do Bridge Pose:
- For full bridge pose posture place your hands directly under your shoulders and stretch your legs forwards.
- Then raise your butt and torso up off the ground have it make a straight line all the way through to the top of your head (Illustration #1).
- Hold this posture and you will feel it working your arms, shoulders, lumbar region and hamstrings.
- Advanced Yoga Bridge Posture – Illustration #2: For the advanced position raise one leg up and keep it straight, while balancing yourself on the other leg. Switch legs to complete one round. This pose will be tougher on the lower back and hamstrings, and only practice it when you feel ready.
- Beginner’s Yoga Bridge Posture – Illustration #3: For the easy Bridge Pose posture have your knees bent at 90 degrees and your arms directly under your shoulders. Try to keep you torso up to really target your lower back region.
- Bridge Pose with Movement Variation: A great variation to Bridge Pose, to really work on strengthening you arms, back and legs, go up and down while in the easy or full Bridge Pose posture. I and my students really enjoy this variation. I think I will include in the ski training as well.
More Exercises for Lumbar Spine and Lower Back:
As Promised here are a list of some more excellent exercises to help strengthen the lower back and alleviate back pain in the lumbar region.
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