These days there’s a lot of emphasis placed on working out the core – and with good reason! Toned abs, increased physical strength, improved flexibility, and better overall performance are all benefits that come from having a strong core. But for every front there’s also a back!
The lower back can be a forgotten area, but it’s equally important. Regardless of fitness level, lower back training offers a number of benefits for men and women alike. Working out your lower back on a regular basis can help prevent injury, ease lower back pain, improve your posture and – at the same time – contribute to sculpting the flat, toned abdominal area that everyone wants to achieve.
What exercises can I do to benefit my lower back?
Lower back exercises can involve a combination of fitness regimes and equipment that include using your own body weight, weight lifting and stretching. With that in mind, here are three lower back exercises Future Fitness fitness trainers recommend:
- Using Your Own Body Weight: The Supported Squat
This exercise is not only good for the lower back and abs, but also for the entire core of the body. Place your back against a straight wall and slowly lower yourself into a controlled crouch while keeping the abs and back muscles tight. Repeat this up to 10 times for a number of sets. The squat can be even more of challenge by adding a weight bar and not using a wall for support, but it works the core. Be careful to starting out and don’t over extend your self by adding to much weight.
- Weight Lifting: The Deadlift
Find the appropriate amount of weight, preferably in the form of a dumbbell. Holding a dumbbell the dumbbell in front of you, stand with legs slightly flexed and feet at hips-length. Position the dumbbell at the front of your hip and lower it toward your shin while keeping your abs engaged. Try not to bend your legs too much, but don’t lock them either. Do several sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
- Stretching: Yoga – Cat-Cow Sequence
Begin on your hands and knees. Position your shoulders should be directly over your wrists and make sure your hips directly over your knees. Inhale and slowly arch your back into cat pose, lifting the chest up and away from the belly and extending your tailbone toward the ceiling. On the exhale round the back into cow pose, gently contracting the belly. Repeat six times, increasing your range of motion. When complete bring the chest down to rest on the thighs in child’s pose.
Like most muscle groups there are multiple ways to work the lower back out. The three we list here are just the start! If you’d like to learn more suggestions for working out your lower back, talk to a Future Fitness personal trainer who can make specific recommendations based that complement your own personal fitness level and objectives.