There are two major types of lower back pain: chronic and acute. Acute or short-term back pain occurs for only a couple of days or weeks, whereas chronic or long-term back pain occurs for at least 12 weeks. About 8% of all adults in the United States experience chronic lower back pain.
A persistent lack of lower back strength may prevent a person from completing daily activities, thus reducing their quality of life. In fact, researchers suggest that back pain is the main cause of absences from work globally.
3 benefits of doing lower back exercises during your weight training sessions
According to research, lower back weight exercises are associated with more reduced pain levels compared to common exercises such as walking or running. Here are three potential benefits of strengthening the lower back with lower back body weight exercises:
- Improved mobility — Improved mobility stems from loosening the tendons and ligaments in the back.
- Improved posture — Weight training exercises have a goal of increasing the strength of the transversus abdominis, which facilitates proper posture.
- Lower likelihood of future back pain and injuries — Engaging in weight training exercises is associated with a lower likelihood of future back pain and injuries, as such exercises may increase back muscle strength and flexibility.
5 lower back exercises to try during your weight training sessions
Here are five lower back exercises you could use to strengthen and support your lower back muscles during your weight training session:
- Bird-dog — The bird-dog is a lower back exercise that targets the gluteal muscles and the back extensor muscles. You can do it with your body weight or with a combination of wrist and ankle weights. The back extensor muscles are on the back of the spine, and they ensure your ability to bend and lift items.
To perform the bird-dog exercise, you need to get on your hands and knees, tighten your abdominal muscles, stretch out your right arm in front of your body, and then stay in that position. Then, slowly stretch out your left leg behind your body and stay in that position for 15 seconds. Next, slowly go back to being on your hands and knees and repeat the steps using the opposite sides. This process should be repeated five times. If using wrist and ankle weights, strap them on before you start the exercise.
- Glute bridge — Researchers associate weakened gluteus maximus muscles with lower back pain. The glute bridge is a lower back weight exercise that targets the gluteus maximus, the largest of the gluteal muscles. This muscle is activated when you sit up from a squat.
Performing a glute bridge involves lying on your back, bending your knees, and placing your feet on the floor and your arms on the sides of your body. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your hips above the floor so that there is a straight line from the shoulder to the knee. Stay in that position for two seconds and then go back to the beginning and repeat the steps 10 to 15 times. If this exercise is too easy to do with your body weight alone, you can hold a hand weight on your hips as you do it.
- Plank — The plank is a lower back weight training exercise that strengthens your core muscles. This lower back exercise may also facilitate the functioning of the quadratus lumborum, a back muscle from your rib to your pelvic bone.
Performing the plank involves stretching out and lying on your stomach while keeping your knees and forearms on the ground. Then, you should tighten your abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles. Next, lift your knees above the floor and stay in the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Finally, slowly go back to the beginning position and repeat the steps five times. You can increase the difficulty and weight used during this lower back exercise by wearing a weighted vest during your reps.
- Side plank — The side plank is a lower back weight training exercise that targets your quadratus lumborum, gluteus medius and tensor fascia lata. These muscles are key for having stable hips.
Performing a side plank involves lying on the right side, with your right leg bent a little. Your right arm should be below your shoulder, whereas your left arm should be stretched upward. If you want to use a hand weight, hold it in your left hand. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles and move your right hip and knee off the floor. You should stay in that position for 10 to 30 seconds. Then, start from the first position on the opposite side and repeat the steps five times.
- Abdominal draw-in — The abdominal draw-in is a lower back weight training exercise that targets your transversus abdominis, which is the abdominal muscle that ensures the stability of your spine.
Abdominal drawing-in is performed by lying on the back, bending the knees, and placing your arms next to the sides of your body. You should inhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for 10 seconds, and then exhale. Take a 10-second break and then repeat the steps 10 times.
REPAIR SI can help treat lower back pain with lower back weight exercises
In need of treatment — particularly lower back weight training exercises — to strengthen your lower back? At REPAIR SI, we offer a variety of services, from physical therapy to acupuncture to fitness training. Our team of licensed physical therapists can help treat lower back pain with lower back weight training exercises in both our physical therapy and fitness training programs.
Your treatment at REPAIR SI will focus on the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your life. We value whole-body treatment, which means that we approach your lower back weight training exercises with your whole wellness in mind, not just one problem area. This is why we’re working with our community to give you the services that you need.
You can count on REPAIR SI for high-quality care. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about lower back body weight exercises. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.