A surprising number of people, even young, suffer with lower back pain. Pregnancy, bad posture, sitting at a desk or in a vehicle all day or having bad form in the gym all contribute. If your lower back is a problem area, it can be hard to know which exercises will help and which will hinder, so here is a guide on the best ones for you. And don’t forget to always stretch, in particular your hips, glutes (bum) and hamstrings.
Squat yourself against a wall with your hips in line with your knees and your lower back and shoulders flat against the wall.
From a box position on your hands and knees, alternate extending the opposite arm and leg whilst keeping the lower back flat and your stomach pulled in.
Lie on your back with your hips feet-width apart and raise your bum and hips up as high as you can. Then roll the spine back down, landing your hips last before rising again.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands behind your head. With your knees slightly bent, tilt forward from the hip to a 90 degree angle, sliding your bum back, then rise back up to standing.
Lie on your front with your hands behind your head. Keep the feet on the floor and raise your chest and shoulders off the floor as high as is comfortable and lower back down. Squeezing the bum at the same time will support your lower back and also strengthen these muscles.
Lie on your back with your hips feet-width apart and tilt your pelvis up so that your back is flat on the floor. Then tilt back, pulling the hips towards you.
Start on your back with your hands out to the side and your knees in above your hips. Lower the legs to the floor on your right, then back to centre and then to your left. Keep alternating.
Full sit ups, leg raises, heavy weights, leaning over and up too quickly – or anything that causes pain.