Fight lower back pain with strength training

Many of you have experienced or are currently experiencing lower back pain, whether minor or completely debilitating.

It may feel like little jerks in your glutes and legs, stiffness and difficulty getting started, or maybe even constant pain that won’t go away.

Although sometimes it’s a literal pain in the buttocks, many lower back pains can be treated with smart strength training. Not all exercises are right for everyone, and not all exercises are a cure.

However, there is general agreement that an exercise program that challenges the torso in various directions can build strength to help relieve pain.

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Here are some exercises to consider, after first checking with your healthcare provider to make sure you can try them:

dead bug — On your back, start with both arms extended straight up toward the ceiling, and your legs lifted and bent at a 90 degree angle at the hips and knees.

Extend the right arm fully back and the left leg forward, reaching a position parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, return to neutral and extend the opposite arm and leg.

This move should challenge your abdominal muscles.

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Deadlift with Dumbbells — Any deadlift can be your saving grace for lower back pain. I like to start by teaching the dumbbell deadlift.

Start with two dumbbells of the same weight in each hand, arms hanging by the side of your legs. Maintaining the position of your arms and a strong torso engagement, get into a squat position, chest out, shoulders back, and buttocks back.

Feel the weight in the center of your feet and keep your knees from collapsing. Stand up and perform the movement again.

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Side slits — Start straight, feet close together, toes pointing forward. With the left leg, take a step (about two feet) and drift your body to the left and down, again, toes forward and knee forward.

Your right leg should remain straight and the knee locked. Stand up and perform the movement in the other direction.

Try these three moves two to four times a week, and hopefully you’ll start to see progress on your back pain.

Lisa Hilinski is the owner of Premier Personal Training.

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Richard V. Johnson