Strengthen your core and lower body with this routine so that you can help reduce chronic pain. This routine is ideal for completing at home. If you start now and do it daily or every second day you will feel a massive improvement in the health of your back.
There are many reasons why a person could be experiencing back pain. However, it usually comes down to pushing too hard at the gym, not exercising enough or a previous injury. If you experience a trauma to the back at some point in your life then it’s also easy to assume that you shouldn’t exercise or strengthen much in case you make it worse. Unfortunately, doing nothing will only make it worse. Your back and core muscles need regular strengthening to support your body in daily activities.
Lower back pain is very common. In fact, 80 percent of American adults suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. According to the American Chiropractic Association, there are about 31 million people currently struggling with back pain. Apparently, back pain is the third most common reason people visit the doctor. It is also the second leading cause of missing work.
There’s a long list of reasons why your back might be hurting. It can be the result of a sprain or strain. Or, you might have a herniated disc or fracture. In that case, you need to seek the help of a doctor. But most of the time, the culprits include daily habits like poor posture, slouching while seated at your desk, and lugging a heavy purse on one shoulder. The main reason is not taking the time to strengthen your body. Instead of pills or surgery, the solution is exercise.
Strengthen Your Body With Pilates
One of the best forms of exercise to strengthen your body is Pilates. This is because Pilates focuses on engaging the transverse abdominis which is the lower ab muscle. This is key to performing exercises in proper form. Even exercises you may not associate with the core like squats and lunges. You need to strengthen your core to have a strong body overall.
You may or may not complain of an aching back every time you try squats or lunges. But if you focus on pulling your navel in towards the spine throughout each exercise. You will be able to do the squats and lunges without any pain at all.
Depending on your situation you can get in some decent Pilates exercises at home or at a class. Due to the current situation, we’re probably going to have to go with the home option. Practicing these low-impact routines can help ease back pain and prevent it. Pilates focuses on exercises that strengthen the core. It is also an evidence-based rehabilitation method for treating low back pain. Instructors explain that Pilates offers so many options to access your core muscles for all different fitness levels, ages, and body types. It also combines deep breathing and short, precise movements that strengthen your deep abdominal and back muscles.
Here are a few Pilates moves that target various parts of your core:
How to do them: Lie on your stomach with your arms extended, your head and neck lifted off the floor. At the same time, lift opposite leg and arm, hold for a moment, and return them back to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
What they work: Every time you tilt, twist, or arch your back, you engage your multifidus. This is a series of tiny muscles that are attached to the spinal column and stabilize the vertebrae. Doing exercises to strengthen them to keep them limber is vital.
How they help your back: Exercises that start from a stomach-down position like Swimmers fire up the multifidus so that it supports your spine better.
How to do them: Start on your stomach, propping your upper body onto your forearms, toes pressed into the mat. Draw your abs in and use your core to press your knees up into a forearm plank position. Reverse the movement, using your abs to control your knees back down, then your stomach, to the starting position.
What they work: The transversus abdominis (TVA) are in the deepest part of your abdominals. They wrap horizontally across your lower abdomen to keep internal organs in place and support the spine. Unlike flashier obliques and upper abs, a sculpted TVA might not transform the look of your waistline. However, research shows it can improve how your lower back feels.
How they help your back: Plank variations like plank singles strengthen the lower back. This reduces the strain on your back by forcing your deep core muscles to do all the work.
How to do them: Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms at your side. Lift your butt off the ground to create a straight line from your knees down to your shoulders, making sure to keep your core tight and not to arch your lower back. Return to the starting position.
What they work: You need to strengthen your pelvic floor because it helps stabilize your pelvis when you move. As we age or when we give birth, your pelvis stretches out. This means it can’t support your organs and their functions with full strength. Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to incontinence, painful sex, and even back pain.
That’s why you need to complete pelvic floor exercises to strengthen and isolate these often-neglected muscles.
How they help your back: This move uses gravity to take the pressure off the pelvic floor while strengthening it at the same time.
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees lifted to create a 90-degree angle in your legs, head and shoulders lifted off the mat. Press your core muscles into the mat, pulse your arms up and down in a small motion. The goal is to do 100 total pulses, but if you’re just starting out, try 50!
What it works: The hundred does wonders for your diaphragm. The way you breathe affects how well your muscles work. Every exercise allows you to breathe differently. But proper Pilates breathing techniques enable the diaphragm to activate and strengthen its neighboring stabilizing muscles in your core. Using the same breathing techniques in daily lifting activities also helps make you more mindful of how your body moves so you reduce the risk of injuring your back.
How it helps your back: This traditional Pilates movement balances both inhales and exhales so your diaphragm can efficiently engage the muscles that support the spine, lowering the risk of injury.
Not only will Pilates help you strengthen your core muscles, but it’ll also boost your mental well-being. It gives you the chance to focus on your breathing so you can feel more aware of your body. There is a meditative quality to Pilates, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. Studies also show that expert meditators have a thicker cortex that is associated with lower pain sensitivity. So practicing mindful meditation regularly will lead to enhancing parts of the brain that directly affect pain perception.
Better yet, anybody can do these exercises no matter your age or fitness level. This is why Pilates is a great way to strengthen your body, core, back and prevent injuries.
Tracking every step towards your ‘goals’ is the only way to stay focused, so you can achieve your goals. Right? Well, not necessarily. It could be making you crazy.
A one-month workout routine to strengthen your core and relieve back pain. NBC NEWS. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/one-month-workout-routine-strengthen-your-core-relieve-back-pain-ncna1126856
4 Best Pilates Exercises to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain. Prevention. https://www.prevention.com/fitness/workouts/a31260456/pilates-for-lower-back-pain/