Dealing with new or chronic pain and stiffness in your lumbar spine? At Onward Atlanta, we specialize spinal mobilization/manipulation and treatment of a variety of low back pain cases. It is important to identify whether the root cause of your pain is a mobility, stability, and/or strength issue. For those who lack good low back mobility exercises: these drills can help improve your motion and get you moving again!
Low Back Mobility – Press Up
For those who may sit often during the day, have tight hip flexors, or perhaps feel stiff in standing (amongst many other possible situations!), adding prone press ups into your mobility program may be just what you need! Perform this gentle range of motion with hips maintaining contact on the ground. Slowly press up into extension in a painfree range. Repeat this motion trying to increase range slightly with each repetition. Allowing the spine to get this nice gently pumping action to the muscles, discs, and joints provides a good flush of “nutrients” to these structures. Think “motion is lotion!”
Quadruped Rock to Down Dog
If you’re like me, you may deal with tight hamstrings and fear the dreaded downdog. This variation of the downdog is AWESOME for working on lumbar flexibility and posterior chain (hamstrings, calves) lengthening as a more active mobility exercise.
Side Lying Lumbar Rotations
Working on low back mobility exercises includes adding in rotary movements. Functionally, we’re constantly rotating our spine, whether to look over our shoulder or perform complex athletic movements. So, we want to focus on continued injury prevention! This mobility exercise is great for working through low back and thoracic mobility, as well as a good myofascial stretch through commonly tight tissues (i.e. pectoral and lat muscles). Try these out either on a mat on the floor, or progress to on a bench to get deeper into the stretch.
Reverse Hypers on GHD
Maybe it’s not a weak core. Maybe it’s a weak back. Gaining new mobility is great, but we cannot neglect a huge key component: strength. If your gym does not have a GHD machine, this movement can also be replicated on a stable table with legs extended like shown below and/or on a sturdy bench with knees bent to allow for full range of motion at the lumbopelvic region.
With new mobility equals new responsibility. In order to build upon, maintain, and prevent further injury in our backs, it is incredibly important to build a stronger back. You may have often heard that core strength is the key to eliminating your back pain. And while there is definitely a place for this, we cannot ignore major key muscle groups of our lumbar column. A stronger back means more resiliency, less risk of future injury, and increased ability to maximize your performance and stay painfree.
I often prescribe the Jefferson curl for a host of reasons: One of the biggest reasons is because we are able to work both strength and mobility at the same time. With the Jefferson curl, be sure to emphasize slow and controlled movement throughout. Check out this video below for narration of how to perform the Jefferson Curl by @thebarbellphysio.
Need a more individualized assessment and treatment plan to finally unlock your lower back or additional low back mobility exercises? Our team in Alpharetta, GA specializes in low back pain physical therapy. We’d love to get you on the path to better freedom of movement! Schedule here today!