Are you struggling to find the right strength exercises that don’t aggravate your lower back? Do you want to build strength in your hips and lower back, but not sure where to start?
Try resistance bands! Travel friendly and affordable, resistance bands are the perfect option for strengthening and stretching the muscles that cause lower back pain. Using natural, controlled force to work the muscles in the back and hips, resistance bands can increase flexibility, stability, and the overall strength of the lower back muscles, which means less pain, a stronger back and a happier you!
Our exercise physiologists suggest incorporating the exercises below in your workout routine:
Band Exercises – Low Back/Hip
Side-Lying: Clam Shells
- Lie on your side with hips and knees slightly bent.
- Secure band around thighs just above the knee, keeping hips directly above one another, and heels together.
- Rotate top leg so knee towards ceiling. Be careful to avoid using back to rotate.
Side-Lying: Hip Abduction
- Lie on your side with your legs extended and stacked on top of one another. Keep your head aligned with your spine, and your hips and shoulder aligned vertically to the floor. You may position your lower arm underneath head for support.
- Raise the top leg off the bottom leg (1 to 2 feet) while keeping the knee extended.
- Return to starting position and then repeat on the opposite side.
Supine: Straight Leg Raises
- Lie flat on the floor and place a short band around both ankles.
- Keep one leg on the floor and you lift the other against the band (1 to 2 feet). Keep your knees straight, back flat and core braced.
- Hold and slowly return to start.
- Lie flat on the floor and loop a band around knees with feet shoulder width apart.
- Lift rear off the mat while pushing knees outward toward the band.
- Hold and slowly return.
- Place your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your back flat and your abs engaged.
- Take a big deep inhale and exhale. On the exhale, round your spine up toward the ceiling, and imagine you are pulling your belly button up toward your spine, engaging your abs.
- Tuck your chin toward your chest, and let your neck release. This is your “cat” shape.
- On your inhale, arch your back and let your belly relax and loosen. Lift your head and tailbone up toward the sky – without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck. This is the “cow” portion of the pose.
- Continue flowing back and forth from Cat Pose to Cow Pose, and connect your breath to each movement – inhale for Cow Pose and exhale on Cat Pose.
- Add a band around your mid-back to increase difficulty.
Quadruped: Glute Kickbacks
- Place your hands and knees on the floor in a quadruped position. Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders, and your knees are underneath your hips.
- While keeping a neutral spine and a 90-degree angle at the knee, extend the hip and drive the heel towards the ceiling.
- Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
- Place your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders, and you knees are underneath your hips.
- Keeping your back flat and core engaged, simultaneously extend your left leg straight behind you and your right arm straight in front of you.
- Pause, and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat with your right leg and left arm. Do equal reps on both sides.
Plank: Band Pull-Throughs
- Position yourself in a plank position with the hands and feet shoulder width apart, or on your forearms.
- Place a band beneath your chest.
- Picking up the band with your right hand, place the band as far as you can below and past the left arm without losing body control.
- Return the right hand to its start position, and repeat this movement sequence using the left arm and moving the band to the other side. Keep your back as straight as possible, if you feel any discomfort in your lower back during this exercise, press your hips up higher.
Need some more workout ideas? We have you covered!