One of the most common "aches and pains" that people attribute to aging, is lower back pain. In reality however, it has less to do with "getting older" and more to do with inadequate posture, poor core training, and improper form when training at the gym. It's a condition called Lordosis. People with relatively sedentary lifestyles who begin to experience lower back pain as they age assume it's the aging process, when it's more likely a cause of their day to day activities (or lack thereof). Exercises for Lower Back Pain and Lordosis can get you started on your journey to better posture and muscular balance.
What is Lordosis?
The spine is responsible for keeping the body upright, and it has 3 natural curves:
1. The Cervical Curve which refers to the neck area to the upper back.
2. The Throacic Curve compromises the majority of the back.
3. The Lumbar Curve supports the lower back.
Lordosis (lôrˈdōsis) by definition is the excessive inward curvature of the spine. This can result in the lower back pain that you may be feeling, either from lifestyle issues such as sitting for hours in front of your computer, and/or muscular imbalance. The causes can be due to tight muscles and weak muscles. The Erector Spinae muscles run on either side of your spine at the lower back. If the erector spinae and the hip flexor muscles are too tight, this can cause lower back pain. It's pretty common for people that sit at a desk for hours at a time.
Your glutes (butt) and abs are the antagonist to the muscle groups I just mentioned. If these are weak, you have a muscle imbalance. One group of muscles is too tight and contracting, and the other group of muscles are too weak and not able to counter balance this pull. The result is an aching back, and likely Lordosis.
Exercises For Lower Back Pain and Lordosis
Get hooked up with Personal Trainer. You don't necessarily need to buy a month's worth of sessions, but it will help to have someone to show you proper form and technique.
- Squats are a great exercise to help you strengthen those glutes. Here's one of our most popular previous articles, Best Butt Exercises, which also has an exercise video demo: http://www.gympaws.com/workouts/leg-exercises/best-butt-exercises .
- Start including some basic abs exercises into your workout. We have a bunch of abs videos on YouTube.com/GymPaws but you can start with the V Ups Exercise for V Shaped Abs here: http://www.gympaws.com/v-ups-exercise
- The Cat Stretch is a great one to begin with. Get on all fours on the floor and as you exhale, allow your head to naturally drop down and arch your back up towards the ceiling.
- Stretch those hip flexors! Stand in front of a set of stairs and place one foot on the second step with your other foot behind you. Focus on pushing your upper body towards the floor and you should feel a good stretch in the front of your upper leg and hip. Do the same thing for the other side.
If you're feeling a bit of lower back pain, you don't want to let it go unattended because it could lead to more serious problems. Exercises for Lower Back Pain and Lordosis are easy to do and don't require any equipment or lots of room to do them! Make sure you talk with a fitness professional or Certified Personal Trainer if you have any questions or concerns.
Lordosis. (n.d.). Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Retrieved Nov 10, 2015, from cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Swayback-Lordosis.aspx