Fitness Friday! Exercises for lower back problems

Pre and postnatal fitness experts Melinda and Elizabeth of Baby Boot Camp Los Angeles (Culver City and Marina Del Rey) answer your workout questions!  Leave a reply or email your question.  Today, we answer Maggie’s question:  

Q.  “My lower back gets strained every few weeks because of the baby. What kind of exercises can I do at home (while watching the baby) to solve this problem? Thanks.”

– Maggie

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Strengthening your abdominal muscles is the most important thing you can do for your lower back. The core muscles support balance and a stable foundation for daily activities. A strong core reduces the risk of low back pain and helps maintain good posture. With a strong core you are able to move more efficiently, whether it is with daily activity or exercising. Remember, when leaning forward, lifting or lowering always bend at the knees, and do not twist.

Listed below are some great exercises you can do at home to strengthen your core.  The key with all of these exercises is that they are done slowly and controlled.

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Cat/Cow

Start on your hands and knees, in tabletop position, knees under your hips and wrist under shoulders. On exhale round your spine and hold for 5 seconds. On inhale arch your back and hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat 5-10 times. 

Pelvic Tilt

Lie on the ground with knees bent, feet parallel, with arms out to the side. Tighten lower abdominal muscles, pulling the navel and lower back toward the floor (do this without the use of the buttocks or leg muscles)
Hold for 5 seconds 5-10 repetitions. 

Transverse Abdominal

Start in Pelvic Tilt position; lift the right leg up to a 90-degree angle, until the calf is parallel to the floor. Slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat on other side. Make sure your back does not come off the ground.
5-10 repetitions.

Prone Arm/Leg Raises

Lie on your stomach keeping neck in line (looking face down), with straight legs and arms outstretched overhead. Slowly raise and lower each arm and leg, one at a time. Do 5 repetitions on each limb. Work alternating limbs, by lifting the right arm and the left leg at the same time.
Do 5 repetitions. Change to work reverse pair.

Relevant Links

Check out Baby Boot Camp Class at Helms Bakery! Don’t forget your first class is FREE!

Click here to read about my first Strollfit class

Trainer Bios:  Melinda and Elizabeth

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