Dr. Corey Hillman, DPT
Low back sore? Try these 3 Exercises
Updated: Apr 26
Spring is here in the Triad and it's time to get outdoors and be active! Whether you're taking up gardening, playing tennis, or just going for a walk on one of our awesome greenways, it's important to take care of your body, especially your low back.
This time of year I often have clients visiting the office with an onset of lower back/hip pain particularly if its been a while since they've done the activity in question (Full Disclosure I too had a couple days of soreness after trying to run the other week!)
Low back soreness is a common issue that can arise from being active, but the good news is that there are exercises you can do to help improve your low back mobility and reduce soreness. Here are 3 of my favorite lower back mobility exercises if you're feeling a bit sore or stiff:
The cat-cow stretch is a simple and effective exercise for improving low back mobility. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling, creating a "cow" shape. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin towards your chest, creating a "cat" shape.
Repeat this movement for 10-15 repetitions, focusing on the smooth and controlled movement of your spine.
Bear Plank Hip Extensions-
The bear plank hip extension exercise is a challenging and effective way to target the muscles in your core, glutes, and hips. To perform this exercise, start in a bear plank position, which is similar to a standard plank, but with your knees hovering just above the ground.
From this position, lift your right leg off the ground and extend it straight behind you, while simultaneously lifting your left arm off the ground and extending it straight in front of you. Keep your hips level and your core engaged as you hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting bear plank position.
Repeat this movement with your left leg and right arm, and continue alternating sides for 10-15 repetitions.
Supine Hip Shift
The supine hip shifts exercise is a simple yet effective way to target the muscles in your hips and glutes. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
Next, lift your hips off the ground so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Keep your core engaged and your shoulder blades pressing into the ground to maintain a stable position.
From this position, shift your hips slightly to the left, then back to center, and then to the right. As you perform the movement, focus on keeping your hips level and your core engaged, and avoid any twisting or rotating of your body.
Repeat this movement for 10-15 repetitions, or as many as you can while maintaining good form.
While low back soreness if uncomfortable, it doesn't have to hold you back from enjoying the springtime activities you love. By incorporating these three exercises into your routine, you can improve your low back mobility and reduce the risk of soreness. Remember to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort. If you're in the Greensboro, NC areas and would like more guidance on how to keep your lower back and hips feeling great this spring, reach out and schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Hillman and let's ensure you can enjoy this amazing time of year!
Dr. Corey Hillman is a Physical Therapist and owner of Gate City Physio – a boutique physical therapy clinic in Downtown Greensboro. He specializes in helping individuals suffering from shoulder pain, headaches and low back pain regain their freedom and get back to enjoying the little things in life.