Regular exercise keeps you healthy and better able to move around. In addition to general cardiovascular exercise, many women target specific areas of the body. Lower back exercises help strengthen the muscles that support the spine. There are several exercises to work on the lower back muscles, and most of the moves involve other parts of the body.
Lower back exercises work the muscles in that area. The exercises also help relieve lower back pain in many women. If you experience regular pain or have an injury in the lower back, your doctor might recommend an exercise routine with different moves. Gentle lower back exercises give you a way to ease into the routine.
Your specific situation influences the best moves for your lower back. If you have acute pain or a recent injury, start the routine slowly to avoid further injury or pain. Shorter bursts of lower back exercises two or three times a day might help keep your back loose without overdoing it.
Beginner Floor Exercises
Floor exercises work well at home because they don’t require extra equipment. When lying flat on the back, simple exercises include leg lifts, heel slides and knee-to-chest exercises. For leg lifts, bend one knee and keep the other leg straight. Raise and lower the straightened leg, then switch sides. Heel slides involve slowly bending the knee while sliding the heel along the floor. Straighten the leg out and repeat. For the knee-to-chest move, place your hands behind your knee on one leg and guide it toward the chest, holding for 10 to 20 seconds before releasing.
Advanced Floor Exercises
If you are physically able to do them, advanced floor moves give you a chance to expand your lower back workout. The cat stretch starts on all fours. Pull in your stomach to create a rounded shape to your back and shoulders. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds before releasing. The bridge exercise starts with you on your back, knees bent and arms above the head. Lift your hips off the floor to stretch the back muscles. Continue lifting the rest of the spine off the floor, keeping the body in a straight line from the knees down to the shoulders. The Superman move starts on the stomach with the arms extended in front of your head. Lift your arms, legs and chest up at the same time, using the lower back to facilitate the move.
Stability Ball Exercises
A stability or exercise ball gives you another way to exercise the lower back. Lying over the ball with your stomach supported by the ball helps stretch out your back. Use your feet and hands to keep you balanced on the ball. Raise one arm at a time, one leg at a time and opposite arms and legs simultaneously for additional lower back work. For a different exercise, walk your hands out, moving along the ball so it ends up under your legs. Hold your body flat, using your arms to support the upper body. Raise your arms one at a time over the head.