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Lumbar Stabilisation Exercises

For many people, the key to a healthy back is proper exercise. Some exercises are designed to strengthen your back and stomach muscles, other exercises are designed to improve your posture. These exercises are designed to help you gain flexibility, co-ordination, endurance and strength needed to be able to maintain your spine in the positions that will tolerate mechanical forces best during daily activities. Exercise alone will not do enough to improve your functional ability (Barr 2005, 2007)[1,2]. You need to control actively the forces that go towards your spine as you do things during the day.

Exercises

When performing the following exercises remember to keep breathing normally, do not hold your breath.

Abdominal Brace

Stand with your spine in a neutral position and brace your abdominal muscles for 20 seconds. This exercise can be performed when sitting, standing and lying.

Tiny Steps

Lie on your back with the knees bent, feet flat on the ground and brace your abdominal muscles.

Keeping the hips on the ground, lift one foot up and down 2-3 inches for 2 minutes. Repeat with other foot.

Tiny Steps

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with the left leg out straight and the right leg bent with the foot flat on the ground.

Loop a belt or cord over your left foot. Brace your abdominal muscles and keeping the left leg straight pull the left foot towards you until you feel the stretch behind your left thigh and knee.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then lower the leg. Repeat with the right leg.

Hamstring Stretch

Bridge

Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

Brace your abdominal muscles and raise your buttocks and trunk slowly up.

Lower and touch down lightly and repeat 10 times.

Bridge

Cross leg Stretch

Lie on your back with your legs out straight. Brace the abdominal muscle and pull your knee and shin towards the opposite shoulder until you feel the stretch in your buttock.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

Cross Leg Stretch

Partial sit-ups

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

Place your hands at the side of head. Brace the abdominal muscles and raise your head and shoulders off the ground and hold for 2 seconds. Repeat 10 times

Partial Sit Ups

Groin Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet close together.

Lower the knees to their side until you feel the stretch in the inner thighs and hold for 20 seconds.

Groin Stretch

Hip flexor stretch

Lie on your right side with the legs out straight.

Brace your abdominal muscles and pull your left lower shin (not foot) behind you with your left hand until you feel the stretch in the left thigh.

Hold for 20 seconds.

Lie on your left side and repeat the exercise for the left leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Squats

Stand with your spine in a neutral position and brace your abdominal muscles.

Keep your back straight and bend the knees until your hands reach your knees.

Return to the upright position by squeezing buttocks and pushing your heels into the ground. Repeat 20 times

Squats

Reciprocal arm raises

Stand with your spine in a neutral position and brace your abdominal muscles.

Keep your back straight bend the knees until your hands reach your knees.

Raise and lower both arms to the front keeping the elbows straight and shoulders back. Repeat 20 times.

Reciprocal Arm Raises


References

  1. BARR, K.P. MD et al. (2005) Lumbar Stabilization: A Review of Core Concepts and Current Literature, Part 1. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 84 (6), p. 473-480
  2. BARR, K.P. MD et al. (2007) Lumbar Stabilization: A Review of Core Concepts and Current Literature, Part 2. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 86 (1), p. 72-80

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • SHAUGHNESSY, M. and CAULFIELD, B. (2004) A pilot study to investigate the effect of lumbar stabilisation exercise training on functional ability and quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 27 (4), p. 297-301
  • NORRIS, C. M. (1995) Spinal stabilisation: 5. An exercise programme to enhance lumbar stabilisation. Physiotherapy, 81 (3), p. 138-146

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Lumbar Stabilisation Exercises [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/backex.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic:

The Stretching & Flexibility Book & DVD The Stretching & Flexibility Book