Exercises for Lower Back

Which exercises are the best for the lower back?

Matthew's reply: The best exercises for the lower back really depends on your reason for wanting to do lower back exercises. There are many such exercises in the Back-Neck section of this site, mostly aimed at loosening and strengthening the lower back area.

They work very well if you have stiffness and pain from overworking, excess sitting, sports, etc. If you have a history of lower back problems though you should start any new exercises slowly and gently and also check with your health professional first. If you have specific questions or comments about the back exercises on this site post them here. All the best.

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Exercises For Sciatica Pain

by John
(Sacramento CA)

What exercises will help to eliminate sciatica pain?

Matthew's reply: Hi John, there are several on the site that may help you stop sciatica pain. These are mostly lower back exercises as sciatica is usually a result of a problem in the lower spine. You will need to take a look at these exercises first and judge their suitability for yourself. It is hard for me to do this for you via the internet.

You may also want to check first with a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist just to be sure.

To try and stop sciatica pain I would try these exercises and techniques:

Lumbar Rub

Anal Lock technique

Stretching Exercises for the Lower Back. (No. 4 & 5)

Back Twist

For pain I also suggest you try a Chinese Herbal Liniment.

There are other techniques in the Back section of the site that may also help to stop sciatica pain. I have had sciatica pain myself and many of the exercises and techniques I list here and in the Back section have helped me. Any questions about any of them just post below.

All the best,

Matthew



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Lower Back Pain Exercises and Techniques

by Judith

My husband suffers from lower back pain from years as a carpenter. He also recently has had problem with an irregular heartbeat. He says that when I massage the bottom parts of his feet he feels it relaxes areas in his back and calms his heart. Is there a more specific massage technique or area that would help more?

Matthew's reply: Hi Judith, I would suggest that your husband starts doing some of the exercises and techniques in the Back section of this site, if he hasn't already. These are all simple exercises that many people report to be very effective for all kinds of back pain, including lower back pain.

My initial suggestions would be the Lumbar Rub, Back Twist and Back Arch, and possibly the exercises listed under Squat, Sit and Stretch Your Back. Pick a couple that best match the problem and start with those - slowly and gently! If he is in a lot of discomfort then just start with the Lumbar Rub and exercises 4 and 5 in Squat, Sit and Stretch Your Back.

It's great that you are able to help him - and I would certainly continue rubbing his feet - however if he learns some techniques too, he can obviously help himself when you're not there. All the best. If you or he have questions about any of the exercises on the site please let me know.

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Exercises for Lower back

by Ferid,
(St.Louis,MO, US)

Hi Matthew, I've spent 6 years or so training in mixed martial arts. Most my strength workout is free weights 2-3 times a week, compound exercises and olympic lifting. I've sprained muscles in my lower back and shoulders many times, couldn't even walk or do anything with my arms for days or weeks until pain or soreness was gone (not only me, a lot of my training partners have problems with sprained muscles). We always do before and after stretching but it doesn't help a lot. Can u please send to me some tips and bodyweight exercises, I'd like to switch to bodyweight workout only to incorporate with mixed martial arts. Your site is great, tks.

Matthew's reply: Hi Ferid, for your lower back and shoulder pain look in the relevant sections of this site. You'll find lots exercises and self-massage techniques for pain, strength, etc. Without knowing more details it is difficult for me to say exactly which exercises or techniques will be best for you or your training partners.

Look at what's there and pick a couple of exercises that seem to best fit your current situation and start with those. For instance, if you currently have lower back pain start with one or two lower back techniques, such as the Lumbar Rub and Back Arch. These are in the Back section.

If you want to watch how these are done, I have put all the best exercises and techniques into a number of Chinese exercise programs on video. The Long Life Exercise Program in particular has a couple of bodyweight exercises, one that works your back, arms and chest and one for your legs.

Any questions just post below.

All the best,

Matthew

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Sciatica Exercises

by Bibek
(Urbandale, IA, USA)

Are there any stretches to help me with my Sciatica (my left leg and my left half of my lower back muscle imbalance) to permanently rid me of this pain? or even help temporarily while I'm looking for a solution?

Matthew’s reply: There are a number of things that can help you get rid of sciatica. Have you been examined by a doctor or chiropractor yet though? I feel that step one (if you haven’t already done this) is to have your lower spine x-rayed to see what is going on with the vertebra in this area. This may give you a precise cause for the pain you are getting in your left leg and lower back. If the x-ray indicates a problem in your lower spine then a chiropractor, for example, could give you specific exercises to do. You may also need a chiropractic adjustment or a series of adjustments.

If it’s not possible for you to see a chiropractor, or you don’t want to, I would still arrange for a lower spine x-ray to see what’s going on with the vertebra in your lower back. Then perhaps a physiotherapist could show you some specific exercises. There are some exercises on this site that may help but I can only say “may” help, because I don’t know exactly what is happening with your lower back. Doing the wrong exercises can aggravate a problem, or even worsen it.

So, get an x-ray, then depending on what it shows, see a chiro or a physio, or come back to this site and try a couple of exercises from the Back section that you feel best suit your situation. You could even print them out and ask a chiro or physio if they are suitable for you, or ask them to look at the site and let you know.

Possible exercises on the site that may help relieve sciatica, and help the lower back in general, are the back twist, back arch and lumbar rub. Also highly recommended are acupuncture and Chinese massage for pain and stiffness in the lower back, hips and legs.

You can post below if you have any questions about the above exercises for sciatica, or about acupuncture or Chinese massage for sciatica. I have used these therapies many times for my own lower back pain and sciatica so I know what they are like.

All the best,

Matthew



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