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Back Exercises for Lumbar Spondylosis

Lumbar spondylosis refers to the breakdown of structures in your low back. You might have arthritis or the disks that provide padding between the bones of your spine could be wearing out. This condition might or might not be painful. In either case, consult your doctor to be sure exercises are safe for you.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Muscles in the front of the hip are attached to your pelvis, which in turn attaches to your lumbar spine. Muscle tightness affects the position of your spine, which can aggravate spondylosis.

  1. Kneel on one leg. Place the opposite foot flat on the ground in front of you as if you were doing a lunge.

  2. Straighten your spine and put your hands on your hips. Slowly bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in your back leg, along the front of your thigh.

  3. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then relax. Repeat three times and switch legs.

    Read more: Stretches for the Lower and Middle Back

Hamstring Stretch

  • The hamstring muscles run from the back of your pelvis to the back of your knees. Use a towel to increase the intensity of this stretch.

    1. Lie on your back on a firm surface. Wrap a towel around one foot and hold one end of the towel in each hand. Bend the opposite knee and place your foot on the ground to reduce pressure on your back during this stretch.

    2. Straighten your leg as far as possible, pressing your heel up toward the ceiling. Pull on the ends of the towel to further stretch your leg until you feel a strong pull along the back of your thigh.

    3. Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then bend your knee and relax. Repeat three times then perform this stretch on the opposite leg.

    Rectus Femoris Stretch

  • The rectus femoris runs from the front of your pelvis, down the thigh to your lower leg.

    1. Stretch your right rectus femoris by standing on your left leg. Hold onto a sturdy object for balance, if needed.

    2. Bend your right knee behind you and bring your heel toward your buttock.

    3. Grab the top of your right foot with your right hand and pull your heel closer to your buttock. Gently lean backward until you feel a stretch along the front of your right hip.

    4. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then relax. Perform on both sides.

    Bridges

  • Bridge exercises strengthen muscles in your hips and lower back, supporting your spine.

    1. Lie on your back on a firm surface. Bend both knees and place your feet on the floor, approximately hip-width apart. Rest your arms by your sides.

    2. Squeeze your buttocks and press down through your heels to lift your hips off the floor. Lift as high as possible while keeping your shoulder blades on the ground. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds.

    3. Slowly lower back down and repeat this movement 10 times. Work up to three sets of 10.

    4. Progress this exercise by placing your calves on top of an exercise ball while you perform bridges.

      Read more: Pelvic Bridging Exercise

    Ball Passes

  • Ball passes strengthen your upper and lower abdominal muscles which reduce pressure on your lumbar spine.

    1. Lie down on your back on a firm surface. Squeeze an exercise ball between your lower legs with your knees slightly bent. Stretch your arms straight out above your head.

    2. Keeping your low back flat against the ground, bend at the hips and tighten your lower abdominal muscles to bring the ball up toward the ceiling.

    3. Reach for the ball with your hands, then bring the ball overhead until it touches the ground. Keep your elbows straight throughout this movement. As you reach overhead, lower your legs back down to the ground.

    4. Bring the ball back toward the ceiling with your arms. At the same time, bring your legs up and place the ball between your lower legs. Slowly lower the ball back to the ground with your legs.

    5. Repeat this movement 10 times. Do not allow your back to arch.

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    About the Author

    Aubrey Bailey has been writing online health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have also appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a Certified Hand Therapist.

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