Exercises and Gym Machines to Strengthen the Lower Back
Strong back muscles help prevent or lessen the severity of back injuries and back pain. The spinal ligaments, abdomen, buttocks and hip muscles help support the spine, so exercising them helps strengthen the lower back, as well. Your exercises should be preceded by a warm-up and followed by a cool-down. Walk or perform gentle stretching to help get the blood flowing to the muscles that will be targeted either by exercising or using a gym machine during your workout.
Stretching and Strengthening
Exercises that work the muscles in the midline of your body strengthen your lower back. Situps and crunches work your supportive abdominal muscles, and exercises such as toe touches strengthen your back muscles. Stability ball exercises also provide opportunities for you to stretch and strengthen your lower back. During walkout exercises, you lie face down on a stability ball and propel yourself forward and backward by walking your hands along the floor. This type of exercise helps strengthen your muscles through balance and stability.
Working out in the water offers the opportunity to exercise, and the buoyancy of the water absorbs the jarring impact that your feet, ankles and knees endure during workouts on land. Exercise in water that comes up to your neck. Complete exercises that include moving your arms and legs away from your body, which will strengthen your core, hip and lower-back muscles.
Gym machines, especially weight machines, can help strengthen muscles that support and strengthen the spine. Check weight machines at your gym for ones that target your abdomen and buttocks. Balancing machines are also helpful, and work to strengthen the ligaments that support your both sides of your spine. A machine that strengthens your back by lifting weights with your arms is the lateral pull-down machine. A pulley system is used in this exercise, and you lift weight by pulling down on overhead handles.
Back pain is not always the result of weak spinal muscles. Sometimes, muscles that are the counterparts of the problematic muscles can cause back difficulties, or inhibition. The joints in the lumbar spine can also develop difficulties. Exercises will not repair these conditions. If your lower-back pain persists or increases in spite of exercise, consult with your health care professional.
Susan Presley has worked in health care journalism since 2007, and has been published in the American Journal of Nursing and other academic periodicals. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Truman State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.