There’s almost nothing worse than crippling back pain.
When you finish a strenuous workout, you’re always going to experience some aches and pains. Legs, arms, chest, and stomach; they all get sore and it (mostly) feels good because you know that you had a good workout.
But, when you’re experiencing back pain after a workout, it can feel like your world is coming to an end. Lots of people get it, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.
As you get older, back pain gets more inevitable, so you’re going to want to figure out how to deal with it sooner than later. It’s when this pain reaches chronic levels that you’re going to have difficulty working out at all. When you can’t work out the way that you’re used to, your health is going to go downhill.
A healthy combination of stretching, specific exercises and some newcomers in medication can help you deal with back pain. Start by practicing the following exercises before you hit the gym and tackle that back pain before it tackles you.
The Partial Crunch
You might also know this exercise as a “curl up”, but whatever you call it, it’s going to stretch out those lower back muscles and prep you for back day. When the muscles around your spine are strong, they can support and stabilize your back.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and a few inches apart. Keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Put your hands and arms behind your head like you’re doing a situp.
- Raise your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back about 3 inches off of the ground and hold it there for a few seconds. Then, move back down.
- Repeat this five times with inhales on the way up and exhales on the way back down.
Planking is something you can gradually build up to do for longer and longer. At first, depending on your arm strength and stamina, it’s going to be tough to go longer than a couple of minutes. It strengthens the core by putting even tension on the abdominal muscles.
Your abs actually support your back and spine. When you’re doing a plank correctly, the tension in your core will also get the hips, shoulders, and back muscles involved as well. Let’s learn the forearm plank:
- Lay belly-down on the floor and place your elbows directly beneath your shoulders and make sure that your forearms are aligned with your body, shoulder-width apart.
- Firm up your shoulder blades into your back and raise your body by moving your heels back so that you’re on your toes.
- Tighten the abs and make sure that your body is completely straight from your shoulders to your butt. Also, keep your legs straight.
- Hold it for as long as you can (usually between 20-30 seconds) then rest and repeat 5 more times.
Knee to Chest
A knee to chest exercise will stretch your lower back and hip muscles, relieving the pressure that gets put on your spinal nerves. It’ll also stretch out your hamstrings. This is how you do it:
- Lay on your back with your legs outstretched, knees slightly bent, and your heels on the floor.
- Bring one knee all the way up to your chest while keeping your other leg and your back flat on the floor.
- Hold the position for about 15 seconds and then return your leg to the resting position.
- Do the same thing with the other leg, ensuring that your back is pressed tightly to the floor. You should feel the muscles stretching out as you pull the leg up.
- You can hold the knees to the chest for as long as you’d like, but generally, 15-25 seconds should do, then repeat 3 times for each leg.
A spinal twist stretch can hurt you if you don’t do it properly and give you great relief when you do it right. Make sure you do it slowly and never force your legs down to the ground. You’ll get better and increase your range of motion over time.
Follow these directions:
- Again, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Slowly let both of your legs fall to the left or right until you feel your spine stretch out gently.
- Hold this for 10 seconds, then slowly raise your legs back to the original position.
- Do the same thing on the other side, holding for 10 seconds and returning to the original position.
- Repeat as many times as you’d like to, or until your spine feels some relief.
Other Yoga Moves
There are loads of yoga moves and compression exercises that you can do to relieve your back pain and yoga, in general, is something you should consider as a practice if you find yourself in constant pain after the gym.
The sphinx pose, cat and cow pose, downward-facing dog, and this compression exercise will all give you back relief. Find a class near you and try doing regular yoga sessions at home to relieve stress, as well as aches and pains.
Don’t Let Back Pain After a Workout Get the Best of You
Try these exercises daily to get your back stretched out and ready to go. At the end of the day, you just want to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and do your workout routine without having to experience pain afterward. Be diligent with these stretches and we’re sure you’ll start to see a difference.
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