My utility company job left me with a little present and it was one of the major reasons I walked away from that job. By the time I quit I had constant back pain from spending so much time sitting in a truck. I’ve since been working to eliminate that pain. Recently I put together a series of movements to rehab all the problem areas.
Ben’s Lower Back Pain Elimination Workout
Hip Bridges: 3 sets of 10
Rocking: 3 sets of 5 each side
Elbow Lifts: 3 sets of 15
Thoracic Extensions: 3 sets of 10
Stick Mobility Side Bends: 3 Sets of 5 each side
Deadlifts: 5 sets of 10
Hip Bridges retrain the glutes and hamstrings to extend. It’s extremely important to pay attention to your feet and knees while performing hip bridges. You want your feet pointing forward and your knees tracking over top of them. Don’t let your knees collapse in or out. Hip bridges also help to stretch your hip flexors.
Rocking, especially when performed slowly really engages the torso muscles. Try not to use a lot of momentum. You’re looking for a slow, controlled rock. This will build stability in the core and force you to use muscles you may be neglecting.
Elbow lifts and thoracic extensions go together. Elbow lifts can be made more challenging by keeping your arms straight instead of placing your hands on your head. Keep the movement slow and pay attention to how your shoulders are tracking through the movement and what muscles are working.
Follow elbow lifts immediately with thoracic extensions. If your thoracic spine, the section that the ribs attach to, doesn’t move well the rest of your spine will have to make up the difference. Over the long haul, this can add a lot of extra stress to the lower back.
I know the stick mobility stuff is expensive, and no affiliation here, but they were worth it to me just for this one exercise. The stick mobility side bend has helped so much to free my ribs and hips. The quadratus lumborum is a deep abdominal muscle that can become tight from too much sitting.
Mine was painfully tight. I have found ways to perform this exercise using a door frame but the stick mobility stuff makes it much easier and offers me a lot of other possibilities as well. I’m able to engage my entire lateral line through a large range of motion. It’s been wonderful for freeing my ribs from my hips.
And last but certainly not least are deadlifts. Engage your glutes. No really, engage them! Make sure you’re sitting way back when you do these. A major factor in lower back pain is glutes that aren’t doing their job. Make sure you’re hinging at the hip significantly as well as taking your time on the negative of this movement.
Don’t go really heavy on this exercise. You’re not looking to set world records. You just want to condition the neurology and retrain the muscles to engage as they should!