Strong lower back and abdominal muscles are the cornerstone of good mobility in the lower back region and will help decrease your risk of injury. Stretching will keep your lower back limber and building muscles will make your back and abdominals strong. Before any exercise routine, especially for the lower back, warm up your muscles to prevent injury.
Because tight hamstrings decrease mobility in your lower back, stretching the hamstrings regularly will help maintain flexibility in the lumbar area. Lie on your back with your legs straight and a rolled towel under your lower back. Lift one leg straight up in the air. Clasping your hands behind your knee, gently pull until you feel your hamstring stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat 10 times for each leg.
Routine stretches that target your lower back will keep it limber and mobile. While lying on your back, bring your bent knees to your chest one at a time. Wrapping your arms around your knees, pull your knees toward your chest. At the same time, touch your chin to your chest, while making sure your shoulders do not leave the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Along with providing a jean-friendly shape, strong abdominal muscles actually aid in lower back mobility. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet about a foot apart. Everything but the small of your back and your neck should be touching the floor. As your exhale, lift your pelvis off the floor while pushing your lower back into the floor. Hold for five seconds. Resume original position. Repeat for two sets of 10 repetitions.
Another way to tighten your abdominal muscles is to lie on the floor with your knees bent. With your arms straight out in front of you and your abdominal muscles tight, exhale and lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Hold for three to five seconds. Relax and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times and work your way up to three sets. To make this exercise more difficult, put your hands behind your head. Do not pull your head up with your hands. Keep your neck in line with your spine.
- Exercises image by Leonid Tarassishin from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.