As someone in their early 20s, and the supposed prime of their physical health, I shouldn't be complaining about backache. Nevertheless, it's a topic that's inevitably popping up in my conversations more frequently than I'd like to admit, especially the ones that happen after I leave my desk. And when I look back at all the sedentary hours I spend hunched in front of a laptop, with my back contorted in unnatural positions, my constant back pain doesn't come as much of a surprise after all.
Sadly enough, most people I know would relate to the above sentiment. Thus, needless to day, our usually inactive daily routines have paved the way for lower back problems and upper back stiffness to emerge as the most common complaints across all demographics of the population. And this was already the case when our days involved at least some form of physical activity, even if it was just for daily commute to work.
But now as we all know, all of us are currently living under the universal mandate of social distancing and isolating ourselves at home. And as a natural byproduct, our daily schedule now involves even more sitting around than it did earlier, and no gym to turn to for respite. Luckily, and contrary to popular belief, staying active and fit does not warrant heavy gym equipment for home or fancy machinery. With a few simple back exercises at home, you can relieve yourself of upper and lower back pain and stiffness. So, while there might be a number of answers to your "what causes lower back pain" and "lower back pain remedies" searches, jumping into these quick back exercises will be much more effective in resolving your problem pronto.
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1. Atomic Burpees
A spin on your standard burpee, an atomic burpee involves an additional step of a sit-up before the jump. The atomic burpee is a common mention on lists of the best lower back exercises and simple back strengthening exercises.
1. Lie down on your back with your legs straight and arms bent behind your head
2. Do a sit-up, and jump to a standing position instead of lowering down on the ground
3. Do your standard burpee step, i.e., jump to finish a push-up followed by a jump to squat and a straight jump towards the ceiling
2. Bird Dog
The Bird Dog is one of the most recommended options in the category of the best back workouts at home without equipment. This bodyweight floor exercise while primarily used for strengthening your core and abs, is also a quick home relief for lower back pain.
1. Kneel on your hands and knees
2. Tighten your abdominal muscles
3. Lift and extend one arm while extending the opposite leg behind you. Your body should form one straight line from your hand to your foot.
4. Hold, relax, switch and repeat
3. Dolphin Kicks
Another quick exercise that helps with both core strengthening at home, as well as with relieving lower back pain, a Dolphin Kick is an easy home workout for developing a strong back without any gym equipment.
1. Place your torso on an elevated surface like a table or a bench while lying down on your stomach
2. Lift both your legs (or one, in case two is very challenging) as high as you can while keeping them straight
3. Lower them back down while maintaining steady control
4. Repeat the process to complete another rep
4. Bridge Pose
One of the easiest and quickest home exercises for strengthening the lower back at home, the Bridge Pose (also known as Setu Bandhasana in Yoga) requires little effort but helps tremendously with relieving back pain due to poor posture.
1. Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and feet placed on the floor
2. Tighten your stomach, and lift your pelvic and buttocks as high as you can
3. Try and touch the back of your feet with your hands
5. Air Swimming
Recommended far and wide for strengthening the postural muscles, the Air Swimming exercise has been found to be immensely helpful in targeting the posterior chain and providing quick relief from back pain.
1. Lie down on your stomach with your arms extended above your ears
2. Lift your chest, arms and legs off the floor and tighten your glutes
3. Flutter your arms and legs as you would if you were swimming, while keeping them off the floor
6. Press Up Back Extension
This is one of the most under-rated remedies for lower back pain, in the form of an easy and virtually effortless workout that won't take more than 5 minutes.
1. Lie down on your stomach with your elbows and hands directly under your shoulders
2. Push down on your hands, and lift your shoulders off the floor
3. Spend a few seconds holding the position, and repeat
This is your short-cut to achieving a stronger back without any gym visits.