Lower Back Exercises for Sore Muscles

By Clint Hale

Soreness in the lower back muscles, for many golfers, is a common--and unfortunate--byproduct of playing the game. Fortunately, there are certain low-intensity exercises you can perform to ease muscle soreness in and around the lower back area.

Stretching Exercises

These exercises are good for lower back pain, in that they don't require much in the way of weights but rather use the body as a weight mechanism of sorts. For instance, a simple series of toe touches will stretch lower back muscles without forcing unnecessary weight upon them. Also, try sitting on a large rubber exercise ball and rotating back and forth, bending at the waist, until you feel looseness in the lower back.

You can also do a back stretch in which you sit on a stool with your back flat against a wall. From there, lift your arms, keeping your head and back straight against the wall. Hold for 10 seconds, then see if your shoulders can touch the wall while still keeping your back flat. Hold for 10 more seconds, then lower back to original position. Repeat as necessary.

You can also stretch via the "full back release." To perform this exercise, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Keep your head straight while relaxing the shoulders. From there, while relaxing the neck, curl it, along with your upper and lower back, forward. Bring your hands to the floor so that your palms are touching it, and hold for approximately 10 seconds. Straighten slowly so that your head comes back up last, then return to starting position. If you feel pain during this exercise, stop immediately.

Pilates

Many athletes, including golfers, utilize aerobic and aerobic-related exercises in alleviating lower back pain. For instance, Pilates is a new-age technique designed almost exclusively to stretch the body and increase flexibility, thereby alleviating pain. One Pilates exercise that helps strengthen the back is the "roll over."

To perform the roll over, lie on your back with your arms on your sides and palms down. With your legs together, extend them toward the sky at a 90-degree angle. Lower your legs a bit while exhaling. From there, using your abs, return your legs back to a 90-degree angle, then move your legs over your body until they are parallel with the chest. Then roll onto your shoulders, inhale, flex your feet, spread your legs shoulder-width apart and roll your legs to a 90-degree angle. Inhale, bring your legs together, and lower them to start anew. Repeat this exercise four to six times.

Yoga

Yoga also uses the body as a tool for stretching and strengthening itself without putting unnecessary stress on the body. Two yoga exercises in particular that loosen the back and alleviate muscle pain are the "cat stretch" and "wind-release pose." To perform the cat stretch, begin on your hands and knees with your back flat, with your hands under your shoulders and knees directly under the hips. With your face on the floor, inhale, then exhale as your arch your back toward the sky, tucking your chin to your chest and your tailbone underneath. Hold this position, then release, and repeat as necessary.

The wind-releasing pose requires you to lie on your back. From there, inhale, bend your knee (whichever you choose), place your hands below it, and bring your leg in toward your chest, with the other leg still flat on the floor. Exhale and bring your face to your knee, then inhale and exhale as you return to the original position. Repeat with the other leg, then repeat as necessary, rotating turns with both legs.

About The Author

Clint Hale has worked for a number of media outlets throughout his seven-year career, including the San Antonio Express-News (for whom he covered golf, football, and general features) and Examiner.com. He earned a Journalism degree from the University of Texas.

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