As we get older, your joints will begin to weaken and you will start losing muscle mass. This is often because we don’t engage in as much physical activity when we’re older which means our muscles and joints are not challenged or used as much as they are used to. Ever heard the saying "what you don't use, you lose"? As we grow older our brain will prioritise functions and features in our body it deems important and the way that's decided is based on how often it's used. Anything unnecessary becomes discarded over time.
As a result, when you go to pick up something, when you go for a longer walk or spend more time on your feet than you'd normally do, you might need to face that your lower back is complaining. It's a very common symptom os loss of strength in people over 40.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some simple strength exercises that will help protect your back but also give your legs a good workout. If you are new to strength training, start with bodyweight or light load and progressively go heavier as you get stronger.
This exercise is fantastic for those with lower back pain because it keeps your torso more horizontal through the entire motion. Simply stand hip width apart with your toes turned out to a 30 degree angle. The bar will sit just below the spine of the scapula. With a big held breath, you will shove your knees out hard and descend to the bottom of the squat until the hips just below the top of the patella. Once in the bottom position(depth) you will begin back up by shoving your hips straight up. The squat is the king of all exercises and exactly why we use it at Team Howell, it strengthens all of the muscles at the same time and allows every single muscle to get stronger, even the back muscles.
This exercise works your legs, glutes and core and will improve your balance and coordination. It keeps your upper body tall and straight, and your legs will be the main driving force.
Much like squats, Deadlifts keep your torso horizontal which is great if you have lower-back pain.
This exercise not only helps your lower back but also strengthens your thighs, butt and hips that will eventually improve your balance and coordination.
3. Barbell Hip Thrusts
This is a great glute training exercise often promoted by Bret Contreras, aka The Glute Guy as a great way to help your lower back by building up the strength in your butt, hamstrings and legs.
Simply place a mat or towel at your groin and place the barbell on top. Next, lay down with just your upper back/shoulders on the bench. Tilt your pelvis and tighten your glutes, push through your heels and lift the barbell up with your hips keeping lower back straight and glutes tight then lower down with control. You can progressively make this exercise harder by increasing the weight and/or performing it on single leg.
You might find this exercise a little difficult to do on something like a chair that’s soft, so we’d recommend getting yourself a multi-purpose gym bench to make it easier and more effective.
Alternatively you can join the Team Howell Gym where you will have all the equipment available that you need and expert trainers at your disposal to help you get started and keep you from getting stuck. If you have any questions on any of the exercises mentioned above, feel free to get in touch.