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5 Effective Yoga Exercises For Lower Back Pain

5 Effective Yoga Exercises For Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is something many individuals deal with on a daily basis while others may just suffer occasionally from lower back pain. Whatever the case, there is one style of exercising that can dramatically help with lower back pain provided it’s done with correct form.

So, what is it? Yoga! There are many yoga poses that can help with lower back pain, but there are a few that are more effective than others. When doing yoga poses for lower back pain, be mindful to keep your back strong and in proper alignment.

As always, you should also listen to your body and not push it to the point of pain no matter what kind of exercises you’re doing. However, after a long day or injury, this exercise for lower back pain can help you feel better quickly when done correctly and mindfully!

Exercises for Lower Back Pain:

1. Extended Triangle

This pose is my personal favorite exercise for lower back pain. It’s wonderful if you have tightness and need to improve your flexibility.

    Yoga Journal

    Extended triangle pose is quite easy to perform and is mostly self-explanatory. Start out by putting one leg in front of the other and then twisting to the side, reaching your right (or left) hand down to the corresponding foot. Focus on keeping your lower back strong and straight, and look up at your opposite hand for the best flexibility effects.

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    Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds, and then slowly stand up while keeping your back straight. Then do the exercise on the opposite side.

    2. Cat Pose

    Cat pose (also referred to as cat cow pose) can dramatically help you stretch out your back and core. It mimics the way a cat curls and arches its back, going back and forth in between both ranges of motion. You want to arch your back and then curl it under keeping your posture intact, not putting too much pressure on your spine.

      Yoga Journal

      To do the pose, start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Make sure your shoulders and hands are in alignment with one another and also be sure that your hips and knees are in alignment with one another. Move your back up and down, arching it up and down (gently) for 30 seconds or so. Focus on keeping your core tight during this so you don’t pull anything.

      3. Bridge Pose

      Bridge pose is great for strengthening the overall core, back, and even toning your hamstrings and buttocks. You can choose to do this exercise exactly how it appears without moving, or you can practice lowering up and down between the ground and the final position.

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        Yoga Journal

        To do the pose, lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Keep your heels as close to your buttocks as possible, but also not curved up under you too much. Place your hands by your side, and gently start to lift your buttocks and hips upward at one time. Hold for 30 seconds, and then lower back down to starting position. Do this exercise 10-15 times or so.

        4. Half Lord of the Fishes

        Half Lord of the Fishes sounds fancy, but it’s really simple to perform in all actuality. The main thing to focus on during this position is to keep your back straight the entire time as you twist to one side and then switch positions twisting to the other. Half Lord of the Fishes will help you stretch your back while also tone your core.

          Yoga Journal

          To do this exercise, start with sitting on the floor with your feet and knees crossed in front of you. Then lower one knee up to the opposite side (as shown), and place your opposite hand on top of that knee. Start turning to the side to twist, and twist as far back as feels comfortable to you. You should feel a nice stretch, not a harsh pull.

          5. Upward Facing Down and Downward Facing Dog

          I’ve paired these two exercises together, because even though they are technically two separate exercises, you’ll get a much better stretch and range of motion if they are done together in a sequence. Just remember to keep your back strong while doing these exercises and be mindful of how your body feels when doing them so you don’t pull anything.

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          Step 1:

            Yoga Journal

            In Downward Facing Dog, start standing up straight, and then lower your hands down like you were going to touch your toes, but bend forward in a straight manner with your back as you do so. Place your hands on the floor, out in front of you and let your feet stretch out on the floor behind you (as shown) while your body resembles that of an upside down triangle. (It may help to use a mirror to help you check your form the first few times you try this pose.) Focus on how your back feels the entire time you do this pose, and hold for 30 seconds.

            Step 2:

              Yoga Journal

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              Now, you’ll move down to Downward Facing Dog to get a full range of motion with this exercise. As you lower your hips down, your feet will extend backward and your core will help support you. Your hands will only come back a little bit. Picture your body like it’s a rubberband expanding and contracting in between both movements. When done correctly, this entire sequence can help relieve lower back pain fairly quickly.

              There are many other kinds of exercise for lower back pain such as lifting weights, walking, and basic stretching; I just find yoga the most helpful for improving long-term flexibility and keeping my body pain-free on a regular basis. Yoga poses for lower back pain can also be wonderful tools if you work a desk job and need to do a few poses when you get home to help assist with the effects of sitting all day, and they’re especially useful during travel if you can’t access a gym for a regular workout.

              Exercise for Lower Back Pain

                See more beneficial yoga exercises for a healthy body here, and if you’d like additional information on yoga poses such as these above, you can also check out Yoga Journal’s resources. And remember, there’s no need to neglect your back when there are plenty of wonderful options when it comes to finding the right exercise for lower back pain that best suits you!

                Featured photo credit: Dave Rosemblum/Flickr via flic.kr

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                Last Updated on August 7, 2020

                6 Best Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home

                6 Best Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home

                Gyms all over the world are re-opening, yet most people are put off by the various restrictions, risks, and the realization of not having so much time to dedicate to exercise anymore. Covid-19 has started a revolution within the fitness industry, and the new trend is all about at-home training. If you’re going to follow this trend, you’ll need to know some of the best fat burning exercises you can do at home.

                Many busy people around the world don’t want to spend hours commuting and queueing outside of gyms, but the desire for a flat stomach is stronger than ever now that the summer season has finally peaked. If you want to maximize the little time you have to exercise from your living room, check out these fat burning exercises.

                The best workouts are always going to be those that consist of moves that engage multiple large muscle groups. You can easily take a simple, conventional toning move and turn it into something more efficient that gives you the most bang for your buck.

                While it takes a lot of different kinds of training to reach well-rounded fitness (strength training, cardio, stretching, etc.), total body strength training and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) are best for burning off body fat quickly.

                Apply this concept to the exercises that make up your routines, and they become dynamic, fat-burning workouts. Here are the best examples of exercises that consume a lot of energy and don’t require any equipment.

                1. Burpees

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                  No cardio compilation would be complete without burpees. They challenge every part of your body and send your heart rate soaring in no time. All this adds up to an exercise that burns about 10 calories per minute[1].

                  Assuming you’re doing between 10 and 20 repetitions every minute, this is one of the best fat burning exercises out there. You can torch even more calories by upping the pace. Just make sure you don’t let your form suffer!

                  2. Jumping Lunges

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                    If you thought basic lunges were hard, you’ve never tried jump lunges before. This plyometric exercise strengthens all the same muscles, but it’ll also get your heart pounding in no time.

                    To get started, simply lunge forward on your left leg as you bring your right arm forward and left arm back, elbows bent at 90-degree angles. From the lunge, jump straight into the air as you switch your arm and leg positions, then land with the opposite arm and leg in front. You’ll burn about 12 calories per minute, so you can really get a good workout in a short amount of time.

                    3. Jumping Squats

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                      Like with jump lunges, jump squats add a cardio element to a basic strengthening move. You’ll perform a bodyweight squat with your arms straight out in front of you, or bent with your hands behind your ears. At the bottom of the squat, jump as high as you can, land with your knees slightly bent, then immediately sink into your next squat.

                      4. Push-ups

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                        Push-ups are a total body exercise that are easily modified and can be made to be very challenging, even for the most avid exerciser. To make pushups easier, elevate your hands on a bench, counter-top, or against a wall.

                        To make push-ups more difficult, elevate your feet. The higher the angle (with your hands on the ground), the more of your bodyweight you support. Also, you can increase the range of motion by elevating your hands on books, push up handles, or something similar.

                        5. Mountain Climbers

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                          Mountain climbers might win the award for most travel-friendly exercise because they require no equipment and take up hardly any space. On the flip side, they also deserve some recognition for being super challenging.

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                          A 150-pound person can expect to burn around 30 calories after three sets of 40 repetitions. You can easily incorporate any of these other moves to create a full workout, or simply go for as many sets as you can.

                          6. Jumping Jacks

                          See the source image

                             

                             

                             

                            That’s right. This old-school warm-up is an effective form of cardio. The primary benefit of doing jumping jacks is that it elevates your heart rate. You breathe more deeply while jumping, which delivers oxygen to your bloodstream and ultimately to your muscles.

                            In addition, you will also shake your lymphatic system and burn fat at a rapid rate[2], promoting weight loss. Extra tip: Do as many jumping jacks as possible for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the same routine for 20 seconds and 30 seconds.

                            What to Do With These Exercises

                            Each one of the above-mentioned moves has the potential of consuming a lot of calories on its own. Pairing them or combining them can be an excellent way of creating a time-effective, fat-melting home workout. I have been coaching busy executives, moms, and dads for over a decade, and finding time-effective hotel room workouts has always been a skill of mine. In my experience with extremely busy clients all over the world, three types of routine give the best bang-for-buck results while also improving the rate of compliance (it’s useless to have the best routine if you don’t practice it).

                            Let’s explore a few examples:

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                            Daily Walks

                            This is the home fat burning protocol baseline. It’s important to realize that no exercise routine will help you lose weight if you don’t make a point of getting your 10,000 daily steps.

                            If you’re able to be out and about, aim to get 10,000 steps per day. Walking serves as a great way to clear your head, manage stress, and keep fat gain to a minimum.

                            This may not sound like a big deal, but getting around 10,000 steps per day may burn as many as 500 calories[3]. Taken over the week, that’s 3500 calories, or the same number of calories in a pound of fat.

                            Walk in the morning. Walk while doing meetings on the phone. Walk after meals. Walk while you listen to podcasts. Walking time doesn’t need to be dead time.

                            Bonus: When you go for your walks, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose. Nasal breathing has a ton of benefits including:

                            • Better oxygen extraction, which can lead to more energy.
                            • Maintain a balanced pH in your body.
                            • Deep nasal breathing may decrease nerve activity in the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response).
                            • Increase Nitric oxide, which can improve the flow of nutrients into your body, improve waste disposal, and regulate blood pressure.
                            • Regulate workout intensity.
                            • Mouth breathing accelerates water loss, which can accelerate dehydration.

                            The Intermittent Training Protocol

                            This protocol should be the base of your exercise program, and it takes virtually no time. Do this every day:

                            Pick one of the above-mentioned exercises and perform it with perfect form, as fast as you can, for 30′ seconds, totally cold. If you have stiff joints or previous injuries, scale down the jumping version of the exercise with the static one (example: switch jumping squats with regular squats).

                            Repeat this 2-3 times a day, every day.

                            In his book, The Immunity Code, Joel Greene explains how quickly performing an exercise totally cold and at a totally random time of the day will prime your body to learn that particular movement pattern, improving strength, metabolic rate (therefore fat loss), and joint health.

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                            The secret of maintaining a young body may as well be being able to sprint from zero to hero or squat as fast as you can without a second notice (as our ancestors might have been doing their whole life).

                            This intermittent training protocol takes virtually no time and has an insane cumulative effect. Think about it: 30 squats, three times a day, for seven days is 30 x 3 x 7 = 630 squats that likely equal 1000 calories burned and virtually zero time consumed. A great idea is to do your chosen exercise each time you hit the toilet in order not to forget about it.

                            The 20-minute Hotel Room HIIT Workout

                            Here, the game gets tough. If you can cut 20 minutes, one to four times per week, you’re up for a sweaty, fat burning blast. Do this:

                            Pick 4 of the above-mentioned exercises, and do them as fast as you can for 60 seconds, then rest for 2 minutes.

                            Example of a lower body + core day:

                            • 1′ jumping jacks, rest 10”
                            • 1′ jump squats, rest 10”
                            • 1′ jump lunges, rest 10”
                            • 1′ jountain climbers, rest 2′
                            • Repeat 3-4 times

                            Example of an upper body + core day:

                            • 1′ jumping jacks arms, fully extended, rest 10”
                            • 1′ press-ups, rest 10”
                            • 1′ burpees, rest 10”
                            • 1′ mountain climbers, rest 2′
                            • Repeat 3-4 times

                            Final Thoughts

                            Over my 10+ years of experience as a trainer coaching TV celebrities, executives, CEOs, and a ton of average people looking for a great workout, I’ve learned that the only way to help people maintain a fitness routine is to create a fitness regime that can improve people’s lives rather than consume it.

                            Going to the gym is great, but it’s a time-consuming activity, and it’s rarely a necessary one if your goal is to be lean, young, healthy, and energetic. Over the past four months, I’ve been helping thousands of people to get fit from home, for free, in my private Busy Yet Fit Community by streaming my live home workouts every single day. Feel free to join and learn more about at-home routines that suit all levels of fitness.

                            More on the Best Fat Burning Exercises

                            Featured photo credit: Pavigym Prama via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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