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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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                Published on May 3, 2019

                8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

                8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

                Are you frustrated by why on earth you can’t lose any weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day?

                How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get? Why does nothing seem to be working!?

                If any of those questions sound familiar, then read on. Because I am about to show you some of the best tools you can use to pull yourself out of that rut!

                If you can relate, I’ve been there too. In fact, if it helps your situation at all, I think most of us have at some point or another. Most people feel like, at some point or another, they reach a plateau. It’s that exasperating place that seems to keep us from moving forward (or is moving us slowly).

                How can we break past this point? How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

                To have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

                Let me put it this way, in your business, do you go into work figuring you’ll find something to do once you get there? Probably not. You know exactly what needs to get done and you have a game-plan (a task sheet or to-do-list) to get you there. You might even have a few different “games” you play with yourself to make your work more enjoyable or listen to a motivational speaker to make sure your morale is up.

                The same goes for fitness. If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

                If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

                I am about to show you the top fitness apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

                Keep reading to find the apps which might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

                1. MyFitnessPal

                  When it comes to favorite fitness apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

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                  MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free, and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

                  Just enter the ingredients into each meal and it will add up how many calories you eat. Indulged in a burrito? No problem! Just scan the barcode and it will enter that in for you.

                  Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients.

                  While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

                  If you want a one-stop map to success then this is it! This will not only help you develop a gameplan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

                  Get MyFitness Pal here!

                  2. Fitbit

                    I know you’ve already heard about this app before, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

                    While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

                    Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving throughout the day.

                    This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure.

                    Get Fitbit here!

                    3. MapMyRun

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                      This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast alike. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. And, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

                      If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

                      Once, my boyfriend (Now Husband) ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

                      MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be apart of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

                      Get MapMyRun here!

                      4. Zombies, Run!

                        Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

                        ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget that you are exercising!

                        This app takes you through a story-line makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

                        And don’t even worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on it’s own.

                        Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (As we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

                        Get ZombiesRun here!

                        5. Prepear

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                          Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter.

                          Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

                          With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

                          Bye Bye paper shopping lists! And Bye-Bye fast food! You won’t be needing that anymore!

                          Get Prepear here!

                          6. Strava

                            If walking is your health resolution, this one might be for you!

                            Strava was actually sent to me by one of my clients for me to track his daily walking. This app is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

                            This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

                            Get Strava here!

                            7. Aaptiv

                              If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you.

                              Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

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                              While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aptive is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                              The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                              Get Aaptiv here!

                              8. Freeletics

                                Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym.

                                Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight. No equipment is needed!

                                You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                                That’s right, you work-travellers — Say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                                Get Freeletics here!

                                The Bottom Line

                                These 8 apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

                                Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams! Good luck on your fitness journey!

                                Featured photo credit: Marion Michele via unsplash.com

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