Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has a simple lower-back exercise you can do at home without any special equipment. Before you try these exercises at home, especially if you have any history of pain, it is important that you be cleared by your doctor or physical therapist.
The “superman” exercise is useful to people who are beginning a lower-back strengthening regimen. There are also variations of the “superman” for those who may need an intermediate exercise.
This particular group of exercises focuses on training the back, buttock, thigh and shoulder muscles. It can be done prone, kneeling, and on an exercise ball. Prone Superman is the best position to start out. It takes pressure of the knees and pelvis, making it ideal for those with sore knees, hips, or poor stability.
- Lying prone on a stable surface, a rug or carpet is preferred. Elbows bent with forehead resting in your hands.
- Place a pillow under your hips for comfort.
- Start with a single backwards leg raise. Raise only a few inches, your hips should not come off the pillow. Simultaneously extend the opposite arm upwards with the thumb pointing towards the ceiling, this way the shoulder muscles become engaged.
- Make sure to keep your eyes pointed at the floor so your neck is neutral. Your hips should also be pointed at the ground, and not rotating during movement.
- Hold for a 5-10 seconds, then lower the arm and shoulder at the same time.
- Alternate sides.
The endurance required to hold the core supported is the main focus of this exercise. As you feel the need to progress the exercise, try holding each position for longer periods of time. Once you have mastered the prone position, you can move on to the kneeling position, pictured below.
At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we provide personalized therapy programs for each patient. Our staff works with every patient to build a therapy programs tailored to their goals. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert physical therapist!
1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1
Orange, CA 92868by