5 Exercises to Activate Your Muscles & Improve Your Workout

Muscle activation exercises connect the body and mind to enhance your workout and optimize your results. Activation exercises are typically short, isolation exercises that target specific muscles to “wake them up”. Just like stretching, activation exercises increase blood flow to prepare the muscles for weightlifting, cardio, sports, or other physical activities.

We will explain these 5 activation exercises throughout the blog:

  • Superman holds to activate your back
  • Push-ups to activate your chest
  • Band pull apart to activate your shoulders
  • Monster walks to activate your glutes
  • Walking lunges to activate your quads

Click HERE to learn more about muscle activation.

How Perform Activation Exercises

Activation exercises only take a few minutes, but are extremely valuable. They can easily fit into your warm-up and require little to no equipment.

Perform each exercise at a slow tempo. Focus on the moving body part and the muscle that is being engaged during the exercise. This will ensure you are activating the right muscle groups.

To advance the exercise, contract the muscles at the peak of the exercise.

Some exercises require a resistance band. A resistance band will increase the difficulty of the exercise and further increase muscle activation. When using a resistance band, choose one that is not too tight or too loose and allows you to keep constant tension throughout each exercise.

Learn more about resistance bands HERE.

Perform the Following 5 Activation Exercises

Superman Holds Activate Your Back

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight back and arms stretched above your head. Your forehead should also be resting on the floor. Exhale and slowly lift your arms, legs, and head off the floor. Keep your arms and legs straight as you hover them over the ground. You should feel your back muscles and glutes engage and activate.

Hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 3 sets.

Push Ups Activate Your Chest

Begin on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart. Extend you legs straight back so all your weight is on your hands and toes. Maintain a neutral spine from head to toe.

Before you begin, engage your core. Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle while keeping your elbows tucked in by the side of your body. Contract your chest muscles and push back up through your hands to the starting position.

For beginners, perform the push up on your knees rather than your toes.

Do 5-10 push ups and repeat for 3 sets.

Band Pull Aparts Activate Your Shoulders

You will need a resistance band for this exercise. Choose a resistance band strength that allows you to get through the exercise while maintaining good form.

Stand tall with good posture and your feet shoulder-width apart. Start by holding the resistance band with an overhand grip at shoulder height with your arms extended out in front of your body. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats and upper back.

To initiate the movement, squeeze your upper back and begin to pull the band apart. As your arms begin to move backwards, your shoulder blades should retract and come together. When your arms are fully extended out to the side of your body, squeeze your upper back muscles, hold for a few seconds, and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise 10 times for 3 sets.

Read about how the Band Pull-Apart exercise can improve your posture HERE.

Monster Walks & Squats Activate Your Glutes

You will need a resistance band for this exercise. Choose a resistance band strength that allows you to get through the exercise while maintaining good form. Place the resistance band around your ankles.

For lateral monster walks, stand shoulder-width apart, keep your head, shoulders, and chest forward, and actively engage the glutes and your core. Keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.

Take a wide step laterally (to the side) with your right leg or lead leg, followed by your left leg or trail leg.

Continue stepping laterally for 10 steps and repeat on the other leg in the opposite direction. Repeat for a total of 2 sets in each direction.

Watch a step-by-step video about Monster Walks & Squats

Read more about Monster Walks & Squats HERE.

Walking Lunges Activate Your Quads

Start with your feet hip-distance apart. Maintain good posture with your torso upright and tall, core engaged, shoulders back, and chin lifted.

Take a big step forward with your right foot. Your left heel should lift naturally off the ground. Keep your core engaged as you bend your knees and lower your back knee toward the floor. Your knees should both make 90-degree angles. When you step forward with your left leg, your knee should not extend past your ankle.

Push through your right heel using your thigh muscles to rise to a standing position and lift your left foot from the ground. As your left foot comes forward, follow through with a big step forward. Keep your core engaged as you bend your knees and lower your back knee toward the floor. Your knees should both make 90-degree angles. Stop before your knee touches the floor.

Start with 10 lunges per leg and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

Summary

Muscle activation exercises are a great way to prepare your body for physical activity. Include these 5 exercises prior to your workouts or physical activities to optimize your outcome by encouraging mobility, joint stability, and safe, injury-free training.

Experiencing Joint, Muscle, or Bone Pain or Injury?

Are you experiencing pain in your bones, joints, or muscles? Make an appointment with Orthopedic Institute. Our orthopedic specialists will evaluate your problem and create a personalized care plan for your pain or injury.

Scheduling an appointment is easy. Click, call, or text us. Or self-schedule your visit.

  • To call, click 605-331-5890 and talk with our scheduling team.
  • To text, click 605-331-5890 and text APPT to us, and our chatbot will help get you started.
  • To self-schedule at our Sioux Falls office, click SELF-SCHEDULE, and follow the prompts.

5 Exercises to Activate Your Muscles & Improve Your Workout

Muscle activation exercises connect the body and mind to enhance your workout and optimize your results. Activation exercises are typically short, isolation exercises that target specific muscles to “wake them up”. Just like stretching, activation exercises increase blood flow to prepare the muscles for weightlifting, cardio, sports, or other physical activities.

We will explain these 5 activation exercises throughout the blog:

  • Superman holds to activate your back
  • Push-ups to activate your chest
  • Band pull apart to activate your shoulders
  • Monster walks to activate your glutes
  • Walking lunges to activate your quads

Click HERE to learn more about muscle activation.

How Perform Activation Exercises

Activation exercises only take a few minutes, but are extremely valuable. They can easily fit into your warm-up and require little to no equipment.

Perform each exercise at a slow tempo. Focus on the moving body part and the muscle that is being engaged during the exercise. This will ensure you are activating the right muscle groups.

To advance the exercise, contract the muscles at the peak of the exercise.

Some exercises require a resistance band. A resistance band will increase the difficulty of the exercise and further increase muscle activation. When using a resistance band, choose one that is not too tight or too loose and allows you to keep constant tension throughout each exercise.

Learn more about resistance bands HERE.

Perform the Following 5 Activation Exercises

Superman Holds Activate Your Back

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight back and arms stretched above your head. Your forehead should also be resting on the floor. Exhale and slowly lift your arms, legs, and head off the floor. Keep your arms and legs straight as you hover them over the ground. You should feel your back muscles and glutes engage and activate.

Hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 3 sets.

Push Ups Activate Your Chest

Begin on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart. Extend you legs straight back so all your weight is on your hands and toes. Maintain a neutral spine from head to toe.

Before you begin, engage your core. Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle while keeping your elbows tucked in by the side of your body. Contract your chest muscles and push back up through your hands to the starting position.

For beginners, perform the push up on your knees rather than your toes.

Do 5-10 push ups and repeat for 3 sets.

Band Pull Aparts Activate Your Shoulders

You will need a resistance band for this exercise. Choose a resistance band strength that allows you to get through the exercise while maintaining good form.

Stand tall with good posture and your feet shoulder-width apart. Start by holding the resistance band with an overhand grip at shoulder height with your arms extended out in front of your body. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats and upper back.

To initiate the movement, squeeze your upper back and begin to pull the band apart. As your arms begin to move backwards, your shoulder blades should retract and come together. When your arms are fully extended out to the side of your body, squeeze your upper back muscles, hold for a few seconds, and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise 10 times for 3 sets.

Read about how the Band Pull-Apart exercise can improve your posture HERE.

Monster Walks & Squats Activate Your Glutes

You will need a resistance band for this exercise. Choose a resistance band strength that allows you to get through the exercise while maintaining good form. Place the resistance band around your ankles.

For lateral monster walks, stand shoulder-width apart, keep your head, shoulders, and chest forward, and actively engage the glutes and your core. Keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.

Take a wide step laterally (to the side) with your right leg or lead leg, followed by your left leg or trail leg.

Continue stepping laterally for 10 steps and repeat on the other leg in the opposite direction. Repeat for a total of 2 sets in each direction.

Watch a step-by-step video about Monster Walks & Squats

Read more about Monster Walks & Squats HERE.

Walking Lunges Activate Your Quads

Start with your feet hip-distance apart. Maintain good posture with your torso upright and tall, core engaged, shoulders back, and chin lifted.

Take a big step forward with your right foot. Your left heel should lift naturally off the ground. Keep your core engaged as you bend your knees and lower your back knee toward the floor. Your knees should both make 90-degree angles. When you step forward with your left leg, your knee should not extend past your ankle.

Push through your right heel using your thigh muscles to rise to a standing position and lift your left foot from the ground. As your left foot comes forward, follow through with a big step forward. Keep your core engaged as you bend your knees and lower your back knee toward the floor. Your knees should both make 90-degree angles. Stop before your knee touches the floor.

Start with 10 lunges per leg and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

Summary

Muscle activation exercises are a great way to prepare your body for physical activity. Include these 5 exercises prior to your workouts or physical activities to optimize your outcome by encouraging mobility, joint stability, and safe, injury-free training.

Experiencing Joint, Muscle, or Bone Pain or Injury?

Are you experiencing pain in your bones, joints, or muscles? Make an appointment with Orthopedic Institute. Our orthopedic specialists will evaluate your problem and create a personalized care plan for your pain or injury.

Scheduling an appointment is easy. Click, call, or text us. Or self-schedule your visit.

  • To call, click 605-331-5890 and talk with our scheduling team.
  • To text, click 605-331-5890 and text APPT to us, and our chatbot will help get you started.
  • To self-schedule at our Sioux Falls office, click SELF-SCHEDULE, and follow the prompts.

       

Orthopedic Institute physical therapist demonstrates Monster Walks and Monster squats to activate glutes and hips.

How to Perform Monster Walks & Squats to Warm-Up Your Glutes & Hips

Monster Walks and Monster Squats are commonly used exercises to help activate the lateral hips and glutes. They can also be used as a rehabilitation strengthening exercise. When performed correctly, these exercises may help prevent injury and muscle strain by promoting strength and stability.

A resistance band is needed to perform the Monster Walk and Squat. Use a resistance band that is not too tight or too loose, and keep constant tension in the resistance band throughout each exercise.

Learn more about resistance bands HERE.

Click HERE for a step-by-step instructional video on Monster Walks & Monster Squats or watch below.

Monster Walks – Lateral & Staggered

Orthopedic Institute physical therapist demonstrates how to perform a monster walk using a resistance band.

Lateral Monster Walks (Moving Side to Side):

  • Starting Position:

    For lateral monster walks, stand shoulder-width apart. Keep your head, shoulders, and chest forward, and actively engage the glutes and your core. Keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.

  • Performing the Exercise: Take a wide step laterally (to the side) with your right leg or lead leg, followed by your left leg or trail leg. Continue stepping laterally for 10 steps and repeat on the other leg in the opposite direction. Do not over stride – over striding may cause injury.

Staggered Monster Walks (Moving Forward & Backward):

  • Starting position: Stand tall with the resistance band around your ankles. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your right foot or lead leg a half step in front of your left foot or trail leg. Your toes should be forward and your knees straight during the entirety of the exercise. Keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.
  • Performing the exercise: Take small steps forward beginning with your right foot or lead leg followed by your left leg or trail leg. Step forward for 10 steps and backwards for 10 steps. Repeat on the other leg. Do not over stride – over striding may cause injury.

Remember that you should be feeling this exercise on the outside of your hips and glutes. For maximum results, perform the exercise slowly with full-body control to promote knee, hip, and ankle stability.

Learn more about Monster Walks HERE.

Monster Squats – Lateral & StaggeredOrthopedic Institute physical therapist demonstrates how to perform a monster squat with a resistance band.

Monster squats are another great addition to your workout routine as they activate your glutes prior to compound exercises and provide stability and strength throughout your workout.

Lateral Monster Squats (Side to Side):

  • Starting position: Begin in a partial squat position with your feet flat to the ground and shoulder-width apart. Maintain the squat position, engage your core, and keep a neutral spine.
  • Performing the exercise: Maintain a squat position throughout the exercise. Take a wide step laterally with your right leg or lead foot followed by your left leg or trail leg. Continue stepping laterally for 10 steps and repeat on the other leg in the opposite direction. Do not over stride – over striding may cause injury.

Staggered Monster Squats (Forward & Backward):

  • Starting position: Begin in a partial squat position with your feet flat to the ground and shoulder-width apart. Take a small step with your right foot or lead foot a half step in front of your left foot or trail foot. Your toes should be forward and your knees straight during the entirety of the exercise.
  • Performing the exercise: Maintain a partial squat throughout. Take small steps forward beginning with your right foot or lead leg followed by your left leg or trail leg. Step forward for 10 steps and backwards for 10 steps. Repeat on the other leg. Do not over stride – over striding may cause injury.

Monster Walks and Squats can be a great addition to your warm up when preparing for leg day, cardio, or any other form of physical activity. Proper glute and hip activation can help prevent injury and muscle strain by promoting strength, stability, and function.

To learn about other muscle activation exercises for other body parts, click HERE.

Experiencing Joint, Muscle, or Bone Pain or Injury?

Are you experiencing pain in your bones, joints, or muscles? Make an appointment with Orthopedic Institute. Our orthopedic specialists will evaluate your problem and create a personalized care plan for your pain or injury.

Call 605.331.5890 or click HERE to make an appointment.

 

Man is exercising in a gym facility by lifting weights and preparing to squat or deadlift.

5 Ways to Prevent Back Pain During Exercise or Everyday Activities According to Experts

Does your back hurt during or after exercise? Many individuals experience mild to severe back pain during or after physical activity. Exercise-induced back pain can occur due to over exercise or injury, but typically occurs due to improper form. It is frequently described as muscle aches, shooting pain, or a burning sensation.

Implementing these tips into to your exercise routine may help avoid back injuries, and prevent back pain.

To learn more about why you experience back pain during your workout HERE.

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates how to achieve a neutral spine using a pole to ensure a flat back.

1. Avoiding Back Pain by Maintaining a Neutral Spine When Squatting or Bending Over (Hip Hinging)

How to achieve a neutral spine: To ensure you have a neutral spine, use a one-inch diameter, four-foot length PVC pipe or pole (a broom handle or yardstick works great). Place it behind your back vertically. The pole shoulder be centered between the buttock muscles and the shoulder blades making contact with the sacrum, middle back, and the back of the head. Then grab the pole with both hands. Place one hand in the small of your back and the other hand behind the neck. Practice your squatting and bending technique while holding the pole. With proper form, the pole should maintain its three points of contact – on the head, middle back, and sacrum. Your hands should remain in contact with your low back and neck.

For the entirety of the squat or hip hinge, maintain a neutral spine and avoid rounding your back (flexion or hyperextension of the spine) to prevent your spine from bearing too much weight and causing injury. Back flexion occurs when your spine bends forward from the waist. Back hyperextension occurs when your spine bends backwards from the waist.

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates bad posture or hypertension of the back. Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates lack of a neutral spine or flexion/rounding of the back.

Conclusion: It is highly encouraged that you achieve and maintain a neutral spine during the entirety of each exercise, especially when squatting or hip hinging. Maintaining a neutral spine cushions and protects the spine in addition to preventing injury and optimizing results.

To understand more about achieving a neutral spine HERE.

2. Avoid Back Pain by Squatting Correctly

Whether you are lifting weights at the gym or just lifting your laundry basket at home, it is important that you use proper form when squatting. Rising from a squat or sitting position improperly can easily cause injury.

Correct Squat Form: To initiate the squat, place your feet shoulder width apart. Gently elevate your chest and lightly draw your belly button in while engaging your core muscles. Begin to bend at your hips, knees, and ankles while you lower your buttocks down and back towards the ground. As you descend, take a breath in, keep your head up, and maintain a neutral spine (See Tip #1). Then, using your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles, pull your hips forward while extending your knees to return to the starting position. As you ascend, breathe out, keep your head up, and engage your core. To ensure a neutral spine, use a pole when performing the squat as explained in Tip #1.

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates the starting position for a proper squat. Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates a proper squat form while ensuring a neutral spine.

Correct Sit to Stand Form: When getting out of the chair, it is important to first slide forward towards the edge of the chair. Bend your knees so your feet are directly under your knees. Then gently elevate your chest and draw your belly button in towards your spine to activate your deep core muscles. Then bend forward at your hips (not your waist) so your chin is over your toes. Breathe out as you rise from sit to stand, pull your hips forward, and straighten your knees. All motion should occur at your hips, knees, and ankle, and not in the low back. 

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates proper sit to stand form beginning with sliding forward. Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates proper sit to stand form by bending forward at the hips before rising to stand. Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates proper sit to stand form ending with rising to stand.

Conclusion: Learning to squat properly benefits your entire body in addition to preventing injury and avoiding pain. When you squat, your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and other leg muscles work together simultaneously. It strengthens the muscles you use daily when walking or climbing stairs, and helps improve stability, balance, and overall function.

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates how to properly hip hinge in order to avoid back pain and ensure a neutral spine.

3. Avoid Back Pain by Bending (Hip Hinging) Correctly

For simple activities at home such a brushing your teeth or doing dishes, and more advanced activities at the gym like bent over rows and hang cleans, learning how to properly bend at the hip will help to avoid pain and injury. When done correctly, your hips, hamstrings, and glutes should bear most of the weight without putting stress on your back.

Correct Hip Hinge Form: To perform the hip-hinge, stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and lightly bend the knees. Shift your weight to your heels and push your hips backwards. Begin to lower your torso until it is midway between vertical and parallel to the floor. When lowering your torso, maintain a neutral spine by only bending at the hips to avoid rounding or hyperextending your back (See Tips #1). Reverse the movement by engaging your glutes and pushing your hips forward until you have returned to the upright, starting position. To ensure a neutral spine, you may use a pole when performing the hip hinge as explained in Tip #1.

If you have difficulty maintaining contact with the pole when standing, you can attempt the same hip hinge exercise in a tall kneeling position or quadruped position.

Modification 1 – Tall Kneeling: Begin in a tall kneeling position holding the pole as described above. To initiate the movement, lower your buttocks down and back to your heels. Let your torso and shoulders lean forward in order to maintain the three points of contact. Keep your torso upright. You should primarily be moving at the knees and limiting motion at the hips.

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates a hip hinge in a tall kneeling position while using a pole to maintain a neutral spine. Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates a hip hinge in a tall kneeling position while using a pole to maintain a neutral spine.

Modification 2 – Quadruped: Start in a quadruped position with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees. Lower your buttocks down and back towards your heels. Maintain a neutral spine throughout and ensure all motion is occurring at the hips and knees. 

Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates the starting position for a quadruped modification of a hip hinge. Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist demonstrates the ending position of a quadruped hip hinge modification.

Conclusion: Bending (Hip Hinging) is an essential movement in the gym and at home. Performing it correctly prevents injury and back pain and reduces the wear and tear of your back. This exercise builds strong glutes and hamstrings to promote good posture, stability, and balance.

4. Avoid Back Pain by Strengthening Your Core Muscles

Engaging and strengthening your core muscles is an overlooked detail of building a strong, stable back. Without a strong core, the bones and ligaments bear more weight than tolerated resulting in pain or injury. When you have a strong core, it takes weight off of the bones and ligaments and distributes it throughout the core.

The core not only includes your abdominals, but it also includes the muscles on the front, sides, and back of your abdomen. They surround your spine and provide stability, strength, and balance when performing any exercise.

Perform the following exercises to strengthen your core:

Plank:

Place your forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below the shoulders. Your arms should be shoulder width apart and parallel to your body. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes (butt). Keep your neck and back in a neutral position (straight). Engage and squeeze your core. Hold the plank for 30 seconds for beginner, 45 seconds for intermediate, and 60 seconds for advanced.

 

Bird Dog:

Kneel with your knees hip-width apart and place your hands shoulder-width apart. Engage your core the entire time. Simultaneously, lift one arm straight in front and the opposite leg straight back from you. The extended arm and leg should create one straight line while your hips stay square to the ground. Hold the extended arm and leg for a few seconds and then return them to the ground. Repeat with the other arm and leg. Complete 10 times each arm and leg.

 

Hip Extension:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Your arms should lay by your side palms down. Engage your core. Using your hamstrings and glutes, push through your heels to lift your buttocks and back until you have created a straight line from your knees to mid-back. Hold and then slowly lower back to starting position. Complete 15 reps.

 

Dead Bug:

To get into the starting position, lie on your back with your arms extended straight over your shoulders. Bend at the hips and bring your feet off the ground. Your torso and thighs, and thighs and shins should both form a right angle. Engage your core. Keeping your right arm and left leg still. Then lower your left arm over your head towards the floor, and lower and extend your leg out towards the floor. Reverse this motion slowly and repeat on the other leg and arm. Complete 10 reps each arm and leg.

 

Superman Hold:

Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and arms extended straight in front of you. Raise both arms and both legs at the same time so they are about 3-5 inches off the ground. Hold this position and then return your arms and legs to the ground. You should feel this exercise throughout your back, glutes, and hamstrings. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

 

Conclusion: Your core muscles are vital to the protection and stability of your back and spine. Strong core muscles aid in injury and pain prevention. In addition to this, strong core muscles provide a strong foundation for daily activities like walking, sitting, and climbing the stairs.

5. Stretch to Relieve and Prevent Low Back Pain

It is important to stretch your hamstring muscles because it may relieve low back pain and help prevent injury by decreasing pressure on your joints and muscles. Hamstring stretches may also relieve leg pain associated with lower back pain like sciatica.

Consult Your Physician: It is important to note that not all stretches provide relief for back pain. Talk to your physician or physical therapist to find out which stretches are suitable for you.

Click here for 5 Stretches to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain:

https://blog.orthopedicinstitutesf.com/5-stretches-to-help-relieve-lower-back-pain 

Conclusion: Regular stretching of the muscles, tendon, and ligaments of your legs can be effective in treating mild back pain. Hamstring stretches may reduce built up tension in the muscles that support the spine, and can increase range of motion and mobility.

Learn more about why a strong core may help reduce low back pain HERE.

Our Spine Therapy Specialists

 Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist Sean Magee Orthopedic Institute Spine Therapist Ryan Otto

Sean Magee and Ryan Otto are spine therapists at Orthopedic Institute. They are certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy from the McKenzie Institute. They have years of experience working with patients struggling with back and neck pain. 

Learn more about Sean Magee and Ryan Otto: https://orthopedicinstitutesf.com/physical-therapists/

The McKenzie Institute is recognized as a worldwide provider of education, training, and support of the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy that effectively treats patients with back and neck disorders.

Read more about The McKenzie Institute HERE.

Experiencing Ongoing Back Pain? Make an Appointment with Orthopedic Institute.

If implementing these 5 tips into your exercise routine does not alleviate your back pain, make an appointment with Orthopedic institute and receive a personalized care plan for your pain or injury.

Man stretches using both hands and legs to provide relief for hamstring soreness and tightness.

5 Stretches to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

Are you experiencing low back pain? Lower back pain is extremely common and affects nearly 8 of every 10 people at some point during their lives. Treatment for back pain can range from conservative to non-conservative methods depending on the severity of your pain or issue. If you are experiencing back pain, talk to your physician about what treatment option is best for you.

For less severe, mild cases of back pain, we recommend the following stretches for relief and prevention.

1. Knee to Chest StretchOrthopedic Institute athletic trainer demonstrates the knee to chest stretch to relieve low back pain.

To get into this stretch, start by lying on the ground with one leg straight and the other leg bent up towards the chest. Take both hands and place them on your shin to pull your knee closer toward your chest. You should feel a good stretch through the lower back. Hold for around 10-15 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg.

 

 

 

2. Modified Piriformis StretchOrthopedic institute athletic trainer performs the modified piriformis stretch to relieve low back pain.

Start by lying on your back and bending both knees up while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. You will then put your right hand on your left knee and pull your knee towards your right shoulder. You will feel a good stretch in your left glute. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

 

 

 

Orthopedic Institute athletic trainer demonstrates the band hamstring stretch to help relieve low back pain. 3. Band or Towel Hamstring Stretch

Lay on your back with your legs straight. Wrap a band or towel around the bottom of your left foot. While keeping your leg straight, slowly raise the left leg as far up in the air as you possibly can. You should feel a stretch in the hamstring (back of your thigh). Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

 

 

 

 

Orthopedic institute athletic trainer demonstrates the floor glute stretch to relieve low back pain.

4. Floor Glute Stretch

Starting in a tall plank position, take your left leg and pull it up to a position that is under the chest. The leg should be in a 90 degree angle, or as far as your foot will allow forward. From this position, sink the hips down and back until you feel a stretch in your glute. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg.

 

 

 

5. Cat/Cow StretchOrthopedic institute athletic trainer demonstrates the cat or cow stretch to help relieve low back pain.

Position yourself on both hands and knees with your hands placed below the shoulders and knees below the hips. Engage the core and slowly arch the back towards the ceiling as much as you can. Hold for 5 seconds. From that position, slowly relax and let your stomach fall towards the floor by bringing your shoulder blades together and arching your back downwards. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat both Cat and Cow 5 times.

 

 

Does your back hurt during or after exercise? Many individuals experience mild to severe back pain during or after physical activity. Exercise-induced back pain can occur due to over exercise or injury, but typically occurs due to improper form. It is frequently described as muscle aches, shooting pain, or a burning sensation.

Click here to read about 5 Ways to Prevent Back Pain During Exercise or Everyday Activities According to Experts:

https://blog.orthopedicinstitutesf.com/5-ways-to-prevent-back-pain-during-exercise-or-everyday-activities-according-to-experts

Still Experiencing Back Pain?

Are you still experiencing back pain? Make an appointment with Orthopedic Institute. Our orthopedic spine specialists will evaluate your problem and create a personalized care plan for your back pain or injury.

Call 605.331.5890 or click below to make an appointment.

 

Schedule an appointment

Radial Pulse Therapy used to treat Plantar Fasciitis, Tennis Elbow, and other forms of Tendinitis at Orthopedic Institute.

The Best Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis and Tennis Elbow