Discover how you can help prevent and alleviate lower back pain by using those resistance bands you are exercising with at home.
Utilizing resistance bands to stretch and alleviate lower back pain
Let me start by saying, I’m no young buck anymore. Age has a scary way of creeping up on us. If we don’t take care of ourselves, our bodies will let us know we need to kick it into gear or the aches and pains will begin to settle in. One way to prevent this is by stretching the body, and stretching frequently.
I didn’t go to medical school or get a degree in health and science, however I did marry an Occupational Therapist who lectures me daily on the need to stretch. Her constant, and I mean constant response whenever I complain of a body ache is “go stretch!” I’m an athlete, I know I need to stretch. I have to be honest though, with age also comes an influx of responsibilities. Go to work, take one kid to hockey, take the other to gymnastics, mow the grass, family time, repeat. When I do have time for a workout, the last thing I want to do is waste time stretching. However, I was doing more damage to my body than I realized.
According to an article published by Harvard Medical “Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.” From time to time, lack of stretching will cause my lower back to occasionally go out and leave me at the mercy of my wife to help me get dressed. I think she’s lost patience with me because last time she left a long handed grabber to use to put my pants on. Did I mention she’s a therapist? So between my wife’s loss of sympathy, feeling myself lose a hint of dignity while dressing myself with a stick, and the voice in my head saying “stupid, just go stretch”, I started to incorporate stretching to my workout routines. I will tell you from experience the difference it has made is life changing. I don’t focus a ton of time on stretching, patience is a fault of mine, but the ones I have started have really helped my back stay loose. Aches and pains are not as common as they once were. Listed below are three stretches I use daily even if I’m not doing a workout.
- Forward Bend- Sitting on the floor, legs together and straight in front of the body, begin to bend forward at the hips, reaching hands out for the tips of your toes. Utilize a resistance band to enhance the stretch, Examples of resistance bands.
- Cross leg- Laying on the floor, raise one leg up with the other remaining flat. Cross raised leg over to opposite side of body. Try to keep body flat on the ground. To enhance stretch use resistance band by wrapping band around foot of elevated leg and pull to opposite side of body.
- Figure 4 Stretch- sitting in a chair, place right ankle on top of left thigh. Press right hand into top of right knee. If desire for more intense stretch, trying doing same movement on floor, only this time pulling left leg towards body. Refer to this video for visual demonstration. Figure 4 Stretch.
I am not a medical doctor, nor do I hold a professional license in the medical field. The information presented is solely based on my experiences as a professional athlete and for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician prior to any new or changing fitness endeavors. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities promoted by this site.
Author Bio - Michael Lucas
Before finishing his professional baseball career as a pitcher, within the Chicago White Sox organization, Michael Lucas was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. Growing up, he was always involved in sports, specifically baseball. As he progressed as a pitcher, he started to become more passionate about the mechanics and the things he considered to be controllable. Naturally, strength and conditioning became a focus of his as he progressed through being a 4-year starter at Division 1 Xavier University to starting his professional baseball career with the Chicago White Sox organization. The son of a chiropractor and teacher, Michael has been aware of mechanics and the importance of proper movements even before having success with baseball. The cross pollination of his athletic career alongside his passion of mechanics and teaching gives him a unique perspective on the development of athletes.
While teaching and training remain a focus of Michaels, his absorption lies within helping athletes achieve their goals through the quality products and services provided by Shelter Fitness; a leading e-commerce fitness company co-founded by Michael and his former teammate at Xavier University and brother, Matt Lucas. Michael continues to challenge himself both personally and professionally through multiple channels. He remains involved in professional baseball through various professional organizations and high-level relationships. Michael currently resides in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania with his wife and children.