I wanted to pass along a neat trick that I learned that is really helpful for people who have a weak or sore lower back. This is not a Pilates exercise, but more of what I call a “common sense” technique that is easy to incorporate into daily life.
One of the best ways to hurt your lower back is to bend forward and pick up something. For example, bending forward and picking up a bag of groceries or even a pair of shoes off the floor will put a lot of strain on the small, supportive muscles of your lower back. The first photo below is a perfect example of what NOT to do. The model is bending forward with a rounded spine with both arms reaching down to pick up the weight.
A better way to pick up something is to have “three points of support” – two feet and one hand. The photo below shows a better way to pick up the weight. The model is bending forward as well as reaching her hips back a bit so that her back is not rounded as in the first photo. Notice that she also has one hand on her thigh. She has lots of weight on her hand so that there is less stress on her lower back. Once she picks up the weight, she uses her hand to push herself back up so that the small muscles of the lower back are protected.
If you have any spinal conditions, this is really important for you to do when picking up objects (even light ones!). Even if your spine is healthy, why risk having a herniated disc?
Remember, I’m here to help if you have questions. My e-mail and website are on the right side of the page!