Building strength in the lower back can enhance your performance in any sport and keep injuries at bay.
The lower back acts as a hinge that connects the upper and lower body. The muscles vertebrae disks and ligaments in the lower back can twist and bend forward backward and from side to side. Because of this wide range of motion the area absorbs a lot of stress during everyday movement
The lower back muscles are like shock absorbers. When you run jump or fall they prevent the shock from moving to the spine’s vertebrae disks and ligaments. Which is why over time these parts take much strain and become prone to ruptures and tears.
Yoga helps to strengthen the lower back muscles that support the spine and its natural curves. These curves help distribute forces evenly and provide stability during motion; when they become exaggerated due to weak muscles pain tends to pop up–not only in the lower back but in other parts of the body as well. Strong lower back muscles also help lengthen the spaces between the spine’s bones and disks preventing them from grinding against one another as you move.
So how do you stretch and strengthen these muscles? Typical yoga postures such as Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) Dandasana (Staff Pose) and forward bends are particularly good they work the muscles of the abdomen and the sides of the torso in addition to those of the lower back. This creates a natural girdle that protects us from injuries. Trikonasana also strengthens an important back muscle called the quadratus lumborum which connects the hip to the rib cage and allows you to bend sideways. It also helps one side of the pelvis lift higher than the other. You use it repeatedly during any activity in which you shift your body weight from side to side.
Poses such as Dandasana and forward bends help stretch not only the back muscles but also the hamstrings helping relieve tension in the lower back. They also teach you to extend through the torso and tip the top of the pelvis forward so the back can move through its normal range of motion. This is important for the lower back muscles to function optimally. There’s a relationship between the length of a muscle and the strength that it generates if a muscle cannot move along its normal full range of motion it can’t generate the optimal power.
Balance and coordination can’t be overlooked either because they help you react to certain situations say jumping and twisting to hit a tennis ball preventing injury to your lower back muscles. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) can help build both these skills by training the nerves throughout the body to tell the brain where the body is in space and time.
If you d like to discover how yoga can help you call me Nicole – on 620 147 089 for details of my classes in Calpe & Moraira. I also run yoga holidays on the Costa Blanca see www.yogabreaks.org.uk and can advise on teaches in Javea Ondara Denia Oliva & Benitachell.