For millions of Americans, lower back pain is a common occurrence. We asked Los Angeles Dodgers strength and conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel for his best advice on keeping the aches and pains at bay.
“The stronger you make your glutes (butt), the better you’ll be at bending over to pick things up without hurting your back,” McDaniel says. “I’ll start a rookie with goblet squats or kettlebell deadlifts.” Once mastered, move up to barbells with heavier weight.
Your core works as a support structure for your lower back. “Planks, side planks and glute bridges are all good for strengthening your core.” Warm up for your workouts with three rounds of one minute each of those exercises to get your core ready to work.
No Heavy Machinery
If your back is sore, don’t attempt to “strengthen” it by using the back extension machine at your gym. “That machine will likely just break it down more.”
If you’re sore from yesterday’s workout, go through a thorough warm-up. “Go through a dynamic movement, hit the foam roller, stretch and warm up thoroughly,” McDaniel says.
“Medicine ball chest passes and med ball slams” both force your core to tighten and adjust to the weight as you catch and throw it.
—By Billy Brown