1. Sit on a rowing machine with feet flat on the ground and knee joints at a 90 degree angle.
2. Adjust seat so that axis of rotation lines up with shoulders. Set chest pad so handles are just within reach or scoot back on seat for additional emphasis on low back (lumbar) muscles. Keep a natural arch in your spine with tight abdominal's and shoulders relaxed. Don't allow spine to flex forward during movement.
3. Pull handles towards stomach while moving shoulder blades together.
4. Move handles back once elbows moves slightly past shoulders.
Back To Basics - How Specific Exercises Can Alleviate Low Back Pain
"If you have lower back pain, you are not alone..."
That is the opening line on the front page of the Low Back Pain Fact Sheet as supplied by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. And when you consider that it affects some 80% of Americans at some point in their lives it is easy to see why it is the second most common neurological ailment next to headaches! The fact that it costs the U.S. government some $50 billion economically because it is the number one job-related disability and leading contributor to days missed at work is also another huge cause for concern.
It has been said that there are 300,000 operations performed each year to rectify low back pain problems, and that it is the third most common form of surgery in the U.S. It occurs most often between the ages 30-50, but is also prevalent amongst schoolchildren with over 13,000 injuries being reported in 2000 as a result of overloaded backpacks!
Luckily for most low back pain disappears after a few days, although for others the muscle ache and the stabbing pain can last much longer.
But what can you do about it?
Well, of all the remedies available physical therapy - i.e. low back exercises - has been proven to be one of the most promising in terms of alleviating the pain and curing the symptoms, as a report on the website of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons indicates and concludes that, "Exercising to restore motion and strength to your lower back can be very helpful in alleviating pain." They also recommend Pilates and Yoga as possible helpful strategies.
Lower back exercises come in many forms and in one study published on the website Spine, "a specific exercise" treatment was viewed to be more effective than other "commonly prescribed conservative" programs. Forty four patients with lower back pain were randomly separated into two groups; one underwent a 10-week specific exercise treatment program, whereas the other was supervised by their treating practitioner. The study concluded that the specific exercise group showed a "statistically significant reduction in pain intensity and functional disability levels" which was maintained at a 30-month follow-up.
Another report published on ScienceDirect also shows that back strengthening exercises proved effective for combating low back pain and these included "specificity, individual tailoring, supervision, motivation enhancement, volume, and intensity."
A further study shows that bad back exercises are effective treatment for low back pain. Published on the Clinical Rheumatology website the report concludes that, after 37 randomized controlled trials, and compared to usual care, "exercise therapy improved post-treatment pain intensity and disability, and long-term function."