What has working from home taught us over the last year?
We have EVEN fewer reasons to get up and move around. The world has shifted to working from home and all signs point to that this will not change anytime soon. In April 2020, the American Chiropractic Association has reported a surge in work from home injuries such as neck and lower back pain.
Why the sudden increase? Some may be attributed to non-ergonomic chairs and increased screen time but the real culprit is people’s being way less active than before having to work from home. We no longer need to walk to catch the train (let’s be honest, RUN because we are late) and commute to work, walk to a coffee shop with colleagues for breaks, or even get up to go to a meeting room.
How can I strengthen my lower back then?
The human body was designed to move around and when we sit for too long our lower half will turn off, especially the muscles that we spend so much time sitting on, our butts!
If you’ve been hard at work without a break for 4-6hrs then it’s time to get up and move around. Otherwise, your glutes will not activate and stay turned off for long periods of time.
Stop Doing Lower Back Strengthening Exercises
The first impulse for many people who suffer from lower back pain is to start doing lower back strengthening exercises.
But why would you treat any muscle or body part that is sore by overloading it with more exercises?
For example, if your biceps were extremely sore or in pain for weeks, would you do more reps of bicep exercises and lift heavier weights? No, that does not make any sense.
It is the same for our lower back. Let it rest and instead, focus on training, activating and strengthening muscles that help support your lower back:
Over the last 10 years of training working professionals such as yourselves, I have found that strengthening glutes is the fastest and most effective way to help protect and strengthen your lower back.
3 Best Exercises To Train Your Glutes at Home
Below are 3 Exercises that can be done in your home with minimal space. They can be done everyday and completed in no more than 5 minutes.
1. Bridge and Single Leg Bridge
It is THE glute exercise. If you had time to do only one exercise, this would be it.
Standing Clams w/Bands
If your glutes haven’t been activated in a long time, it can be hard to even know what they feel like “turned on.”
With the use of a power exercise band, you don’t need to do much thinking. You WILL feel them burning.
✅ Hip Adductors
Now that you have your glutes turned on by the other 2 exercises, it’s time to engage a bit more thinking and focus.
Bonus: Helps to stabilize your knees
How to use these exercises?
The best time to do these exercises:
- First thing in the morning
- Before you exercise or go for a run
- Anytime you feel stiff around your lower back
How many times?
If you are a beginner and new to exercise, the following is the recommended sets and reps:
2 sets: 10 reps
2 sets: 10 reps
2 sets: 10 reps (total for both sides)
After 4 weeks of consistently training and doing the exercises correctly, you can transition to higher reps or stronger bands.
An intermediate set would look like the following:
Bridge or Single Leg Bridge
2 sets: 15-20 reps
2 sets: 15-20 reps
2 sets: 15-20 reps (total for both sides)
Let me know what you think of the exercises in the comments and share with me which one is your favourite.
Need More Help?
You don’t have time to think about what exercises to do and when?
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