EMS is an amazing tool to use in injury rehabilitation and in particular dealing with lower back pain. EMS (electro muscle stimulation) can target specific muscles in the body through an electric impulse, causing an intense contraction to the muscle. This is a very effective method of stimulating a muscle without excessive load or tension. Controlled exercises can be combined with EMS to amplify the effects on the body and get the most out of your session. We have chosen some great exercises and stretches to help with lower back pain. You can add these to your own EMS/gym sessions, Include them as part of your warm up or even throughout the day.
Exercises to strengthen lower back.
It is important to focus on strengthening your lower back even when you may in discomfort. Working the muscles in the erector spina group and Quadrates Lumborum (QL) will help to give the lumbar spine more support. These are often worked during spine extension and lateral flexion. We need to be careful with how we load these positions to not cause pain or irritation. Below we have some great exercises suitable for home/gym/EMS training.
Skydive position How to correctly perform the skydive
Lying prone, extend both arms, legs and chest off the floor to bring you back in to extension. You should feel your glutes, lower back and upper back contracting to maintain this position. Try holding this for 2-4 seconds at a time and repeat.
Hinge/ Romanian deadlift How to perform a hinge
Using a light weight from standing, push your hips back as hard as you can keeping a soft bend in the knees until you feel a stretch in to the hamstrings or you can’t push you bum back any further! After we hit our end range position, return the hips to a neutral standing position and repeat. You should feel your hamstrings, glutes and lower back working. You can progressively overload the weight over time.
Single leg hinge/ deadliftHow to perform single leg deadlift
similar exercise but slightly more advanced as it requires greater balance and control as you are positioned on one leg. Kick the other leg back as you lean forward to load of the glutes and hamstrings before using the hips to control the movement back to a standing start.
Bridge How to perform a bridge
Lying on your back, have your knees bent at roughly 70 degrees. Push through your feet and shoulders in order to raise the hips off the floor and bringing your back in to slight extension. Be careful not to create excessive lower back extension and maker sure the glutes are the main driver. Pause at the top for 2 seconds and return to the floor.
Bird dog Correct position for bird dog
On all four’s extend the arm and opposite leg to lengthen the back and work the glutes, lower back and shoulders. Some lower back extension may occur but we want to keep this to a minimum.
EMS training allows the Lower back, lats and upper back to be stimulated safely during these positions and throughout the rest of the session. These electrical impulses not only target superficial muscles, but also area’s such as the QL. The QL lie’s much deeper in the back and is even considered a muscle of the abdomen.
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