An easy but important step in reducing lower back pain is by doing abdominal strengthening exercises on a regular basis. By strengthening the abdominal muscles, your back muscles will have better support, reducing how much they have to work. This is especially true for office workers — sitting for long periods of time can cause stress to the lower back. Even a couple abdominal strengthening exercises can help reduce back pain.

The traditional sit up is one way to strengthen your abs. A simple variation to the sit up is especially helpful for the oblique muscles.

To do this exercise, lay on a comfortable, flat and supportive surface, like the floor or a yoga mat. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Place your left ankle on your right knee, creating a triangle shape with your legs. Place your hands behind your back to support your neck. Think about flexing your abdominal muscles as you bring your left elbow to your left knee as you breathe out. Relax and lower your head and shoulders back to the floor. Breathe out. Inhale as you lift your head and shoulders again, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Repeat five times with each elbow, then switch legs so your right ankle is on your left knee and repeat. As you build strength, increase the amount of time you hold your elbow to your knee, and the number of repetitions you do.

Abdominal Strengthening Exercises