Exercise for Hip & Lower Back Pain

By Tiesha Whatley
A bad hip can make golf a painful experience.
A bad hip can make golf a painful experience.

Lower back and hip pain can plague any golfer. A day on the course offers more dangers than you may realize. Careless swings, lifting golf bags and constantly bending over to retrieve golf balls puts strain on the body, especially the lower back and hips. The good news is that there are exercises that can relieve, and even prevent, pain to these areas of the body. Properly strengthening and stretching these muscles prepares the body to deal with the stress put on it while playing golf.

Stretching Target Areas

It is important to target four areas when exercising for hip and lower back pain: hamstrings (for support of the lower back and hip), piriformis (back of thigh bone to the base of the spine), psoas major (area attached to the lower spine), and the gluteus (to increase flexibility to the hip). Stretching these muscles daily will improve pain that is already present and prevent other injuries from occurring.

Back Flexions

To perform the back flexion exercise, lay flat on your back. Pull both of your knees all the way to the chest while bringing your head forward until you are in a balled-up position. Feel the stretch in your thighs, pelvis, back, shoulders and neck.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

The knee-to-chest stretch starts in the same position, laying flat on your back. Bend your knees and place both of your feet flat on the floor so your heels are touching the floor. Lift your hands and place them behind the knees. Slowly bring the knees to the chest and pull so you feel the stretch.

Hip Stretch

Stretching the hips and gluteus muscles daily not only helps the hips but also the lower back. To do a basic hip stretch, stand tall with the feet shoulder-width apart. With the right foot, take a half-step back while bending the left knee and keeping the right leg completely straight. Shift the weight to the right hip. Bend forward while stretching the right leg.

Low Impact Exercises

Low-impact aerobic exercises are gentle for the back while strengthening the body. Several low-impact aerobic exercises include walking, cycling, elliptical training and water therapy. Doing one or more of these exercises three times a week for 20 minutes is beneficial for lower back pain. If you do these exercises consistently, any pain in the lower back and hips should start to lessen. Soon, you will be able to enjoy playing golf again without worrying about the pain.

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