We learnt from Part 1 of this blog (click here if you missed it) that a weak butt might be the culprit when it comes to your lower back pain.  Having a weak butt (glutes) means your back takes up the slack when it comes to supporting your body in everyday movements and activities.

The best solution to your pain is to make exercise a daily part of your routine and this blog will outline four exercises you can do to activate and strengthen your glutes to reduce pain.  The other benefits of these exercises are that they will help with your core strength, balance and mobility…..what a bonus!

First we need to wake up your butt!

The next 2 exercises can be done on the bed if getting down on the ground is not appealing or difficult.

Hip Bridge

Lie face up on a mat, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place a mini band around your legs, just above the knees. Lift your hips up off the floor. Do you best to keep your thighs lined up with the hip joints. Try to resist the inward pull of the band Bring your hips back down to the floor and repeat.

Perform 2 sets of 10-12 reps to start and progress as strength builds.

Note: This can be performed without the band as a level 2 option.

Clam Shell

Lie on your side with your head supported by pillow. Bend the knee of the right leg and place the instep of that foot just below the left knee. Gently raise and lower the right knee while keeping the pelvis tucked under and stationary throughout the exercise. Don’t “cheat” during this exercise by hiking the hip, arching the lower back or rolling the hips. When performing this exercise correctly, you will feel a strong contraction on the outside of the right butt and hip.

Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps, focusing more on the side that is the weakest.

Once your glutes and awake progress to the glute-strengthening exercises.

Squat With kick back

Stand with feet about hip-distance apart. Place a resistance band under both feet and grasp the ends of the band in each hand. Lower down into a squat with your knees tracking over your toes. Squeeze your glutes and rise up out of the squat. Extend one leg back behind you without arching your low back. Bring your foot back to start and repeat the squat with hip extension on the other leg.

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps on each leg to start and progress as strength builds.

Note: You can also perform this movement without the band and use a chair for stability as you squat.

Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps, focusing more on the side that is the weakest.

Once your glutes and awake progress to the glute-strengthening exercises.

Reverse Lunge

Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and the hands by the sides of the body. Take a step backward with the right leg and remain on the ball of your right foot. Bend the left knee and lower the body down toward the floor. Pause when the left thigh is parallel to the floor (if you can). Return to the starting position by pushing off of the right rear foot and straitening out the left leg. Repeat on the other leg. Be sure to keep the upper body straight during the entire exercise.

Perform 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg to start and progress as strength builds.

Note: Your options for this exercise are to hold onto a chair for additional stability as this will challenge your balance, which in turn strengthens your core.

This routine should be performed at least twice a week. If you have any pain performing these exercises, please discontinue until further treatment/advice can be sort from an Allied Health professional.

Traveling with less pain is what we all want in the end. It allows us to enjoy our journey and create lasting (wonderful) memories. If you stick with it, the results will come.

Want some guidance in a structured workout/exercise plan customised to suit your fitness level, goals and abilities? Why not consider my Online Personal Coaching. Do you have niggling injuries or aches and pains that I can help you overcome to ensure you are Fit4theRoad and can continue your travels?  If so, get in contact with me  and I can tailor a program of strengthening and rehabilitation exercises to have you back on track. – Kerri