Updated March 2016
The Seated Twist Exercise Can Help Relieve Your Back Spasms
An Exercise to Help Reduce Back Spasms
Back spasms are one of the most painful and difficult conditions to overcome. This is an unexpected pain that can leave one in extreme and debilitating discomfort. There are numerous factors involved such as, overall conditioning, lower back flexibility, deep back muscle strength, discs issues and more.
There are many exercises that should be performed to address your back spasms. These exercises try to relieve both the flexibility, tightness and imbalance in the lumbar spine and muscles of the lower back. Many people don’t believe that they have a back problems until a full onset spasm occurs. At this point, correct and effective exercises should be considered.
The Seated Twist is a great exercise to help reduce this form of pain. It is Exercise #5 of the Challenge Exercises, It helps to reduce spasms by:
- Encouraging you to rotate both the upper and lower area of your back (for hip mobility and flexibility).
- Stretching tight lower back muscles (for mobility, reduces stiffness).
- Strengthening both the deep muscles of the spine and back (reduces low back stiffness).
- Strengthens the abdominals (reduces excessive anterior pelvic tilt, preserves neutral position).
This exercise should be performed in the morning, afternoon and evening. Back spasms usually come during an unexpected twisting motion. By strengthening the muscles of your back that are needed during this everyday (but risky) movement, your can help reduce your risk of back spasms. (It is important to have consent from your family doctor prior to any exercise routine such as the Standing Hip Shift.)
Step 1: Sit comfortably with knees together and upright.
Step 2: With one hand beside you, and the other behind you, gently rotate your upper body to the side as far and as comfortably as possible.
Step 3: Hold for 1 minute and rest.
Step 4: Repeat by twisting in the other direction.
Step 5: Repeat often.
Note: When you are in the hold position, your upper body will respond faster than your lower back. Maintain the hold for a long period of time initially so that the lower back muscles will have a chance to respond. The goal is to relax into a hold and not to force a turn.
Tip: When you can perform this exercise easily, do it unassisted without your hands. This allows you to recruit and strengthen the back muscles to actively control your rotational flexibility instead of passively.
This is a very difficult exercise to perform initially. Your initial stiffness you prevent you from fully executing the movement but should improve over time.
When performing this exercise, you may tend to slouch while twisting. Avoid slouching to prevent lower back pain. Try to maintain a straight spine as you rotate to the sides. Take deep and controlled breaths as you rotate. Try to keep your knees bent as in the images shown and together. This helps to flex the leg muscles in order to activate your core muscles.
Be sure to pause at the end of the twist (fully left or right) and then return to the forward position.
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“I started noticing a difference in my back within three days.”
“I came across your website. It was as if it was talking about me. The anterior pelvic tilt, the tight hip flexor muscles, the weak glutes, hamstrings and Abs….I am now on day 5 and I am already noticing an improvement in my posture and reduced pain.”