I’m not withering away, it is just sciatica! I think that is what frustrated me the most when I was first researching sciatica. When you look up “Sciatica Relief Exercises” on google, the only thing that pops up is stretches, even when the header says exercises.
I get it, we need to take easy to not strain our back when it is already in such a fragile condition. Does that mean we have to give up on working out or keeping in shape? NO! I will not stand for it. I already have to use that darn back pillow, take my anti-inflammatories, and walk around like an out of shape 70 year old. The last thing I am going to do is give up my lifestyle, that has actually helped me more than anything else.
Today I am going to talk about a couple of sciatica relief exercises that you can do at the gym or the comfort of your own home.
Start off easy .
Today was my first day back in the gym after about a week off and multiple hours at a desk. It was AWESOME, but my back didn’t think so. I could feel my hip wanting to fight me on everything I wanted to do.
“You are going to limp as you start up the treadmill on 3.5 mph” – Sciatica “Don’t even try to put in on an incline, you will fail.”
I tell ya, Sciatica is not one you want to mess with, so I let her win that round. “FINE I will limp, but I will keep going.” Sciatica did not like my go getter backlash very much.
Finally, we reached an agreement to keep going and eventually the pain started to go away. I started to feel more comfortable with the pace and even change the speed to 7 mph. #winning
Eventually I got off the treadmill and was ready to bring on the weight. Now if you do not have a treadmill at home, I honestly prefer running outside anyway. Just make sure you have the proper shoes, we don’t want to have both knee and back problems. PS: If you do, I am really sorry, but hopefully this helps with one 🙂
Oh how I love and hate this machine. I am not fond of bending over on the machine, especially in public. Yet, the machine does the job. Your goal is to work out you muscles connected to and around your lower back.
Place your feet comfortably within the leg bar, place your hands behind your head, and bend forward. From here you want to slowly lift your torso back up to your starting position.
Target points include:
- Spine muscles
- Hip muscles
- Rear thigh
- Abdonminal muscles
That is a hole in one if I have anything to say abound it! Now you might see people at the gym holding weights as they do this workout. You are not Arnold Schwarzenegger and Let’s keep your back in one piece.
If you do not have access to a Hyperextension bench, I would lie flat on the couch or bench while someone is holding your feet. It should feel like a curl for your back. You can even lie flat on your stomach and raise both arms and legs upward to the ceiling.
Back Extension & Ab Curl Duo.
Before I move from one back workout to another, I like to give it a break and add in some arm workouts. You do not want to burn out, especially on the first day back.
Welp now we are back. So head over to the back extension machine. I would personally start out with a very limited weight to non at all.
Adjust the leg and back cushion to whatever fits your height. Cross your hands over your chest and push you torso backward, as if you were reclining. I like to do slow, steady workouts to gain the most benefits. Those woodpeckers you see in the gym aren’t receiving the gains they think they are.
First rep down, nice! Now it’s time for the ab curl machine.
Again, you want to adjust the settings to comfortably fit you and adjust the weight as well. Bring your chest towards your knee as your arms hug the cushion.
I bounce back and forth on these machines doing 10 reps per set, 3 sets each. Adjust to your liking.
Now while trading off machines did help, I did feel slight pain during both of these workouts. Some might stop, I do not. You don’t want your back to worsen, but the first couple of days are always like that. Especially with how much I am sitting now.
I make sure, towards the end of my workout, I hit the power tower as it is one of my favorite sciatica relief exercises. You have many choices as this machine does some great workouts!
You can place your hands on the arm rest and let your feet hang, relieving your lower back and letting those muscles stretch. OH MAN, does that feel good or what?
If you are looking to add in an exercise, you can work out your abs.
- Place your forearm on the arm rest while your hands are gripping the handle.
- Start out with your legs straight.
- Without bending your knees, slowly bring your legs to a 90 degree angle with your body.
- Return them to the starting position.
I do 3 reps of 10. In between each rep, I will just hang there or do some other exercises.
Tonight my back is HURTING! I went from working out at the gym, didn’t stretch after my workout, and now I have been sitting for the past 6 hours. Don’t follow this step at all! But I do have a door chin lift which my fiance bought, never used, and I used to hate. Do you think I hate it now? not at all. I love it, especially when I just want some back relief. Poor posture and gravity are working against us, let’s fight back!
This is just the beginning.
As I go through my journey I am going to keep you up to date on what I find in my research and experience. Please let me know your feelings and how I can better help you!