If you or any of your clients have ever had low-back or knee discomfort, you are well aware of the impact it has on exercise, movement, and energy levels. Persistent pain is associated with chronic weariness and a possible reliance on pain-relief medicines, which may cause other symptoms.
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), low-back pain is a frequent problem around the world, with an estimated 7.5 percent of the global population having it at some point in their lives. This equates to an estimated 577 million people worldwide.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, knee discomfort is also one of the most common complaints for physical pain (NHIS). According to the NHIS, 36.5 percent of individuals in 2019 experienced lower-limb discomfort, which includes hips, knees, and feet. According to this survey, persons aged 65 and older tend to be the most affected by lower-limb pain.
Despite the fact that pain is so common, it does not have to be permanent for your clients. These six easy yet effective workouts may provide some relief by increasing muscular fitness and stability. Try incorporating them into your clients’ plans to see if they provide any relief.
Exercises for Low-back Pain
Dr. Stuart McGill is an emeritus professor at the University of Waterloo and the creator of Back Mechanic. Dr. McGill advises the McGill “Big Three,” which comprises of three movements: the McGill curl-up, the side plank, and the bird dog, to assist reduce low-back pain. These activities aid to increase spine stability by improving the rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum, and back extensors’ muscle fitness while limiting spine loading.
These movements should ideally be practised at least three times each week. At start, have your customers do three sets of each exercise as stated below. These movements can also be used as a warm-up before your clients’ workout.
The McGill curl-ups should be performed in a reverse pyramid repetition pattern, beginning with more reps in the first set and gradually decreasing the amount of reps in each subsequent set. The knees can be bent to minimise the difficulty of the side planks or straightened to increase the effort.
Knee pain could indicate instability or a lack of strength somewhere along the leg’s length, from the feet and ankles to the hips and gluteal muscles. It is not always indicative of a knee joint damage. The source of the pain should, of course, be fully diagnosed by a medical doctor or physical therapist, but the exercises outlined below may assist to ease knee pain.
Because people walk in a straight line, walking backwards may help to improve stability. It’s a good idea to target the hamstrings (the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris) while strengthening the muscles that support the knee with specialised motions like hamstring curls. Finally, clamshells can assist strengthen the hip area, as hip and knee strengthening may help alleviate patellofemoral pain.
Warm up your clients’ lower-body workouts with the movements listed below. At start, have your customers do three sets of each exercise as stated below.
Walking backwards is best done on a modest incline with shorter steps. To progress, have your client hold a weight to their chest or a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand down by their sides. Hamstring curls can be done with the feet on a medicine ball, as seen in the video, or with the feet on sliders or a TRX if you want to progress the action. This exercise can also be done on a hamstring curl machine, but have your client focus on reducing the eccentric part of the action to three seconds to work the hamstring more intentionally.
Incorporating these exercises into the programming you design for your clients may be the key to minimising low-back and knee discomfort. Begin with the specified repetitions and/or duration for each and see whether there is any improvement in their subjective discomfort or general capacity to move after four weeks.