Health & FitnessScience

Summer fitness: a vacation routine to soothe your sciatica

Has your sciatica been acting up all year? Make the most of your free time on vacation, on your beach towel for example, and run through this simple routine concocted by fitness instructor Yakisan Cagdas.
Thirty to 45 minutes, four times per week for one month, will help bring you relief.
Sciatica is to blame for 5-10% of people with back pain. It usually presents itself with a sharp pain in the lower back that extends through the back of the leg, sometimes all the way to the foot, and can affect you for a long time if not taken care of.
Exercise 1
To start off, you'll have to lie on your stomach with your arms outstretched to the sides.
The object of the exercise is to lift your head and torso off the ground and stay locked in that position for 30 seconds while breathing normally.
This will strengthen your abdominal area and the muscles in your lower back.
Sciatica occurs when one of the five nerve roots in the lower back (the L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3 vertebrae) lock up.
Strengthening this area is thus essential.
Complete 3 sets of 15 reps with a 45-second rest period in between each set.
Exercise 2
Start in the same position as in the first exercise, lying on your stomach with your arms forming a cross.
This time, instead of locking your body and holding, when you elevate your body raise and lower your torso in little rapid movements, making sure not to force too much and aggravate the sciatic nerve.
Complete 2 sets of 20 reps with 45 seconds of rest time in between.
Exercise 3
Stay on your beach towel, in the same position, on your stomach.
Now you'll want to lift one side of your torso up off the ground and at the same time lift the leg on the opposite side.
Keep alternating the opposite sides for 2 sets of 20 reps with a 45-second break in between.
This will strengthen your lower back and your glutes.
Exercise 4
This final exercise will tighten the abdomen and strengthen the lower back.
With your body on its side, keep your body straight as you support yourself on one elbow and one foot, your hip not touching the ground. Keep your abs tight.
To complete the exercise, raise and lower your waist with short and quick movements.
Do 2 sets of 20 reps on one side and then the same on the other, always with 45 seconds to recover in between each set.

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