Many people take scoliosis tests in school and some receive a positive diagnosis. For those who have a lateral curvature of the spine to the left, incorporating regular lumbar scoliosis stretches and strengthening exercises will help reduce symptoms.
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What Is Scoliosis?
Someone diagnosed with scoliosis has a three-dimensional deformity that changes the spine's structure and function, according to an October 2015 study from Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders. With this health condition, your spine can curve to either the left or right.
This postural deviation occurs when a spine curves more than 10 degrees, per an August 2015 review from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). ACE also notes that scoliosis comes in two types: structural and non-structural. Although structural is not correctable, you can help correct your non-structural deviation through exercises aimed at improving strength and range of motion.
When beginning an exercise program, lumbar scoliosis convex to the left exercises should include both stretching and strengthening, as this will help tone and tighten the tissues. Not sure where to start? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you should focus on exercises that strengthen both the abdominal region and back muscles.
Scoliosis Exercises to Perform
ACE offers stretches and exercises for a lumbar curvature, which are aimed at improving strength and range of motion while working musculature imbalances due to the postural deviation.
Move #1: Hip Bridge Stretch
- Lie on the floor on your back.
- Bend your knees and keep your feet flat as though you are going to do an ab crunch.
- Lift your hips as high as possible until you can feel your glutes contract.
- Squeeze your glutes together for 30 seconds.
- Slowly lower your hips back down to the ground.
- Complete 10 reps.
Move #2: Cat Stretch
- In a hands and knees position, place your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Slowly roll your back up and drop your head down.
- This stretch mirrors that of a scared cat.
- Hold the position for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
Move #3: Arm Across Chest
- Sit down on floor with legs crossed.
- Place one arm across the front of your body.
- Grasp the elbow with the opposite hand.
- Pull the arm across your body without twisting the torso.
- Hold this for 10 seconds.
- Switch arms.
- Complete 2 sets of 2 reps.
Move #4: 3-Point Dumbbell Row
- Bend forward and place the left hand on a bench.
- Place your feet directly under your hips, shoulder-width apart.
- Straighten your back and align your head, spine and tailbone.
- With a dumbbell in the right hand, row the dumbbell up to the body. You can do this by squeezing the shoulder blades back.
- Lower the dumbbell. Repeat this for 10 reps.
- Switch arms and repeat for 10 reps.
- Complete 2 sets of 10 reps per arm.
Move #5: Kettlebell Suit Case Deadlift
- Stand with your feet feet hip-width apart and toes pointed forward.
- Place a kettlebell outside of one foot.
- Bend at the hips, making sure the knees stay behind the toes.
- Keep your chest and head looking at a spot on the wall to keep them from looking down.
- Move the hips and butt back, like you're sitting down into a chair. Don't move your knees over your toes.
- Lower yourself down until you pick up the kettlebell.
- Slowly stand back up with the kettlebell in hand.
- Lower yourself back down.
- Keep the kettlebell in hand and repeat this movement 10 times.
- Switch sides.
- Complete 2 sets of 10 reps.
Read more: 12 Ways Real People Stopped Hating Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: "Exercises for Scoliosis: How to Develop Programs for Clients with Scoliosis"
- Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders: "Patient-Reported Side Effects Immediately After Chiropractic Scoliosis Treatment: A Cross-Sectional Survey Utilizing a Practice-Based Research Network"
- University of Maryland Medical Center: "Adult Scoliosis Treatment"