When your back is healthy, what can you do to test it out to make sure it’s working the way it should be? A physical challenge is a great way to test out your back. Think of it as an oil change. Every 5000 miles, you should bring your car in to have your mechanic make sure that everything is good running condition. The same concept holds for your low back.
The test will be different based on your age. Select the test below in your age range and see how you measure up!
The Test: Bear Position
Get down on your hands and knees on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists with your arms straight. Position your hips directly above your knees. Tuck your toes underneath your ankles. Lift your knees off the floor 1-2 inches.
Attempt to hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining your shoulders over your wrists, your hips over your knees and your spine in neutral.
Can you hold bear position for 3 minutes?
Can you hold bear position for 90 seconds?
60 and above
Can you hold bear position for 45 seconds?
If you are able to maintain the position for the amount of time above based on your age, great job! It is likely that you have developed the muscles of your core well enough to prevent low back pain. If you were unable to maintain bear position for that amount of time, your core could use some strengthening and you are at a higher risk of developing low back pain.
How do I get better at this test?
Improving your score on this test is simple. Practice the bear position and try to improve your time. Even if you can only hold the position for a few seconds, that’s OK! Nowhere to go but up! Keep working on this along with the top 3 exercises for getting rid of low back pain and your core strength will continue to improve.