Lower Back Pain Exercises

Lower Back Pain Exercises

There are many different types of lower back pain exercises that can help you to relieve some of the discomfort.  It is important that you contact a doctor before you begin any exercises for lower back pain so you do not cause more extensive problems.   Back exercises for lower back pain can consist of strengthening and aerobic exercises.  An exercise ball can help to enhance any stretching exercises you perform.

Lower Back Pain Exercises – Strengthening

Strengthening your core adds support to your lower back.   Core stability involves the abdominal and trunk muscles, as well as the pelvic.  Strengthening exercises can help to support your lower back muscles, which can help with relieving back pain and prevent future injury.   Here are some strengthening back exercises for lower back pain:

Front Lying Chest Lift

  • Lie on your stomach.
  • Interlace your fingers.
  • Place your palms against the back of your head. If there is pain, just put your palms on the floor on either side of your head.
  • Raise your chest up from the floor a few inches.   Hold for five seconds.
  • Do three sets of eight reps.

Pelvic Tilt

  • Pelvic TiltLie on your back.
  • Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floors.
  • Press your feet down while you are pushing your pelvis upward.

Stomach Leg Lifts

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place your palms on the floor to support your chin.
  • Press your pelvis to the floor while lifting both legs off of the ground a few inches.
  • Hold and repeat.

Double Knees to ChestDouble Knees to Chest

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place your arms to your side.
  • Extend your legs.
  • Pull both legs in towards your chest.
  • Grasp your legs from behind the knees.
  • Hold and repeat.

Curl Ups


  • Lie on your back.
  • Place your hands behind your head.
  • Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor.
  • Curl up by lifting your face toward the ceiling until your shoulders are just a few inches above the ground.
  • Hold and repeat.

Oblique Curl Ups


  • Lie on your back.
  • Place your hands behind your head.
  • Bend your knees and roll them to the right and then curl up.
  • Repeat on the left side.

These are just a few strengthening stretches for lower back pain.   You can find more stretches in our article titled, “Lower Back Pain Stretches.”

Lower Back Pain Exercises – Exercise Ball (Stretching)

An exercise ball is a helpful tool that can help to enhance the stretch without straining your back or other muscles.   If you are new to using an exercise ball, then you may wish to choose one that is soft.  It will be easier for you if the ball is not completely filled.  Soft balls are easier to work with than hard balls that are filled at full capacity.  Perform each exercise slowly.

Leg/Floor Ball Exercise


  • Lie on your back.
  • Bend your knees while resting your calves on the ball.
  • Raise your arm over your head and then lower it and alternate between the right and left sides.
  • Tighten one knee.  Relax and alternate between right and left sides.
  • Straighten one knee and raise the opposite arm over your head.   Alternate the opposite arms and legs.
  • Walk the ball forward and backward with your legs.

Sit on Ball Exercise

  • Sit on the ball with your hips and knees bent at a 90 degree angle.  Rest your feet on the floor.
  • Raise your arm over your head and lower it.  Alternate the sides.
  • Raise and lower your heel.  Alternate the sides.
  • Raise one heel and then raise the opposite arm over your head.  Alternate the opposite arm and the heel.
  • March by slowly raising one foot two inches from the floor.  Alternate the right and left sides.
  • Stand with the ball between your lower back and the wall.
  • Bend your knees 45 to 90 degrees.  Hold for five seconds.  Next, straighten your knees.
  • Bend your knees 45 to 90 degrees while you raise both arms over your head.

Be sure you don’t arch your back when performing exercises.

Lower Back Pain Exercises – Aerobics

Aerobic exercises have an important role in helping with lower back pain.  You will want to incorporate a low impact aerobic exercise into your routine.    Here are some low impact aerobics to consider:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Water Aerobics
  • Bicycling
  • Low Impact Aerobic DVDs

Be sure to start off slow and gradually increase your pace and distance.  For example, if you do not usually swim, start with one lap, and then gradually increase to two, and then three, etc.   Eventually, you should try to work towards a regular routine of 20 to 40 minutes three to five times a week.

Always use proper posture techniques when exercising.  This is important in reducing strain on your back.  When you walk, stand up straight without slouching.  Your back should be slightly arched and pay attention to your abdominals.  They should be pulled in.  Stay away from aerobics that will jar your body, such as running or aerobic dance, as they can be too hard on injured muscles and joints.

Remember to contact a doctor before you start an exercise routine for lower back pain.  If you experience severe pain after you have started lower back pain exercises, then stop exercising and contact a doctor immediately.

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