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The Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Almost everyone has experienced some form of lower back pain. In fact, lower back pain is one of the most common reasons why people miss work in the U.S. The most common symptoms of lower back pain are numbing in the lower extremity, general pain or discomfort, and trembling. There are many causes for lower back pain, though the most prevalent of which are muscle tension, poor posture, and age. Pain is experienced differently by everyone, and pain relief can help you start getting back to a feeling great. In this article, we will go over our favorite strength exercises that you can do at home to help you manage and treat your lower back pain.

woman stretching on a yoga mat

Before You Begin - Safety Considerations

  1. It is always a good idea to consult your doctor before engaging in any strength training that involves your lower back muscles.
  2. These exercises are designed to relieve your pain, not exacerbate it, so stop immediately if you feel pain.

Knee to Chest Stretch

This stretch is a simple way to get ready for your workout. This stretch can be done twice a day, once in the early hours and once at night. The steps are as follows:

  • Lie on your back; knees bent, feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift one leg into your chest with both hands.
  • Tighten your abs and push your spinal column to the ground. Keep holding for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise and do the opposite side.

This stretch can be done twice a day, once in the daytime and once at night.

Glute Bridges Exercise

This exercise aims to strengthen your leg muscles and abdominal muscle tissue. Begin with five repetitions and gradually increase to 30 repetitions. The steps are as follows:

  • Lie on your back, and knees bent, feet firmly on the ground.
  • Maintain a relaxed neck and shoulders, tighten your abs and lower body, and elevate your hips. Take care not to overextend your back.
  • Start with three deep breaths and hold the position as ideal as possible. Then return to your starting point.

Lower Back Flexibility Exercise

This is a low-intensity exercise for strengthening your back muscles and abdominal muscles. The steps are as follows:

  • Lie on your back, and knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your abs so that your stomach pulls away from your waistband. Keep holding for 5 seconds.
  • Relax your back and pull your belly button toward the floor. Hold for 5 seconds before relaxing.
  • Begin by repeating this stretch five times, gradually increasing to 30 repetitions.

Cat-Cow Stretch

This stretch will help to strengthen and relax the lower core muscles. This exercise should be done in the mornings and evenings to help release your muscles. You can do this workout 3 to 5 times a day, twice daily. The steps are as follows:

  • Place your hands and knees shoulder and hip-width apart on the floor.
  • Arch your back slowly and pull your abdominal muscles upward.
  • Allow your back and abdomen to slowly loosen up toward the floor, pressing even more by pulling your shoulders back looking up at the ceiling.
  • Back to the starting position and repeat the process.

Lower Back Rotational Stretch

This is another simple stretch to prepare your muscles for movement. You can do this three times at dawn and dusk. The steps are as follows:

  • Lie on your back, and knees bent, feet firmly on the ground.
  • Maintain a firm grip on the ground, turn your folded knees to one side, and retain for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and do the opposite side.

Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch

When performing this exercise, try not to twist your torso too far as you could exacerbate your pain or injure your back. You can do this 3 to 5 times per side, twice a day. The steps are as follows:

  • Sit in a chair or stool with no arms. Raise your right leg placed above your left leg and cross it over.
  • Turn and extend to the side by bracing your left elbow off the outside of your right knee. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Draw-in Maneuvers

The transversus abdominis is worked by the draw-in maneuver. This muscle is located on both the front and part of the abdomen. It helps to stabilize the spinal column and lower back. This exercise can be done up to five times per day. The steps are as follows:

  • Start lying back on the floor, knees slightly bent and feet flat, arms by your sides.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • Lift the belly button towards the spine while exhaling, stiffening the stomach muscles, and maintaining the hips.
  • Maintain the stance for 5 seconds.
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