Lower Back Pain Exercises


Many people have asked us about lower back pain exercises, and we are hesitant to recommend any specific exercise for back pain here because, without knowing the exact cause of your back pain, we don’t want to suggest something that might make your condition worse.  We are going to offer some simple exercises that target the lower back area, but strongly recommend you talk with your doctor, especially if you’ve injured yourself or if your back pain is more than minor tension or discomfort.  This article is in no way a substitute for medical advice.

In addition to doing exercises for the lower back, you may want to try some abdominal exercises.  That’s because the abdominal muscles help to support the spine.  Strengthening those muscles can help to relieve back pain.


The lower back pain exercises we have here should not increase your pain.  If they hurt you, don’t do them.  We don’t want you to injure your back further.  Instead, you should see your doctor or a physical therapist for exercises that are appropriate for your condition.

Before beginning these exercises, it’s good to do some warm up activity.  That can be walking, riding an exercise bike, using an elliptical machine, or similar activity.  Warm up for five to seven minutes before beginning your lower back pain exercises.  Warming up increases the blood flow to your muscles and prepares them for activity.  It makes injury less likely.

Here are some lower back pain exercises you can try.

Pelvic Tilt

This is a simple but effective exercise for back pain.

Starting position:  Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent.

Action:  Push the small of your back into the floor by pulling the lower abdominal muscles up and in.  Hold your back flat.  Hold for 5 seconds.  Repeat 5 times.

Hip Rolling

This gentle exercise usually feels really good to a sore back.

Starting position:  Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent.  Cross your arms over your chest. 

Action:  Turn your head (trunk) to the right as you turn both knees to the left.  Allow your knees to relax and go down without forcing them.  Return to starting position.  Reverse directions.  Repeat 5 times in each direction.

Side Bending

This exercise loosens tight muscles at the sides of your back.

Starting position:  Stand up straight with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder width apart.

Action:  Bend your trunk to one side by lowering your shoulder.  Run your hand down the outside of your thigh.  Hold for 5 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.  Repeat 5 times on each side.

Backward Bending

This exercise for back pain gives the back a gentle stretch.

Starting position:  Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.  Keep your knees as straight as possible.  Place your hands on your back firmly at your waist level.

Action:  Bend backwards at your waist, keeping the knees as straight as possible.  Hold for 5 seconds.

Full Body Stretch

This is a great exercise for back pain, upper and lower back.

Starting position:  Lie on the floor with arms stretched out over your head and legs out straight.

Action:  Reach arms and legs in opposite directions.  Hold 5 – 10 seconds, relax, repeat.

For best results, do your exercise for back pain every day.  You should begin to notice results within just a few days, and you will notice a difference if you skip a few days, as well.

You will notice that most of the lower back pain exercises given here say to repeat the exercises about five times.  As you feel your back muscles get stronger, you can increase the number of reps you do



More than lower back pain exercises on our benefits of exercise page

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