Top Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Lower back pain can be tough, but it’s important to stay active. According to experts, bed rest is a big no-no when it comes to relieving lower back pain. Before you start your day, it’s a good idea to get into a back-friendly exercise routine so that you can relax your back and get your muscles warmed up.

Not sure what exercises are good for lower back pain relief? We’ve got you covered! Here you’ll find the top 16 exercises so that you can improve stretching, stability, strengthening and movement. Check out these exercises and try to add them to your daily back routine! Be sure to always check with the GP before you add any new exercises into your workout routine. Once you get the all-clear from your doctor, you can then proceed with these beneficial exercises.

Leg Stretch

Stretching Exercises

  • Standing thigh stretch: One of the best exercises for your back is the standing thigh stretch. Just bend your knees and use your hand to pull your foot up and back. Your thighs should press together as you hold. You can also hold onto a chair or a rail.
  • Lying back stretch: The lying back stretch is done on your back. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Now, pull your legs to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and do 3 sets.
  • Standing hamstring stretch: Using a chair, place your foot on top and bend your knee. Bend your back forward along your leg until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and do 3 sets.
  • Lying glute stretch: On your back, grab your knee with your same side hand. Then, bend your knee at a 90-degree angle and pull it towards your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds on both sides.

Stability Exercises

  • Lying pelvic lift: If you’re looking to improve stability and balance in your lower back, you can also try the lying pelvic lift. This exercise can be done by lying on your back and bending your knees. Now lift your pelvis up, keeping your body flat as you tilt it. Hold, then lower your back to the ground slowly. You can do this exercise 3 times.
  • Stability exercise on knees: Get on your hands and knees. Lift your right arm slightly off the ground, feeling a lift in your pelvis at the same time. Next, set your right arm down and lift your left arm. Repeat with your right leg and left leg as well. Repeat 10+ times.
  • Leg lift on the floor: Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and lift them up. With your hands under your lower back, slowly lower your knees to the floor. Keep your core engaged for up to 5 seconds. Keep lifting your knees higher over time.
  • Plank exercise: Get in the plank position, balancing on your forearms and toes. Try to keep your body aligned. Hold for up to 30 seconds.

Strengthening Exercises

Back Stretch

  • Crunches: Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Cross your arms over your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Try to hold this position for up to 5 seconds and then lower your upper body.
  • Standing back curve: Stand with your legs shoulder width and your arms at your side. Bend your back forward 45 degrees. Now curl your back up and then straighten it. Do a set of 10.
  • Face down back curve: Lie flat on your stomach. Keep your arms at your side as you lift your upper body up. Hold for up to 5 seconds.
  • Side crunches: Lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest. Lift your upper body so that your right shoulder twists towards your left knee. Hold for up to 5 seconds. Now change sides.

 Movement Exercises

  • Curl and sway on knees: Get on your hands and knees. Slowly curve your back up and then down. You should be moving slowly enough that these movements take about 2-4 seconds. Try to do 10 sets of this stretch.
  • Seated body twist: Sit in a chair and place your hands on one thigh. Now turn your back to this side and hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly turn back. Repeat on the other side.
  • McKenzie standing: Stand at arm’s length against a wall. Place your hands on the wall. Now relax your pelvis towards the wall. Do this slowly, holding 3 seconds in and 3 seconds out.
  • Standing sideways bend: While standing, angle your body to one side and hold for a few seconds. Then return to standing position and angle yourself to the other side. Keep your arms on your hips.

Tips for Successful Back Exercise

Lower back pain is no fun. By exercising your lower back on a regular basis, you’ll put yourself in a better position to stay pain-free during the day. However, make sure that you’re taking care of your body before, during and after exercises. You should:

  • Warm-up before you start. Don’t go straight to your back exercises. Warm up your body with basic stretches so that your muscles are ready to move.
  • Drink water. Keep a water bottle near your exercise area so that you remember to stay hydrated during your workout.
  • Don’t do too much, too fast. It’s essential to take things slowly. Don’t push or bend your body too far. You will improve by regularly stretching and exercising.
  • Pain means stop. If you feel pain during any of these exercises, you should stop immediately. Don’t just push through the workout.

Your lower back deserves the best care possible. Be aware of your body and make sure these exercises feel good. With regular exercise, your back will feel great again!

About Dr. Brent Wells

Dr Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.



The Australian Pain Management Association Ltd. (APMA) is a health promotion charity providing advocacy, information and practical support for people living with chronic (persistent) pain and their families. APMA is the consumer health organisation for all Australians who live with pain. APMA is your voice.


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