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5 Simple Exercises that can Reduce Lower Back Pain.

Want to keep your back limber and pain-free? Try these simple exercises to strengthen the core and leg muscles, as well as stretch the hips and back.

1. Elbow and Side Planks: Get into a pushup position but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms. Form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Engage your core, squeeze your gluteal muscles, and hold for 1 minute. Then roll to one side and hold your body up off the floor in a straight line from head to foot for 1 minute. Switch and do a plank on your other side.

2. Simple Bridge Pose: Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel, hip width apart. Place a yoga block or thick-hard pillow between your thighs. Press your pelvis up while squeezing the block or pillow. Keep your hips in line with your chest and use your legs to lift the pelvis. Breathe deeply 5-10 times, squeezing the block on your exhale. Lower your pelvis and rest with feet flat. Repeat 3 times.

3. Cobra: Lie facedown on the floor with your legs straight behind you and your arms straight down next to your sides, palms down. Contract your glutes and lower-back muscles as you raise your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor and rotate your arms so your thumbs point toward the ceiling. Breathe and hold for 30 second. Relax back to the floor for 5 seconds. Repeat three times.

2. Forward Fold with Bent Leg: Sit down with a blanket under your hips and legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and put the foot against your left thigh. Open the right knee side, placing a blanket under the knee for support if needed. Fold over the left leg. Breathe deeply and lengthen the torso over the left leg. You should feel a stretch in the low back and hip especially on the right side. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the left side.

3. Butterfly Stretch: Sit down with your feet together and knees open to the side. You may place a blanket or pad under the knees for support. Sit up tall and fold forward with a flat back. Breathe deeply for 5 breaths. Curl the navel in toward the spine and round forward, bringing your head to your feet. Breathe there for 10 breaths.

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