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8 Ultimate Exercise to Reduce Back Pain And Build Strength

Low Back Pain And Exercises

It is a general phenomenon to take rest when you are suffering from back pain, but exercise is good for your back. Exercises for back pain are essential to strengthen the muscles of the back, abdomen, and legs. The main function of these muscles is to provide support to the spine and relieve back pain. 

All industrialised nations experience a significant amount of low back pain, which is often treated in basic healthcare facilities. It is typically described as discomfort, stiffness, or muscle tightness. Low back pain may be associated with or without leg pain (sciatica). The two main signs of non-specific low back ache are pain and disability.  

However, before starting exercise regime for back muscle it is necessary to find out the exact cause of you back pain. Some exercise may increase back pain or deteriorate the condition.

Therefore, it is highly advisable to consult a qualified heath care provider before starting the exercise regime. 

Below are some suggestive starches and strengthening exercise that can help to reduce back pain.

1. Child’s Pose

This is first in my list and one of my favorite as it is easy to perform. This pose gently stretches the muscles of the low back and muscles of your hips. 

How to perform a Child’s Pose: 
  • The starting position is tabletop position. All your body weight is on your hands and knees.
  • Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and knees are put under your hips.
Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose
  • Keeping your palms flat on the floor you need to extend your arms out in front of you.
  • Now, slowly move your hips back toward your heels, dropping your head and chest downward as your arms extend further. 
  • Holding time for this is minimum for 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • If there is no trouble in breathing then you can hold it for even longer (60-90 seconds).
  • Repeat it for 5-10 times.

2. Knee To Chest Stretch

Knee-to-chest relieves tightness and pain by stretching your lower back muscles.

How To perform Knee-to-Chest:
  • Lie down on your back keeping your knees bent. Your feet should rest flat on the floor.
  • Using both hands, grab hold of your right leg and interlock your fingers, or hook your wrists under your knee.
  • Now, pull your right knee to your chest gently keeping your left foot flat on the floor. You will feel a slight stretch in your lower back.
  • 20-30 seconds hold is sufficient. However, if you feel comfortable you can hold it for 30–60 seconds. Making sure that your legs, hips, and lower back are relaxed and not causing any pain.
  • After holding for 20-30 seconds, you can release your right knee and go back to starting position.
  • Repeat the same steps for your left leg.
  • It is recommend to do knee to chest 5-10 times for each leg.

Alternatively, knee to chest can be performed by bringing your both knees simultaneously. Hold for 20-30 seconds. 

3. Trunk Rotation

The trunk rotation is performed in supine position. It helps in to provide stretching and relaxation of your lower back. Abdominals, back muscles, and the muscles around your pelvis are impacted by this exercise.

How to perform Trunk Rotation:
  • To start this exercise, you should lie down on your back. Bring your knees toward your chest.
  • The arms should be at your side and fully extended with your palms face down on the floor.
  • Gently roll both bent knees over to your right side and hold for 15–20 seconds. Make sure that your knees are kept together and hands are on the floor.
  • Go back to starting position and roll over to your left side, again holding for 15–20 seconds.
  • You can repeat 5–10 times on each side.

4. Supine Twist

This stretch not only helps to stretch your lower back but also your glutes, which can tighten when you’re experiencing low back pain, ultimately causing more pain.

How to perform Supine Twist:

Supine Twist
Supine Twist
  • Lie down on your back keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. 
  • Spread the arms to the side in a “T” position. 
  • Now you gently roll both knees to one side and make sure that your shoulders are on the ground.
  • Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds, then go back to starting position
  • Repeat on the other side. 

5. Cat-Cow Stretch

The main focus of Cat-Cow is to increase flexibility and reduce tension in your lower back and core muscles.

How to perform the Cat-Cow Stretch:

Cat-Cow Stretch Cat Portion
Cat Portion
  • Start with a position where your hands and knees are touching the floor. Keep your knees hip-width apart.
  • Pull your belly button up toward your spine, it will create an arch of your back. Make sure that your head is dropped forward. This is the Cat portion of this Cat-Cow stretch.
  • You will feel a lower back stretch. Hold it for 5–10 seconds only. 
  • Now relax and go back to starting position.
Cat-Cow Stretch Cow Portion
Cow Portion
  • To perform Cow portion of the Cat-Cow stretch, you need to raise your head and let your pelvis fall forward, curving your back down toward the floor.
  • Hold for 5–10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the Cat-Cow 10–15 times.

6. Seated Hamstring Stretch

This movement stretches the hamstring muscles to relieve tightness and release tension in your spine.

How to perform the Seated Hamstring Stretch:

Seated Hamstring Stretch
Seated Hamstring Stretch
  • The starting position of hamstring stretch is sitting position. You need to sit on the floor keeping one leg straight out in front of you.
  • Now hook a bath towel or cloth or any band around your foot.
  • Gently bring your belly down to your thighs by bending forward at your hips.
  • Keep your back straight. Do not create any arch at your back. 
  • This stretching will cause a mild tension in your lower back and the back of your thigh.
  • A 10-15 seconds hold is sufficient. Take rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.

One important thing to remember is that over a period of time the flexibility will increase, then you should increase the holding time of the stretch or reduce the time between repetitions.

7. Supine Bridge

This move helps in strengthening lower back muscles and decrease pain.

How to perform the Supine Bridge:

Supine Bridge
Supine Bridge
  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Keep your arms on the floor at side of your body.
  • Lift your hips from the ground, make sure that your back is straight and not arched.
  • Hold it for 15-30 seconds.
  • Now, move your hips back down to ground slowly.
  • Rest for 30–45 seconds.
  • Repeat 5–10 times.

8. Bird Dog

This exercise helps in to learn stabilization of low back during arms and legs movements which usually occur while walking.

How to perform the Bird Dog:
  • The starting position is quadruped position. Keep your hands on the floor under both shoulders and knees under your hips.
Bird Dog Exercise
Bird Dog Exercise
  • Make sure your head is in line with your back bone.
  • Now, lift your left arm forward and your right leg straight behind you. Keep them parallel to the floor. 
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds, then go back to the starting position slowly. 
  • Repeat with the right arm and the left leg. 
  • Caution should be taken to keep abdominal muscles tight, back flat and hips level throughout this exercise. 
  • Repeat it 10 times on each side.

If you feel, it is difficult to perform arms and legs simultaneously, you can modify step # 3. You can perform by lifting arm/legs only one by one.

Lower back pain is common problem which affects a large population. Data suggest that 7% of adult population will be affected with this issue in any 12-month period.  Regardless of the method of delivery or type of treatment, it is generally accepted that the majority of these episodes would be brief and that "80–90% of attacks of low back pain resolve in around six weeks." 

However, there is no doubt that regular physical exercise and stretching are help to manage lower back pain and prevent its recurrence.

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  1. These are all great, I used to do most of these daily and need to get back to it. They really do help tons.

  2. Thank you for sharing these great exercises. I suffer with lower back pain and will be trying some of these! Sam - Thrift Plan Enjoy

  3. I'll be exploring the world of yoga after my hip surgery. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. I like these yoga poses too. It is helpful. Good post.

  5. I sometimes experience lower back pain, and these excerises do seem useful to reduce the pain. I will have to try some of them out.

  6. Thank you for sharing these poses, my endometriosis lower back pain is awful. I will definitely try these poses later :)

  7. I must say these exercises do help with backpain as i have done them all.

  8. I suffer with bad low back pain and a cat cow can be heavenly. A seated forward fold always helps as well x

  9. I can't wait to get back to the mat after some time off. I'm also incorporating weight lifting to help strengthen my core and my back!

  10. I'll be bookmarking this one for personal use. My back has been killing me lately!

  11. Lower back pain is something that I have to deal with on occasion, especially after a long time of sitting. I can get quite engrossed in a task and then remain seated all day. That's why I love that you bring up these exercises. I'll see if I can add them to my daily routine. Prevention is better than healing.

  12. Love these too for back pain, they really help.

  13. I've been suffering with lower back pain for a few years (perks of working from home I guess) so thanks for posting this. I'm going to start trying them daily 💜

  14. My back has been really bad lately and I've been trying to combat it with stretches and yoga. But I know, deep down, it's because of heavy lifting in work. I work in retail in my day job and quite often am expected to haul heavy boxes and cages.


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