Fitness Articles

Exercising with Lower Back Pain

Increase Strength & Flexibility to Decrease Pain

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Wall Slides to strengthen your back, hip and leg muscles
How to: Stand with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart. Slide down into a crouch until the knees bend to about 90°. Count to 5 and slide back up the wall. Repeat 5 times.

Partial Sit-Up to strengthen stomach muscles
How to: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor and reach with both hands toward your knees. Count to 10. Repeat 5 times.

Back Leg Swing to strengthen hip and back muscles
How to: Stand behind a chair with your hands on the back of the chair. Lift one leg back and up while keeping the knee straight. Return slowly. Raise the other leg and return. Repeat 5 times with each leg.

Exercises to increase flexibility and stretch out the back
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on your bed or floor. Raise your knees toward your chest. Place both hands under your knees and gently pull your knees as close to your chest as possible. Do not raise your head. Do not straighten your legs as you lower them. Start with 5 repetitions, several times a day.

Remember to never exercise to the point of sharp pain or discomfort, and gradually progress to more repetitions or sets of an exercise. Although it can be uncomfortable or slightly painful to strengthen the areas of your body that are causing your back pain, the benefit will be there in the long run. Say so long to the pain in your back!

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About The Author

Holly Little Holly Little
A former Division I basketball player, Holly is a certified in Spinning and personal training.

Member Comments

  • GINAE53
    I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in the cervical disc area in the fall of 2013 but have been able to do aerobics and yoga with no problems. This past year severe pain struck me in the lower spine and MRI showed a bulging disc in the thoracic area. I took physical therapy to teach me good exercising and strengthening methods and has really helped. I do Hatha yoga now with Pilates and has done wonders for me. I just underwent the epidural steroid injection in my tail bone due to nerve endings being irritated. I had wanted to do Zumba but now know this isn't safe. I will continue my yoga and Pilates as these are safe and gives a wonderful workout. - 7/21/2015 3:24:58 PM
  • ANNIELILMA
    My father in law has been suffering from back pain since 6 years and he is a Grocery business man. For this reason he has to sit in his chair for a long time. After using back brace he feels comfort.. So I think it is a great way to reducing pain. This article has shown this. To know more details please go to http://www.backbr
    aces.org/ Thank you. - 6/29/2015 3:16:51 PM
  • WILLWORKNOW
    I too cannot get on the floor and never will be able to do so. I will start doing some of the other exercises mentioned though. I wonder if doing the floor exercises would be OK to do while in bed? - 6/13/2015 1:14:54 PM
  • AREED78
    I need to do something about my back pain, it's preventing me from working out. I'm trying to do some yoga stretches, I'm hoping that helps. I'll try doing some leg raises and see if that helps out my problem too, thanks for all the great advice! http://thehealing
    center.net/ - 3/3/2015 4:54:19 PM
  • FOXGLOVE999
    I think it's strange that most of these exercises require lying on your back. I can't lie on my back due to the lower back pain, and I'm sure this is not unusual. That being said, the others exercises look promising. Currently, I am doing some of the chair/seated exercises available, and although I'm sore, they are doable. - 11/13/2014 7:26:58 AM
  • SHERRY-LUCILLE
    my lower back pain started when I gained weight so I know what to do,,,, but now I just have to do it, I am going to try the back exercises listed in the article and I am excited to see how they work for me! - 6/20/2014 6:46:07 PM
  • NJFIEBELKORN
    SparkPeople...is the best resource I have found in the last five years. I too have backpain, and it is hard to do some exercises, but your website reaches out to every type of person with real excuses to not exercise. Nicole's demonstrations are so clear, and I even told my PT people about you. You do have info that follows their programs. Keep up the great support. NF - 12/17/2013 8:52:12 AM
  • Thanks for sharing - 11/16/2013 5:14:05 AM
  • Thanks for sharing - 11/9/2013 5:52:56 AM
  • I have had 7 spine surgeries and deal with chronic back pain. My best advice is, water fitness, walking in water, water aerobics. - 9/6/2013 1:46:25 PM
  • TREVOR022
    The chair exercise has been awesome!!! I can finally ditch my cybertech medical back brace! If you do need a back brace I would highly recommend the one I have been wearing from Braceability.com! Good luck! and Do these workouts! They will make a huge difference in your quality of life! - 6/24/2013 1:22:31 PM
  • JOYCEWL
    I did the cardio chair exercise and it felt great.since I suffer from several back pains everyday,I have been afraid of exercise.so far this is working.I will tell more about it tomorrow
    - 6/8/2013 8:20:05 PM
  • This article came right on time for me. My lower back has been bothering me for over a week now. I have degenerative disc. I have been walking everyday... but this morning at the track I could only walk a mile....Ugh.... my lower back really started hurting bad...so I had to stop. I am going to try these exercises to strenghten my back. I refuse to let this get me down and stop my progress.
    - 6/8/2013 11:01:09 AM
  • thanks for this helpful and timely article.
    I had lower back surgery years ago and I can vouch for these exercises. I can give you a better forecast than the weatherman. But as much as exercising may cause strain...so does lack of exercise. - 6/8/2013 10:11:20 AM
  • Like the article. Will try it. - 6/8/2013 10:11:11 AM

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