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

  • I find the legs up a wall a good exercise to do for stretching away the low back ache. - 5/1/2016 9:43:46 AM
    Woke up this morning practically immobile with Sciatica from keeping my grandbaby on Saturday. Even taking anti-inflammatory pills and it matters little. All this from being unable to exercise after gallbladder surgery. *SIGH* - 3/15/2016 11:00:26 AM
  • This is a really great article! I made a copy to use. - 3/15/2016 7:30:15 AM
    Thanks for your leg lift exercise suggestions. When I do it I normally lift both legs and try to keep them from touching the floor until I have completed a set of 15. I will try adding just lifting one at a time and holding it to my work out. It will probably be harder that what I am currently doing. http://www.advanc
    edchiroclinic - 1/14/2016 12:41:41 PM
    I have just recovered from back pain. My Doctor gave me some of these exercises. She also added bird dog which really helped increase range of motion & strength. But they need to be done in order to be able to do them. - 12/16/2015 10:44:57 AM
  • I agree with your statement "check with your Dr first". I am not allowed any form of sit up.
    Leg lifts,yes and other that would not stress the back. I also agree with try to keep moving (circulation). thanks for the input.
    - 12/16/2015 8:36:12 AM
    I have degenerative spine pain and fibromygia had both of these sice 1998 it hasn't got any better just gets worse my doctor told me if I didn't use it I will lose it he was telling I had to stop sitting and laying around cause I was in pain so I did I joined the Y and I also went thru therapy for 6 weeks then had to go some where else to take pool therapy it started helping at that point I now can walk thru the grocery store and don't have to leave before I get what I went after I also had 4 back and 2 neck surgerys I also had a back stimulater put in my back I have only been at the Y for a few days now but looking forward to getting better I know I will never get back the way I was but if I can go walking and get out and enjoy life I am going to do what I have to so I can enjoy life with my friends and family - 11/17/2015 9:49:02 PM
  • 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
    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 - 3/3/2015 4:54:19 PM
    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
    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 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

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