Lower Back Exercises

If you are exercising due to back pain, talk with your doctor about avoiding these exercises until you strengthen your lower back:  Toe Touches, Sit-ups, and Leg Lifts.

Caution – see a doctor before starting an exercise program. If you experience pain that lasts more than 15 minutes you should stop exercising and contact a doctor. There are many factors that can influence your ability to exercise. Use caution when doing lower back exercises, especially if you are just beginning an exercise routine. Consult with your doctor as they will know what exercises are best for you.


Partial Crunch

1. Lie face up with your hands behind your neck.
2. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
3. Tighten your stomach muscles.
4. Breath out and raise your shoulders off the floor.
5. Repeat 8-12 times.

How to do it: Begin by lying face up on the floor with knees bent. The movement begins by curling the shoulders towards the pelvis. Your hands can be behind your head, beside the neck or crossed over the chest.

Tip:  Do not use your arms – you can injure yourself by pushing against your head or neck with your hands.

Note: Unlike the sit-up, when doing crunches, your feet, tailbone and lower back stay on the floor. Proper form prevents excessive stress on your lower back. It is said by scientific literature if you eliminate any involvement by the hips, the crunch is an effective isolation exercise for the abdominals.

IntermediateAb Exercises - Crunch

Lie on a declined bench or hold a weight under your chin, chest or behind your head. Crunch exercises may also be performed on an exercise ball.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercises – Bird Dog

This exercise is also good for balance. If you need to work on your balance, don’t give up if it’s a bit difficult at first. You’ll soon be able to stay up without falling forward and the benefits to your balance are worth your efforts.

Bird Dog

1.  Kneel on the floor and face down (prone) with your hands under shoulder with extended elbows.
2.  Point your fingers forward with your palms resting on the floor.
3.  Keeping your spine straight without arching up or down and extend your left leg to hip height and right arm to shoulder level.  Your shoulder should be parallel to the floor.
4.  Keep your abdominal muscles tucked in.
5.  Look straight ahead so that your neck can maintain the alignment to the rest of the body.
6.  Hold this position for 4 seconds then come back to the starting position.
7.  Repeat on each side 10 times.

Tip:  Don’t stop breathing, keep your extended arm and leg straight – don’t arch up or down.

What it does:  A total body exercise that targets the lower back and to a lesser degree the traps, shoulders, abs, glutes and hamstrings.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercises – Bridge


1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Using your abs, lift your hips and buttocks off the floor.
3. Repeat 5 times.

What it does: Restores the curve in the lower back, which helps restore your neck’s alignment as well. Opens the chest and stretches the diaphragm, improving your ability to breathe deeply.

How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat, about 12 inches from your hips. To a count of three, reach your arms overhead and lift your hips off the floor. Your head, arms, shoulders, and feet stay grounded. Keep your buttocks soft and core abdominals tight as you hold the stretch for a count of three (3). Now lower your arms and roll your spine, one vertebra at a time, back down to the mat. Repeat 5 times.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercises – Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

The easiest way to stretch your hamstrings without straining your back is to do the standing hamstring stretch.

  1.  Find a stool or chair and put your right foot up on the chair.
  2.  Straighten your right knee, keep your chest up and your back straight as you slowly lean forward toward your right foot.
  3.  You can gently hold your right knee straight as you do so to prevent it from bending up.
  4.  Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  5.  Repeat with the left leg.

Note: Don’t bounce into this as bouncing can cause muscle or back injury. You gain more by holding the stretch.


1.  Lie on your back and bend one knee.
2.  Loop a towel under the ball of your foot.
3.  Straighten your knee and slowly pull back on the towel. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
4.  Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
5.  Do 2 to 4 times for each leg.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercises – Cat / Cow Stretch

Cat / Cow Stretch

This is a back-extension exercise…

  1. Kneel on the ground with your knees hip-wide and your hands on the floor.
  2. Arch your back by pulling your belly button towards your spine.
  3. Let your head drop forward for the Cat stretch.
  4. Feel a gentle stretch in your lower back. Hold this position for several seconds (5-10 is great).
  5. Returning to the starting position, raise your head and let your pelvis fall forward. Your stomach will curve down towards the floor for the Cow stretch.
  6. Repeat steps 1 – 5 for 15 – 20 reps.

This stretch is a flexibility exercise that helps to increase flexibility and ease tension in your back. It is good for your lower back and core muscles.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercises – Elbow Press Up

Elbow Press Up

This is a back-extension exercise…

  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your legs straight behind you.
  2. Push with your elbows so your shoulders begin to lift off the floor.  Keep your hips on the floor.
  3. Hold this position for several seconds.
  4. Hold this position for several seconds.

If it’s comfortable for you, extend your arms so your elbows are on the floor directly under your shoulders.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Knee to Chest

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor.
  3. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Lower your knee and repeat with the other leg.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each leg.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercises – Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic Tilt

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Tighten your stomach by contracting it as though you were preparing for a punch. You’ll feel your back pressing into the floor, and your hips and pelvis rocking back.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds while breathing in and out smoothly.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.


↑ Back to Exercise List ↑

Exercise Items you can buy now…

Marcy Weight Bench for Exercises Marcy Flat Utility 600 lbs. Capacity Weight Bench for Weight Training and Ab Exercises SB-315

Exercises - Fitness Knee Pad for Exercising Impulse Fitness Knee Mat – Extra Thick and Soft 1″ (25mm) Pad 

Provides Cushion for Kneeling and Elbows | Great Portable Exercise Mat for Planks, Ab Rollers, Yoga
Medicine Ball for Exercises Amazon Basics Medicine Ball

Medicine Ball Rack Champion Sports Medicine Ball Tree to store and organize your medicine ball collection…

You may also like…

Please Note: We hope you find these exercises useful and if you have made a purchase, we want to thank you for that too. Our affiliate, Amazon pays us advertising fees when a purchase is made from our website link. We hope you enjoy the Professionals Health Connection and appreciate your support.

Please note that clicking the link to Sports Domain Lab will take you outside of our website. This link is provided to show you additional back exercises you may want to try. Also note that the appearance of this link does not constitute an endorsement and we are not an affiliate of Sports Domain Lab.

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.