What are Some Good Back Exercises?

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  • Written By: S. L. Lerner
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2019
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If you are suffering from back pain, especially lower back pain, there are a number of good back exercises available to alleviate the condition. Before taking on a new exercise regimen, it is advisable to consult a health care professional.

One good back exercise is the knee-to-chest stretch which relieves pressure in the lower back and buttocks. Lying flat on the floor, with both hands behind your knees, pull the knees up to your chest until you feel the stretch in your lower back and buttocks. Hold that position for at least ten seconds, gradually lengthening the time to thirty seconds after doing this exercise for a while. Do this stretch two to three times a day for best results.

Another of the many excellent back exercises that relieves back pain is the upper- and mid-extensor. Start in a kneeling position and then sit with your legs bent under you. Then, bend your upper torso and arms as far forward along the floor as you can. Your abdomen should be pressed tight against your thighs. Slide your hands as far forward as possible, while at the same time pushing your buttocks as far out as possible. You should feel the upper and mid-back stretch. Again, hold for at least ten seconds, eventually lengthening to thirty seconds. Do this stretch, as well, two to three times a day.


Back exercises don't only have to involve stretching. Strengthening the muscles in one's back is another way to help alleviate back pain. One way to do this involves you laying flat on the floor, with your arms down by your sides, knees bent, and feet resting flat on the floor. Slowly raise the buttocks up from the floor, keeping your stomach tight. Hold this position for three seconds and then lower the buttocks down to the floor again. It is not necessary to raise the buttocks high off the floor; a slight raise is sufficient. Repeat this exercise ten times and try to do one to two sessions per day. This can be one of the most powerful back exercises.

Another way to stabilize the trunk involves laying flat on the floor and raising one leg up. The other leg should be kept bent so that your foot is flat on the floor. Do not raise the leg higher than what feels comfortable. Over extending yourself can actually harm, not help, the back. Hold for the count of ten, and then place the raised leg back down, drawing it up so that the leg is bent and the foot rests on the floor. Next, raise the other leg. Repeat four times with each leg.


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Post 1

I find that twisting the spine helps alleviate my back pain or back tightness. I do this in one of two ways. Sitting normally in a chair, and keeping my butt in same position, I twist my upper body around, grabbing the back of the chair and trying to get my shoulders parallel to the chair back. I then repeat with a twist in the other direction.

Alternatively, sitting on the floor with my legs stretched in front of me, I bend the right leg and place my right foot flat on the floor on the left side of my left knee. Then I twist to the right, placing my left elbow on the right side of my right knee, my right hand on the floor to the right of my butt. I then repeat these steps with the opposite legs and arms.

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