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Exercises for Lower Back: Pain Relief and Strengthening

Lower back pain is one of the most common problems we face, and it can really take a toll on your quality of life. Taking painkillers or lying down may seem like the best options, but the truth is that lower back strengthening exercises are often a better solution.

Working out when you’re hurting probably doesn’t sound appealing, and that’s understandable. However, doing some simple, gentle exercises for lower back pain can build your muscles, boost your flexibility and reduce or even eliminate your pain.

Why Exercises Are Ideal For Lower Back Pain

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First, exercise of all kinds boosts your circulation, which means more nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood is able to reach your joints, muscles and ligaments. This helps you feel more flexible and eases stiffness.

Second, a weak core in particular can contribute to and worsen pain in your lower back and hips. This is because your core muscles are vital for supporting your spine properly. Without a strong core, which includes your abs, pelvis, hips and lower back, your spine is not supported, so your posture suffers. This puts excess stress on your entire body with simple everyday motions like walking, standing or even sitting.

The good news is that you can do lower back pain relief exercises from the comfort of home, no matter what shape you’re in. Let’s look at a few of the best ones!

The Best Lower Back Exercises to Do at Home

An effective lower back workout doesn’t have to be complicated or intense. In fact, simple and easy movements are often best.

Here are some examples to get you started:


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I know, I just said simple and easy movements and then I mentioned planks first. However, planks are excellent for building core strength and require no equipment and very little space.

The goal here isn’t to hold a perfect plank until you’re about to fall over, though. Instead, focus on practicing good form for just a few seconds at a time, and remember that you can (and should!) start on your knees, only going down as far as you comfortably can.

Glute bridges

Glute bridges are one of the easiest lower back pain exercises you can do. All you need is enough room to lay down on the floor! Doing just a few of these every day will strengthen your lower back muscles and tone your butt (and who doesn’t want a little extra booty toning?).

To learn how to properly do this exercise, I highly recommend watching this short tutorial on YouTube. David Lee via Vive Health does a great job of walking you through the steps!

Cat/cow stretches

These are my favorite movements for stretching my spine and alleviating lower back pain. It’s a complementary set of yoga movements, but anyone can do them, even if they’re not into yoga or feel like they’re not flexible.

These stretches are simple, which is another reason I love them! You’ll be able to feel your spine become more flexible and your lower back muscles release.

Yoga With Adriene is one of the best YouTube yoga teachers. She has a great instructional video that’s easy to follow and so helpful for making sure you get the full benefits of the exercises.

Are You Ready to Try Easy Exercises For Your Lower Back Pain?

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There are dozens of exercises you can incorporate into your daily life that will help ease or eliminate lower back pain. Regardless of your level of fitness or flexibility, you deserve to live a happy, pain-free life! With some patience and persistence, you can develop a stronger, healthier and pain-free body!


Image Credit: Chuttersnap on Unsplash

How can I improve my lower back health?

Some of the best ways to improve lower back health include daily stretching, simple lower back exercises and adding more movement to your everyday routines. You can do lower back exercises at the gym or at home.

What is the best exercise for a bad lower back?

There is no single exercise that can remedy a bad back. However, some of the best back exercises are movements like planks and bridges that strengthen your core, which can help reduce lower back pain over the long term.

How do you strengthen a damaged lower back?

Slowly and carefully! Start with simple posterior chain stretches every day and gradually add things like core exercises, glute bridges and gentle yoga movements to build strength and flexibility.

What are signs of a weak lower back?

Some common signs of a weak lower back include poor posture, stiffness, chronic aches, limited range of motion or pain that radiates through your hips and butt. If you’re experiencing sharp pain, spasms or difficulty doing everyday tasks, you should tell your doctor right away because something more serious than simple back pain might be happening.

Nicole Hopkins

Nicole Hopkins is a freelance writer for hire that has been sharing her passion for health, wellness and yoga since 2014. When she's not working on getting into crow pose or petting every cat in sight, you can find her writing about science, skincare and mental health at and Kalista Edit. Visit her at or on Instagram at @msmerriam.

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