Lower back exercises are particularly important if you suffer from back problems, to stretch, strengthen and improve your back health. We recommend if you suffer from persistent problems, that you see your GP, a chiropractor and a personal trainer to ensure your best chance of recovery.
If your back problems are due to something other than tight muscles and weakness, such as spinal subluxation, or worse still, a slipped disk, that you seek medical assistance immediately and do not attempt any exercise until you are fully aware of your situation.
This article recommends a number of simple exercises that are intended to bring some strength into your back, and to make your back a little stronger. Once your back is stronger, we recommend that you continue your training, with general back exercises, and compound exercise to prevent a recurrence of the problems.
Lower Back Exercises 1: Bridge
This exercise is good for your hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles.
Lie flat on your back with your arms by your sides, and bend your knees, so that your feet are flat on the floor. Slowly raise your hips off the floor by contracting your hamstrings and glutes, and keeping your abs tucked in. Bring your hips up so that your hips, knees and shoulders all form a straight line, and hold, before lowering back to the start position.
Lower Back Exercises 2: Hip Roll
This exercise both stretches and strengthens the lower back.
Lie flat on your back with your arms across your chest, and you knees bent. Turn your head to the left, and move both knees to the right. Do not try to force the lowering of the knees, just relax.
Slowly return to the start position, and perform the exercise in the opposite direction for both the head and the knees.
Lower Back Exercises 3: Leg Lift
This exercise will strengthen the lower back, and glutes.
Lie down, with a pillow under your hips, and your knees bent. Lift one leg off the floor slowly and hold, before returning to the start position. Swap legs and repeat the exercise.
Lower Back Exercises 4: Arm Lift
This exercise will work your back and shoulder.
Lie on the floor, on your stomach, and stretch your arms out in a ‘v’ position. Raise one arm, with the thumb pointing skyward and hold. Lower back to the start position, relax, then swap arms.
Lower Back Exercises 5: Knee to Chest
This exercise is particularly good at stretching the lower back, glutes and hamstrings, as well as strengthening the stomach and hips.
Lie on a flat surface with your legs flat on the floor. Take one knee and slowly pull it toward your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in your back. Keep the other leg outstretched, and stay relaxed particularly your back.
Lower Back Exercises 6: Swimming
This is a slightly more advanced version of the Arm Lift.
Lie on the floor on your stomach with your arms above you and your legs straight.
Lift one arm, and the opposite leg, and hold, then release, and return to the start position. Stay relaxed, and swap arms and legs to the other sides.
Lower Back Exercises 7: Cat Stretch
This exercise really stretches out your back and gets the kinks out of your spine!
On all fours on the floor, keep your back straight. Flex the spine upwards as a cat would, whilst tucking your chin and tail bone in. Hold this position, then return to the start position. Keep relaxed while you do this.
Lower Back Exercises 8: Side Stretch
This exercise will strength the lower back, and muscles surrounding your back.
Stand up straight, with your feet apart. Put one arm up, and bend to the opposite side, with your other hand on your waist. Bend over until your feel a comfortable stretch, and hold, before returning to the start position. Swap arms, and swap side, and repeat.