Try These Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Written by Powertrain Sports,  17th February 2023 | Updated: 20th February 2023
5 Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain Header
Lower back pain is a common issue that can have a major impact on your daily life. Fortunately, there are simple exercises you can do to alleviate the pain. Find the right exercise program for your needs and start feeling better today!

If you suffer from lower back pain, you know how debilitating it can be and how hard it is to find relief. Fortunately, there are exercises that can help alleviate the pain and provide long-term relief. In this guide, we will discuss five simple exercises that can be used to reduce or eliminate lower back pain. We'll also talk about what usually causes it and ways to prevent it from happening.

Now before we discuss our recommended exercises, let’s start with the basics.

What is lower back pain and what are the causes?

Lower back pain is a common medical condition that can affect people of all ages. The pain can range from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing sensations or even numbness. The exact cause of lower back pain is often difficult to determine, but it can be caused by several factors, such as poor posture, muscle strain from heavy lifting or overuse of muscles, an injury or trauma to the spine, and certain medical conditions such as arthritis or sciatica.

5 simple exercises to relieve lower back pain

Before starting, make sure you use a yoga mat or any soft workout mat that you can lay on. It’s important that you’re comfortable and you feel supported while doing these routines!

1. Knees to chest

Knees to chest stretch is a gentle stretch that is safe and perfect for people with back pain. It focuses on the muscles on your lower back. If you have osteoporosis, though, it’s recommended that you avoid this exercise because it may increase the risk of compression fractures in your vertebrae.

  1. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring one knee to your chest while keeping the other foot flat on the floor. You have the option to keep your other leg straight, whichever feels better on your lower back. This is ideal as well if you want to get more stretch.
  3. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Stay in this position for at least 15-30 seconds.
  4. Relax and go back to the starting position. Now do the same with the other leg.
  5. Repeat the process 2-4 times with each leg.

Watch this quick video and use it as a guide!

Either way, if you experience any pain while doing this, it’s best that you reach out to your doctor or physical therapist. They may recommend an easier approach to this workout.

2. Cobra pose

Cobra pose is a yoga pose that helps strengthen the muscles of your upper back and stretches the chest and abdominals. It opens the shoulder blades, neck and collar bones — which in turn improves spinal posture, flexibility and alignment. It also helps reduce back pain.

  1. Lie on your stomach, with your hands palm down on the floor beneath your shoulders.
  2. Straighten your arms and lift your chest up off the ground.
  3. Gaze upwards while keeping your core engaged. Stay in this position for at least 10-15 seconds.
  4. Repeat the process 2-3 times.

Watch this quick video and use it as a guide!

3. Child's pose

Child’s pose is a beginner’s yoga pose usually performed to rest between more difficult poses. It gently stretches the lower back and muscles around your hips. It also massages and tones the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion and elimination. Since it targets your lower back, it’s a great option to relieve lower back pain.

  1. Kneel and sit on your knees. You can have your knees together or slightly apart, depending on what’s more comfortable for you.
  2. Exhale and lean forward while keeping your buttocks on your heels.
  3. Walk your hands out toward the front of your mat if you want to do an extended child’s pose. Or you can reach back toward your feet and rest your arms on the floor alongside your torso with palms up.
  4. Inhale and exhale, slowly and deeply for at least 8 breaths. Since this is more of a resting pose, you can stay for as long as 1-3 minutes.
  5. Go back to sitting position and repeat the process 2-3 times.

Watch this quick video and use it as a guide!

4. Pelvic tilt

Pelvic tilt and squeeze is another form of exercise that helps strengthen the support muscles around our lower back. This is perfect for those who are looking to relieve their lower back pain.

  1. Lie on your back with bent knees and your feet flat on the floor. You can keep both your hands, palms down, on your sides.
  2. Exhale and gently rock your hips towards your head. You’ll feel your lower back pressing onto the floor.
  3. Stay in this position for a few breaths before returning to your neutral position.
  4. You can do this 5-10 times.

Watch this quick video and use it as a guide!

5. Lumbar rotation

Numerous practical, daily activities require rotational movement, sometimes known as ‘twisting.’ Your spine, shoulders, hips, forearms, foot, and ankle joints can all benefit from rotational movement since it stimulates the joints and aids in the passage of force or energy. This is the reason why lumbar rotation is another great way to relieve lower back pain.

  1. Lay backwards with your arms outstretched in a 'T' position.
  2. Raise one leg such that it is parallel to the hip joint.
  3. Draw the knee towards the floor with the arm on the opposite side.
  4. Keep your shoulders in contact with the ground.
  5. Move your head in the opposite knee-side direction.
  6. Maintain this stretch as directed by your physiotherapist.
  7. Do the same on the other side. You can do this 2-3 times on each side.

Watch this quick video and use it as a guide!

Additional stretches for lower back pain relief

You can also watch this 7-minute video if you want to know some more lower back stretches that’ll help reduce pain.

How to prevent lower back pain?

1. Sleep well

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important steps to prevent lower back pain. It helps to reduce stress and inflammation, which can lead to muscle tension and other issues that can cause lower back pain. In addition, sleeping well can improve your posture and help you maintain a healthy weight, both of which are important for preventing back pain. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you get enough quality sleep each night in order to keep your lower back healthy and free from pain.

You can also ask your doctor about the best sleeping position. Sleeping on your stomach is usually not ideal as it’s especially hard on your back, so if this is something you do, you better stop it now!

2. Watch your weight

Maintaining a healthy weight or losing it (if you’re overweight) can reduce the strain on your back. It can also help ease stress on your joints as well.

3. Don't smoke

Smoking is a serious health risk as is. Smokers are more likely to experience back pain than non-smokers because of the nicotine that restricts blood flow to the discs in the spine. It may also damage the tissue in your body due to slow blood circulation and reduced flow of nutrients in your joints and muscles.

4. Pay attention to your posture

Woman with good posture at work

Don’t slouch! Set a reminder on your phone every 30 minutes to an hour so you can check your posture until you’re used to it. If you’re not sure if your standing posture is ideal, you can take a wall test. You can do this by standing with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall while your heels are about two to four inches away from the wall. As for sitting posture, you can read below:

  • Make sure to adjust the height of your chair so your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest.
  • Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips. Don’t cross your legs and your ankles should be in front of your knees. Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
  • Adjust your chair to support your back. You can place a rolled towel or pillow behind your lower back if necessary.
  • Keep your neck and head balanced and in line with your torso.
  • Relax your shoulders while keeping your forearms parallel to the ground.

5. Take breaks at work

Try not to sit in the same position for long periods. It’s important that you get up and walk around if possible every couple of hours at least. Stretching helps too!

6. Be careful how you lift

When lifting heavy objects, get close to the object, bend your knees and tighten your stomach muscles. Lift with your legs and always keep your back straight. Hold the object closer to your body while maintaining the natural curve of your back.

7. Check your desk and chairs

To minimise the amount of stress placed on your back, begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to your desk so that your upper arms are parallel to your spine. Use chairs that can be adjusted in a way where it’ll support your back every time you’re sitting down. Try not to use desks that are too high as well!

8. Exercise more

Woman stretching out in cobra pose

Focus on your core to strengthen back muscles. You can try walking, swimming and biking as well. It not only helps reduce back pain but may also help you stay fit. Maintaining a healthy weight also plays a huge role in helping prevent lower back pain.

These five exercises are easy to do and can be done in the comfort of your own home. So don't let lower back pain keep you from living life to the fullest — start doing these simple exercises today and feel the difference!

Ready to get started? Browse through Powertrain’s variety of yoga mats to make these routines a lot easier and more comfortable for you!

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