The Best & Worst Lower Back Exercises

The Best & Worst Lower Back Exercises hover background

Aug 04

Millions of people in the United States are plagued by lower back pain.  The culprits are numerous—anywhere from living a sedentary lifestyle to lifting something heavy.  But the one thing all sufferers of lower back pain have in common is knowing that it can make even your day-to-day activities seem daunting.

If you think that moving around and exercising is the last thing you can do to help ease the pain, you’re in for a surprise.  Lower back exercises are one of the best things you can do to get rid of lower back pain and keep it from returning.

Always consult a medical professional before beginning any new exercise or stretching routines, especially if you are experiencing pain.

Do yourself a favor by reading below for what we believe to be the best and worst lower back exercises for sufferers of back pain. Make sure you’re helping your lower back pain, and not doing any additional damage!

Worst:  Sit-ups

Although having a strong core is key to preventing lower back pain, it can be easy for most people to use muscles in the hips when doing sit-ups incorrectly.  Sit-ups can also put a lot of pressure on the discs in your spine causing more pain.  

Worst:  Leg lifts

Stay away from leg lifts when trying lower back exercises if you’ve experienced pain in the past.  Leg lifts will have you lying down on your back while lowering your legs to the ground or lifting them up from the ground.  If your lower back lifts off the ground at all you risk your lower back muscles getting strained – and possibly causing further injury or pain.  


Best:  Hamstring exercises

Hamstring stretches can be a great lower back exercise.  Lie on your back and bend one knee and loop a towel under the ball of your foot.  Slowly pull back on the towel and straighten out your knee.   Pull until you feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg and hold for at least 30 seconds.  Repeat 4 times on each leg.  

Best:  Wall sits

Standing around 12 inches from the wall, lean back until your back is flat up against the wall.  Very slowly, slide down until your knees are bent slightly and press your lower back into the wall.  Hold for at least 15 seconds then slide back up the wall.  Repeat these wall sits 12 times and increase in time as it gets easier.

Physical therapy can help to increase strength and flexibility to help lessen your lower back pain.  SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ABOVE & BEYOND PHYSICAL THERAPY to find out what is causing your lower back pain and discover the ideal treatment specific to you.


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