Top 5 exercises to reduce back pain and the exercises to avoid

Back Pain

Back pain can become a real daily issue for many of us. This could be for various different reasons. Spending long hours sat down at a desk job, heavy lifting or overuse of the muscles can all contribute.

Pain in the back can be just that, but there are certain exercises you can do to help relieve it.

Here are some exercises which are proven to reduce your back pain. We’ve also listed some other exercises which you should avoid, as they will make your pain worse.

Partial Crunches

Partial crunches can help to strengthen your back and stomach muscles. Lie with your knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest or position your hands behind your neck.

Breathe out as you raise your shoulders. Try not to lead with your elbows or use your arms to pull your neck off the floor as this could cause further strain. Hold the position, before slowly lowering your back down.

Hamstring Stretches

Back pain can be caused by tight hamstrings. To loosen the muscles, lie on your back and bend one knee. Loop a towel or cloth under the ball of your foot. Straighten your knee and slowly pull back on the towel. You will feel a stretch down the back of your leg. Hold the position for around 30 seconds. Do this a few times on each leg.

Wall Sits

The wall sit tends to take pressure off the back, giving it some respite if you’ve had bad posture. This exercise puts the pressure back on the legs and hips, where it belongs.

Stand about 10 inches away from the wall and lean back until your back is flat against the wall. Slide down until your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back to the wall. Hold for 10 seconds, then slide back up the wall.

Press-up Back Extensions

This exercise is designed to help stretch and strengthen your lower back muscles, so it is well worth giving a try!

Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Push with your hands so your shoulders begin to lift off the floor. If it’s comfortable for you, put your elbows on the floor directly under your shoulder and hold this position for several seconds.

Aerobic Exercise

This strengthens your lungs, heart and blood vessels and can help you in losing weight. Walking, swimming and biking could help to reduce your back pain. Be sensible with this and start slow. Build up in intensity and lengthen the sessions over time.


Note: Here are also some exercises which you should avoid doing, in case you make your back pain even worse.

Standing toe touches put a much greater stress on the discs in your back and ligaments in your spine. They could also overstretch your lower back muscles.

Avoid doing sit-ups, most people use the muscles in their hips, but this could put pressure on the discs in your spine.

You should also avoid doing leg lifts. It is sometimes suggested that they will help to improve your core or abdominal muscles. Exercising to restore strength to your lower back can be helpful in relieving pain, yet lifting both legs together while lying on your back is very demanding on your core. This exercise can make your back pain worse if your core is weak.

Why not give some of these exercises a go and start seeing the benefits! Your back problems could become a thing of the past if you set aside some time each day to look after your body.

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