Lower Back Exercises: 7 Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Yes, exercise is one of the easiest, reliable, and fastest lower back pain treatment you can do right away. 

While activating your muscles when under pain may seem counterproductive, it’s not. 

In fact, moving and stretching the back muscles can be good for your back when pain strikes. 

Exercises for lower back pain can strengthen back, stomach, and leg muscles. 

They can also help support your spine and relieve back pain.

But before starting any exercise for back pain, be sure to check with your doctor. It’s critical you get medical clearance and make sure exercise to relieve pain is right for you. 

Depends on the cause of your pain and its intensity, some exercises may not be right for you. Be sure to consult with your physician before starting a new regimen.

For example, these back exercises listed in here can actually make your lower back pain worse. So it’s a good idea to avoid them. 

But generally speaking, doing some lower impact exercises can help relieve back pain. Over time, they also strengthen and support the spine preventing any future muscle-related pain.  

Here are safe and effective exercises to strengthen the back and relieve lower back pain. 

7 Best Lower Back Exercises for Back Pain Relief

7 Best lower back pain exercises

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling before each workout can do more than helping cast away sore muscle pain from your aching body.

“When you foam roll regularly, it helps untie the knots in your muscles by breaking down adhesions and heal the tissues,” says Mike Boyle on Men’s Health.

Foam rolling not only preps the body for the stresses of a workout, but it also relieves aches and prevents them from coming back, Mike explained. “[It’s] a free massage that stops the pain and helps the body heal faster.”

So, how does foam rolling help with lower back pain?

If your low back hurts, foam roll your hips, glutes, and IT-band. Why? “If your hips are really stiff, you’re forced to bend at your waist instead,” says Mike Boyle.

“This puts pressure on your lower back—especially if weight is added during an exercise—and leads to pain and injury over time.” 

Foam rolling might feel uncomfortable at first, but that means the muscle needs rolling. The more you do it, the less discomfort you’ll feel.

1. Foam Roll — Glutes

Foam roll glutes

Sit on the ground with the roller slightly below your butt. Shift your weight to one side and roll up and down the length of your butt for 30 to 60 seconds. 

If you find a really sore spot, keep the roller on it and roll from side to side.

2. Foam Roll — Arm Reach

Foam roll arm reach

Lay on the foam roller horizontally with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Bend your elbows and bring your arms to the side (touch or nearly touching the ground).

Slowly extend your arms up and hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat 3-5 times.  

3. Foam Roll — Rotation

Foam roll rotation

Lay on the foam roller horizontally with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Cross your arms in the front. Slowly rotate your torso to one side across the roller. 

Pause and return. Switch sides and repeat for a total of 2-3 times per side. 

Strength Training Lower Back Exercises

There’s a reason that physical therapists have long advocate doing traditional resistance training exercises whether it’s using bodyweight only, free weights, or a machine to improve strength and regain function, especially for everyday activities.

Exercises, particularly resistance training work because it stabilizes and strengthens your entire body.

“Back pain can occur when muscles are not prepared for a certain movement, whether that’s lifting something or carrying something heavy, “Says A. Lynn Millar, PT, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Winston-Salem State University.

These next 4 exercises are designed to strengthen your core and your lower back muscles. They require no equipment, so you can do them in the comfort of your home. 

4. Wall-Sit

Wall sit

Stand with your head and back against a wall. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, about 18 inches from the wall, and keep your arms straight out in front of you.

Keeping your back in contact with the wall, lower your body until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

5. Lunges


Stand up tall and place your hands on your hips with your shoulders pushed back. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. 

Pause, then push yourself to the starting position.

6. Plank

Plank exercise

Start in a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you are about to get punched in the gut.

Hold this position for as long as you can.

7. Side plank

Side Plank Exercise

Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your left forearm so your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip. Brace your abs and hold for as long as you can. Then switch sides and repeat.

Final Thoughts

7 best lower back exercises to strengthen your back muscles.

These exercises are simple and only require a few minutes a day to perform. However, if the pain persists or continues to get worse, see a qualified health professional. This post is not intended to replace medical advice. 

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