Lower Body Exercises for Bad Backs thru 5 Stretching Techniques

Try These Stretching Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Sore backs are the worst. They make you just want to stay in bed.  That’s the worst thing you could do because you need to get stronger. Here are some lower body exercises for bad backs via 5 various stretching exercises.

Research published in JAMA showed that stretching exercises for lower back pain – any kind of exercise, be it aerobic exercise, core strengthening or gentle stretching – is actually the best way to ease back pain and keep it from coming back.

Stretching is probably the only thing you can do while you’re in the grips of a back attack.

The next time your back is hurting, try these five stretches, which have been recommended by Jamie Costello, fitness director at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa.

The surprising benefit to stretching is it starts the road to strength training via some simple lower body exercises. 

Remember to use common sense.  In other words, if you have serious issues with your back, you should consult with a doctor or physical therapist first before starting any serious exercise or stretching program.

The first big tip is to try to hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds.

Using a stretching strap that Therapists & Athletic Trainers use is really helpful. 

The longer you hold these positions, the more they’ll help. Don’t rush through them. Put on some soothing music and take your time.

Even if you don’t have back pain, doing these stretches with soft music can be wonderfully relaxing.

Child’s Pose

This is a common yoga posture, and one of the great stretching exercises for lower back pain, which have likely tightened up in response to your pain.

lower body exercises for bad backs


Start out on your hands and knees on the floor. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Reach out straight in front of you, extending your arms and putting your palms flat on the floor.

Slowly sit back, lowering your hips toward your heels, and at the same time, lower your head and chest downward. Extend your arms even further.


If this stretches too much, then put a pillow under your stomach to prop yourself up a bit. That will keep your back muscles from pulling too far.

Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds, or even longer if you can. 

Cat Stretch

This is another common yoga posture, built on Child’s Pose. It helps lengthen tight muscles and soothes pain.

strength training for lower back pain


Start out on your hands and knees on the floor. Again, your hands should be under your shoulders, your knees under your hips and your spine parallel to the floor.

Round your back like a cat, contracting your core and stretching your mid-back between your shoulder blades.

Hold the position for 5 seconds, then relax back to your starting position. Arch your back and let your stomach fall toward the floor.

Hold this position for 5 seconds, too.  Repeat for 30 seconds or longer.

Lower Back Twist

This stretch helps your lower back as well as your glutes, which can respond to lower back pain by tightening up, causing a cascade of pain.

woman stretching lower back


Start out lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms out to the side in a “T” position.

Keep your shoulders on the ground and roll your knees to one side, keeping them together. It’s okay if your top foot leaves the floor.

Once your knees are as far to the side as is comfortable, hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. Return to center and repeat on the other side.

If this stretching exercises for lower back pain is too much, you can put a pillow or a stack of towels under your knees when you twist to the side.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

This stretch also helps to lengthen the muscles of your lower back and combats spasms. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Put your hands either behind your knees or right below your kneecaps. Gently pull your knees toward your chest using your hands.

Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then return to your starting position.

Pelvic Tilt

The pelvic area can be a spot of extra tightness when you have lower-back pain. This one of the best stretching exercises for lower back pain that can help you to loosen up and move this area gently.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Relax your lower back as much as you can, keeping it neutral. (Some curve in your lower back is normal and natural.) 

Using the muscles in your core, flatten your back against the floor of a good Yoga mat by tilting your pelvis upward. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Lower Body Exercises for Bad Backs thru 5 Stretching Techniques

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