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We often get asked, “What is the best exercise for lower back pain? How can I spend more of my time at the gym bulletproofing my lower back against injuries and pain?”
If you’re here to find the answer to that question, good for you! Exercise is one of the best weapons in your arsenal, and utilizing it correctly can give you a huge advantage in the battle against back pain.
Below, we’re going to answer the question “What is the best exercise for lower back pain?” and give you a list of our favorite—and the most effective—exercises to strengthen not only your lower back, but also the other muscles that contribute to (or could help prevent) lower back pain.
Add these exercises into your weekly training sessions, and you’re guaranteed to be not only stronger, but more resistant to back injuries!
What is the Best Exercise for Lower Back Pain? Here are Our Favorites:
1) Glute Bridge – The Glute Bridge is, hands down, the best exercise you can do to combat and prevent lower back pain. It engages not only your lower back muscles, but also your glutes, hamstrings, and calves, working out all of the muscles that help to support your lower back. The result: better posture, easier movement, and stronger spinal support.
The Glute Bridge is an exercise you can do with little or no weight, but if you feel yourself growing stronger, you can simply add on weight to increase the difficulty and focus more on strengthening your spinal muscles. It works as both a stretch and a muscle-strengthening exercise, making it one of our all-time favorites to combat lower back pain.
2) Hip Thrusters – Hip thrusters are another excellent exercise that focus on the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. You can adjust your posture and the placement of the weight to change the target of the exercise, but overall, it’s going to work all of the muscles that combine to keep your lower back and hips steady.
Hip Thrusters can be a bit dangerous if not done correctly, or if you overload yourself with too much weight. Make sure to start out with light weight and utilize correct form, isolating the movements to ensure you are performing each repetition properly. Only once you’ve mastered the form should you start adding weight.
3) Supermans – Supermans are an exercise that targets your lower back, engaging both your upper and lower body to flex the lower back muscles in a natural movement. The exercise works your spinal extensors, the muscles that extend your spine upward (like when you come up from a forward bend). This not only strengthens your back overall, but helps to improve the connection between your spine and pelvis.
The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it with no equipment, and certainly no weight. A Yoga mat helps to make it a bit more comfortable, but you can do it on the floor anytime, anywhere, for maximum lower back strengthening!
4) Bird Dog – Bird dog is a great exercise to work your lower back and glute muscles in conjunction with your abs, both strengthening the target muscles and encouraging better range of motion in the spine and pelvis. Best of all, this exercise is great physiotherapy for those who are suffering from back pain. It can actually ease the pain while also training your body to stabilize your lower back while your arms and legs move.
5) Plank – Though Plank is more focused on your abs than your lower back, there is some lower back recruitment to maintain the static position. It forces your lower back muscles to contract to maintain stability, serving as a sort of opposing force for your abdominal muscles. It’s a great exercise to help strengthen your spinal muscles for sure!
6) Back Hyperextensions – Back Hyperextensions are an excellent exercise to incorporate into your gym workout routines. It’s one of the very few exercises where you get a full flex through an entire range of motion, targeting your back extensor muscles. You can work with just your bodyweight or add dumbbells or weight plates to make the exercise a bit more challenging.
7) Partial Curls – Partial Curls, like Planks, work your abs in conjunction with your spinal muscles to develop better overall core strength, which in turns translates into a more injury-resistant spine. They’re easier on your lower back than Sit-Ups, but do wonders to target both your abs and lower back muscles.
8) Lying Lateral Leg Lifts – This exercise targets your hip abductor muscles, the muscles that move your legs outward and support your pelvis. By strengthening these muscles, you strengthen your hips and thereby increase the support around your spine to reduce strain in your lower back muscles.
What is the Best Exercise for Lower Back Pain? Find Out More With Back on Track
Back on Track is our solution to help you combat back pain at the source! This program takes a closer look at the dangerous and often-ignored syndrome behind back pain, arming you with the knowledge you need to bulletproof your back and strengthen your core muscles to drastically reduce injuries.
With the addition of one simple breathing technique to your daily workouts—and your life—you’ll find that your spine is stronger, your risk of injury reduces, and you feel so much better. By going through the course, you will know clearly what is the best exercise for lower back pain!
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