4 Lower Back Pain Exercises

Lower Back Pain –??? Have you ever thrown your back out? You bend over to tie your shoes and BAM!

Your back seizes up and you can’t move without pain. I can relate.

Lower backpain exercise

{Back pain- Athletic running.}

A couple of months ago, I was doing a lot of yard work, shoveling and moving around a couple of truckloads of mulch. I wasn’t paying too much attention and kept letting my lower back round as I lifted.

After about a week of this, my back suddenly gave out!

Luckily, I found some relief. These lower back pain exercises really helped me heal my back. See how they work for you.

This routine is pretty specific to injuries like disc herniations and bulging discs that result from repeatedly sitting or bending forward with a rounded lower back.

While this is a common origin of lower back pain, there are other causes. So, don’t do this routine if you:


  • Hurt your back under a heavy load (for example, you were squatting a heavyweight and are pretty sure that you did some serious tissue damage)


  • Have a spondylolisthesis (don’t worry, if you have this you will probably know it)


  • Hurt your back in an extension movement (bending back)

If you have one of these conditions, this particular set of exercises might do more harm than good.

And as always, consult your physician to rule out other potential causes of lower back pain.

Before we get into the actual exercises, let’s look at the mechanics of this kind of lower back pain

Why does your back hurt?

When you bend forward, your vertebrae compress towards each other along the front of the spine.

This puts pressure on the front of the discs, squeezing them towards the back of your spinal column.

Think of a tube of toothpaste. If you squeeze from the bottom of the tube, the toothpaste will be forced towards the tube’s opening.

Bending forward while rounding the spine, again and again, day after day repeatedly squeezes the discs towards the back of the spine.

The discs can eventually get injured, bulging out and pressing onto surrounding nerves.

When this happens, your back stiffens up. Your brain recognizes that a disc has been damaged.

All the lower back muscles spasm, immobilizing the spine to prevent further injury.

Here is where these exercises come in. We first put the disc back into place by squeezing it in the other direction.

Then we show the brain that all of the spine’s supporting and protecting muscles are functioning properly.

When the brain recognizes that everything is working ok, lower back spasms and pain begin to decrease, and you feel a whole lot better!

‘Damage Control’ Lower Back Exercise Routine

  1. MacKenzie Press-ups – 10 reps
  2. Hip Extensions – 8 reps x 5-sec hold
  3. Bird Dog  – 4 reps x 10-sec hold
  4. Side Bridge – 5 reps x 10 sec hold on each side


Check out more details on these Lower Back Pain Exercises:


MacKenzie Pressup


This exercise helps to put your discs back into place.

Lie down on your stomach, with your hands right underneath your shoulders. Breathing out and keeping your shoulder blades down and back, slowly push your chest up while keeping your hips on the floor, arching back.

The key is to try to make your spine long as you bend backward. Don’t just tip your head back.

Keeping your shoulder blades down and back, lower yourself down slowly, breathing in.

Be gentle at first, only gradually increasing the range of motion. If this exercise hurts for the first few reps, see if the pain decreases as you finish the set of 10. If pain continues, consult your doctor.

Hip Extension


This exercise lets your brain know that your glutes are activated and stabilizing the spine.

Lying on the ground with your feet around shoulder-width apart as shown, push through your heels and flex your butt, squeezing these muscles hard to push the hips up.

Relaxing all your other muscles besides your glutes, and especially your lower back muscles, hold the flex with your hips up for 4 seconds.

Lower back down under control.

Do this 8 times.

Remember to squeeze the glutes as hard as you can. This informs your body that the lower back region is stable, that there is no more need for the pain and stiffness of lower back spasms.

The lower back can then relax.

Bird Dogs


Here Amanda Edell from Body by Amanda Nyc shows how to do bird dog exercise.

Get down on all fours. Imagine that your hands and knees are in line with each other, each on 2×4 planks. Your hands should be right below your shoulders. Keep your back flat, in a neutral spine position.

Lift one leg slowly, straight up and back. Then lift the opposite arm up and straight out at a 45-degree angle to your body.

This angle is important, as it activates the lower trapezius, which is often dormant in people who sit a lot during the day with a slouched posture.

Keep your shoulders tucked down.

Hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat on the other side.

KEY POINT: When you lift your leg, don’t shift your hips to the side. Keep your hips right in the center, keeping your back level. Keep breathing naturally throughout the exercise.

This exercise activates the deep spinal muscles called the multifidus and transverse abdominous, which are key to the stabilization of each vertebra.

Activate these muscles and the brain will stop telling the lower back to spasm since these important core muscles are doing their jobs.

Side Bridge/Side Plank


Here Uncaged Fighter helps you to get it done.

Lie on your side with feet on top of one another or with one foot in front of the other. Keep your elbow underneath your shoulder and your hand on your side.

Bridge your hips up, making sure that your shins come off the ground.

Keep your body straight, making sure that you are not bent forward at the waist.

If you are unfamiliar with this exercise, do it a few times with your back up against a wall to make sure you are aligned properly.

Hold for 10 seconds, breathing naturally. Repeat for 5 repetitions on each side.

This exercise works the side abdominal muscles called the obliques and quadratus lumborum.


Stand up and walk around for a bit, keeping your body in good posture.

Now that you have done these exercises, your body knows that everything is working as it should and that back spasms are no longer necessary.

With luck, these lower back pain exercises will quickly help you get better and feel better.

How Often

I recommend doing this routine 2-3 times per day after you throw your back out.

Also, suggest you doing these exercises daily to prevent injuries.

Good luck!


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