Back & Spine Exercises

Need to stretch out your back or spine? Try these simple back and spine exercises at home. Not only will they help loosen thing up, but they’ll also help strengthen your back and spine over time.

If you have any questions, please contact us or call 703-723-6800. You can also stop by our Ashburn, Virginia location. We look forward to working with you!

Cat and Camel
Purpose

To stretch lower back.

Steps
  1. Start on your hands and knees, with shoulders vertically above wrists and with hips above knees.
  2. On inhale: Arch back upward and lower head. Try to round spine as much as is comfortably possible. Tuck your pelvis under using abdominals and buttocks.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. On exhale: Lift head upward and push your chest and abdomen toward the floor.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat step 2.
  6. Repeat previous steps 5 times.
Tips
  • Move slowly, feeling a gentle stretch in your lower back.
  • On inhale, avoid compressing lower back, instead, feel your chest expanding.

Prayer Stretch
Purpose

To warm up and gently stretch lower back.

Steps
  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your arms stretched out in front of you.
  2. Extend your hips backward and move your face close to the floor. Try to touch your buttocks to heels.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position.
  4. Repeat previous steps 5 times.
Tips
  • Slide hands while maintaining arm positioning.
  • Keep back straight.

Knee-To-Chest Raise
Purpose

To loosen and warm up lower back.

Steps
  1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  2. With both hands, pull (don’t lift) your right knee as close to your chest as possible. Keep your left knee bent with foot flat on the floor.
  3. Repeat 5 times.
  4. Repeat steps 1-4 with left leg.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 with both legs.
Tips
  • Don’t “lift” legs with your hands and arms – just pull until you feel a gentle stretch in the lower back.
  • If you have bad knees, put your hands under the knee and pull.
  • If you’d like to intensify the stretch, straighten the leg that is not being pulled to the chest.

Pelvic Tilt
Purpose

To strengthen abdominal and back muscles.

Steps
  1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  2. Push the lower part of your back into the floor by tightening your abdominal and buttock muscles. Rotate the pelvis upward without bringing your back off the floor.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds and then return to starting position.
  4. Relax for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat 5 times.
Tips
  • Keep your lower back flat against the floor.
  • You may use a folded towel to support the lower back.

Hamstring Stretch (Lying Down)
Purpose

To warm-up and stretch hamstring.

Steps
  1. Begin by lying on your back with arms at your side. Keep the left leg straight on the floor.
  2. Lift right leg at hip approximately 90 degrees and place both hands behind right leg.
  3. Keep elbows straight and slowly straighten right knee to feel stretch behind right leg.
  4. Hold for 1-5 seconds.
  5. Slowly return leg to floor and relax.
  6. Repeat 5 times holding stretch longer each time.
  7. Repeat previous steps with left leg.
Tips
  • You can also use a belt or a towel to help elevate the leg.
  • No pain should be felt in the low back with this exercise.
  • You may place a folded towel under your lower back for support.

Piriformis Stretch
Purpose

To stretch buttock (piriformis) muscle.

Steps
  1. Begin by lying on your back and lifting your left leg with your knee bent.
  2. Grasp left leg with right hand over or under the ankle. Place left hand on the outside of left knee.
  3. Bring left leg knee toward the mid-line of your chest.
  4. Slowly increase pressure on ankle using right hand. Feel the stretch in your left buttocks.
  5. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  6. Repeat 5 times.
  7. Repeat with right leg.
Tips
  • Keep your knee in line with your nose.

Kneeling Quadratus Lumborum Stretch
Purpose

To stretch lower back, hips, and sides.

Steps
  1. In the hands and knees position, reach forward with the left hand and grasp a secure object.
  2. From this position sit back diagonally toward the left buttocks, elongating the left side.
  3. The left arm may be internally rotated to increase the stretch.
  4. Work on elongation of the left side by dropping the pelvis further diagonally backward and toward the hip.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds.
  6. Repeat on opposite side.
Tips
  • Pull head slowly.

Isometric Abdominal
Purpose

To strengthen abdominal muscles.

Steps
  1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Hollow out your stomach by sucking in your abdominal muscles.
  3. Tighten abdominal muscles in this position.
  4. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  5. Repeat 5 times.
Tips
  • Place towel under lower back for support.

Hip Outside Leg Stretch
Purpose

To strengthen back.

Steps
  1. Begin on your hands and knees. Look down toward the floor.
  2. Simultaneously raise and straighten your left arm and right leg until they are parallel to the ground.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat 5-10 times.
  5. Repeat with right arm and left leg.
Tips
  • Keep abdominal muscles tight. Do not sag chest or hips.

Trunk Side and Leg Stretch
Purpose

To stretch sides and legs.

Steps
  1. In a standing position raise left leg and place it on a supporting surface.
  2. Raise both hands and overhead and interlock your fingers.
  3. On exhale: bend sideways toward your left leg as far as is comfortably possible.
  4. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Repeat with opposite side.
Tips
  • Do not lean forward.
  • Keep legs straight.
  • Maintain a vertical plane as you bed sideways.

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Se Habla Español

Download Forms

We Accept:

  • PPO/POS Plans
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • BlueCross/BlueShield
  • Care First
  • United Healthcare
  • PHCS
  • Optimum Choice
  • Mail Handlers
  • Medicare
  • Auto Injury/Workers Comp

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