Back Exercises

Examples of exercises for the back include partial sit-ups, bridges, wall slides, and stretching. These and other exercises are essential to preventing a lifetime of lower back pain. In addition, aerobic exercise stretches and strengthens the muscles that support your lower back. Aerobic exercise combined with healthy eating can help you maintain your ideal weight.

Back Exercises: An Introduction

It doesn't take much time to improve the strength and flexibility of your back. In just ten minutes a day, you can perform a few exercises that can help prevent a lifetime of lower back pain.

Partial Sit-ups

Partial sit-ups are back exercises that are used to strengthen your stomach muscles and widen the spaces between the vertebrae, thereby reducing pressure on the nerves and stretching the muscles of the back and hips. In order to perform a partial sit-up, you should:
  • Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  • Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor, keeping your hands across your chest
  • Work up to 30 repetitions.
Many healthcare provider believe that strengthening the muscles of the abdomen (stomach) will reduce the load on the spine. However, it is important to note that people whose back pain is caused by a herniated disc should check with their doctor before performing flexion exercises such as these. Flexion exercises may increase pressure within the discs, making the problem worse.


Bridges are used to strengthen your lower back. In order to perform a bridge, you should:
  • Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor
  • With arms lying at your sides, tighten stomach muscles, squeeze buttocks, and slowly raise your hips into the air
  • Hold for five seconds and then slowly bring the buttocks back to the floor
  • Repeat 20 times.
This type of back exercise is an extension exercise. The theory behind extension exercises is that they open up the spinal canal and develop muscles that support the spine. These exercises may minimize radiating pain, which is pain you can feel in other parts of the body besides where the pain originates.
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