exercises for lower back pain

5 Exercises To Relieve Lower Back Pain

March 12, 2021 2 Comments

Chances are that you or a loved one has experienced lower back pain at some point. What if we told you lower back pain can be relieved through consistent mobility drills, would you take a few minutes a day to get rid of your pain? If you answered "yes" then this is a must read! If you answered "no" then at least you could help out a friend or family member with lower back pain by simply sharing these exercises with them.

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

Lumbago, a.k.a. Low Back Pain (LBP) is a very common issue.

LBP doesn’t just affect the elderly. Many people experience low back pain when sitting or standing. Young, middle-aged, and elderly people from all walks of life can experience lower back pain and it is getting more common as the modern world develops.

As stated above, most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic. That means for the majority of people you can prevent and cure lower back pain.

The problem is…people are not aware of what to do to correct it. That’s what this article is about - alleviating low back pain. 

exercises for lower back pain relief

What causes Lower Back Pain?

There are many causes of LBP. On the surface, common causes would be heavy weightlifting for years on end, standing for extended periods of time, or sitting too much and NOT exercising.

But that doesn’t explain what the root of the cause is and it damn sure doesn’t explain how to fix it.

Thanks to experts of the human body, rehabilitation of lower back pain evolved from concentrating on decreasing the local pain (lower back) to utilizing a biomechanical approach of how other parts of the body, like the hips, affect LBP.

It has been proven that a loss of hip extension correlates to low back pain.

Study on the influence of hip mobility on lower back pain

The correlation of hip mobility and LBP is something that we have been focusing on a lot lately, and it makes sense to do so, especially as we age.

The majority of our population sits for a large chunk of the day. This is exacerbated as we age.

A result of sitting too much is tight hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt posture.  This isn’t good, this is the biggest cause of tight hip flexors, and it’s impacting people of all ages.

We all know how the human body works, it compensates.  

“Hips won’t extend?  Ok, let’s extend the spine more.” - says Your Body.

When your hips tighten and shorten it subsequently shortens the hamstrings, which in turn pulls on the lower back. Essentially, that’s why you feel the pain in your lower back.

If you have lower back pain when sitting you probably do what most people do, adjust your backrest or seat cushion, or even better massage your lower back. This might help to alter your comfort level at that moment but if the real issue lies in the hips, it won’t ever fully provide low back pain relief. 

Standing in the same position for long periods of time isn't any better. If you don't move and stretch enough, your hips will tighten and you will feel lower back pain when standing too.

People with low back pain usually have a negative hip extension, meaning they can’t even extend to neutral (normal upright standing)!

stretches exercises for lower back pain

Hip extension test

From a prone position, you should be able to raise your whole leg 10° to 15° off the table surface with no hyperextension of the lumbar spine. 

Here’s the good news

You don’t need to spend all types of money or worse take painkillers to treat lower back pain. You just need to spend time doing movements and stretches that target the root of the cause. It’s like free insurance on your body - All you have to do is move.

A simple step to reducing back pain is to work on hip extension mobility.

5 Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Here are 5 movements to relieve lower back pain... with the hope for you to eventually cure low back pain for good!

These 5 movements emphasize stretching and rotation of the hips and thoracic spine.

Movement #1: Low Lunge With Hip Elbow Press

  1. Get into a lunge position with your right foot in front.
  2. Reach down with both arms extended so that your right arm is on the inside of your right knee.
  3. Move your right knee outward, externally rotating at the hip. As you push outward, sink your hips towards the ground. Use a slow and controlled motion when pressing your knee outward.
  4. Switch sides and repeat.

*Don’t push yourself beyond your capable range of motion*

Do this for 8-10 reps each leg. Then move to the next movement.

Movement #2: T-Spine Rotations

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms and legs straight.
  2. Place your right hand over your right ear.
  3. Slowly rotate your elbow towards the sky.
  4. At the peak of your stretch, slowly lower your elbow back into the previous position.
  5. Switch sides and repeat.

*Exhale on the rotation. Make sure you keep your hips to the ground (see video)*

Do this for 8-10 reps each side. Then move to the next movement.

Movement #3: Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization

  1. Put a pad/towel a couple feet away from the wall.
  2. Place your right knee on the towel while putting your other foot out in front of you.
  3. Reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot and pull towards your glutes.
  4. Next, lean forward and place your left hand on the wall in front of you.
  5. Perform a slow and controlled rocking motion forward and backward.

*Keep posture and hips in an upright, neutral position. Start slowly, easing your body into this stretch to avoid pulling anything. Exhale on the forward portion of the movement - make sure you breathe!* 

Do this for 8-10 reps each leg. Then move to the next movement.

Movement #4: Supine Bridge With Reach

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Ascend into a glute bridge (push your hips towards the sky).
  3. At the top of the movement, twist your torso and extend one arm to reach over the opposite shoulder.

*Make sure your glutes are doing most of the rotation. DON’T use your lower back in the rotation. You should aim to rotate from your obliques.* 

Do this for 8-10 reps each side. Then move on to the next movement.

Movement #5: Crazy Frog 

  1. Put your knees on the ground, hands stacked under the shoulders.
  2. Externally rotate your feet so your instep is placed on the ground.
  3. Gently rock your hips forward and backward using slow and controlled movements.

*Go slow, only go as far as your hips and groin will allow you to go. Use caution when getting into this position. Don’t force a range of motion you can’t achieve.*

Do this for 8-10 reps. Then move on to the next movement.

Other benefits these stretches and movements provide in addition to curing low back pain:

  • Improve squatting position
  • Increasing stride length
  • Rotational movement
  • Opening the hips
  • Dynamically stretching the groin

low back pain stretches


If you are experiencing lower back pain, try these 5 movements to alleviate the pain. You can perform these movements every morning and when you start to feel pain arising from your lower back. If you're feeling stiff this is a great way to loosen up.

Take full advantage of what your body is capable of. It only takes 5-10 minutes of moving and stretching to set your body right!

A weak or tight psoas (hip flexor) can cause low back pain. Read this to learn how to stretch and/or strengthen your psoas.

Having neck issues too? Ever heard of Tech Neck? Read our recent post on the ultimate tool to fix tech neck and improve posture.

Fix hip pain when squatting by doing these steel mace and resistance band hip mobility exercises

2 Responses


November 11, 2018

Thank you so much for sharing this! Is there video that shows the stretches as well?

Wendy Chambliss
Wendy Chambliss

April 10, 2017

Thank you for this informative article along with exercises. I have been having persistent hip and low back pain for months. After the xrays came back clear indicating no arthritis, I knew all I needed was to move more. I have a long drive coming up in may. I am hoping to be pain free before then!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.