Want to Age Well? Bulletproof Your Lower Back With These 5 At-home Exercises

5 best lower back exercises
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Lower back pain is quite common at any age and is almost a universal experience we all go through at some point in our lives.

Especially if your job requires you to be at a desk, lift heavy items, or stand for hours, you may be more prone to an achy back. Aging, injuries, and certain health issues can also be a factor.

Whether you are looking for immediate relief or prevention, we can improve spinal health through exercise.

In today’s post, we’ll focus on gentle, low-impact at-home exercises that’ll strengthen your core and the posterior chains. They will also help develop spinal stabilization, mobility, and balance, which are required in a functional body.

These moves not only stretch the over-stressed, compressed muscles in the back but also strengthen and make them more flexible.

If you are looking to safeguard your body and back against aging, these exercises are a great way to bulletproof the most problem-prone area.

If you are experiencing backache due to an injury, strain, or certain health conditions, be sure to consult a physician before you start new exercises.

Here are five low-impact, at-home exercises to strengthen your back. No more back pain for you!

5 Best At-Home Lower Back Exercises

5 Best At-Home Lower Back Exercises

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1. Bird Dog Exercise

Bird Dog exercise core workout

Bird dogs are phenomenal for improving strength throughout the back and core. This movement engages the multifidi, the glutes, and various other muscles throughout the body.

By performing them in a flowing manner, you can also improve balance and proprioception significantly.

How to Perform:

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees right under your hips.
  • Next, reach your right arm straight out in front of you as you simultaneously kick your left leg behind you.
  • In this position, you should be able to trace a line from your left heel to your right fingertips. 
  • Hold this pose for 3 seconds, then bring your right elbow to your left knee, near your chest.
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds then return to the position described in step number 2.
  • Continue to repeat in this manner for 3 sets of 10 reps per session. Be sure to perform this movement on both sides.

2. Supermans

Supermans

Another hero appears on our list!

The superman exercise is great for those looking to avoid or cure back pain. This movement strengthens many of the back muscles and is a terrific way to balance out popular core exercises.

How to Perform:

  • Lie flat on your stomach.
  • Extend your arms above your head and your legs straight down.
  • Next, lift your arms, legs, and as much of your trunk and hips as possible off the floor.
  • Hold this extended position for 10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10 reps per set, 3 sets per session, and 2-3 sessions per week.

3. Cat-Cow Lower Back Stretch

Cat-Cow Lower Back Stretch
Image // Nytimes.com

This stretch is a classic move to incorporate into nearly all yoga classes. This exercise stretches your entire spine, increasing mobility and flexibility throughout the back.

How to Perform:

  • Place your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, while your knees should be directly under your hips.
  • Begin by arching your back and bringing your chin toward your chest. This is the “cat” position.
  • After you’ve held this position for the prescribed amount of time, reverse the movement to perform “cow.”
  • This is done by allowing your stomach to sink toward the floor and bringing your head up.
  • Continue to alternate between these two positions throughout the course of the exercise.

4. Bridges

Glute Bridge

Bridges come up a lot on lists of best exercises. This is because bridges are one of the best exercises you can do, hands down!

This exercise is easy to learn, easy to progress, and safe for almost everyone.

How to Perform

  • Lie flat on your back, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Press your heels into the floor and lift your hips up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps, 4-5 times per week.

5. Child’s Pose

Child's Pose

The child’s pose is one of the most important yoga postures for beginning students. A yoga instructor will often suggest using it as a resting pose if you need a break during an intense class. Balasana is a grounding posture that provides a gentle stretch for the back and hips. It helps calm the nervous system, reduces stress and fatigue, and relieves lower back pain. 

How to do it: 

  • Start in a kneeling position. Bring your big toes together and widen your knees. 
  • Walk your hands forward, lowering your torso to rest between your thighs. Feel your forehead and your shins connected to the ground below you. 
  • Sink your hips back towards your heels as your arms extend forward, creating length throughout your back body. 
  • If you experience any discomfort in your shoulder, try a variation with your arms resting down by your sides instead. Stay in the Child’s pose for as many breaths as you want or need. 

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Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS
Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS

Bennett Richardson is a physical therapist and writer out of Pittsburgh, PA. He has maintained certification as a strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) since 2014. He then went on to earn a BS in exercise science and a doctorate degree in physical therapy, both from Slippery Rock University. In his free time, Bennett likes to read and exercise.

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