8 Best Home Back Exercises for Back Pain

Doing exercises to strengthen the lower back can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. It can also strengthen the core, leg, and arm muscles. Performing exercises to work the core muscles can prevent injury, increase stability, and improve flexibility.

There can be other factors at play when it comes to back pain and stiffness.

  • Dehydration can lead to stiff muscles. Muscles are active tissues, which means they’re the kind of tissue that requires the most water in the body. So be sure to drink enough water.
  • Inactivity is another culprit leaving your muscles sedentary for a prolonged period (sleep, sitting in a chair, driving for hours etc.) can cause them to stiffen so try to keep moving.
  • Stress causes our bodies to tighten up with prolonged stress leading to a tight posture and strain on the muscles

In this video, Dr. Anurag Mittal, an orthopaedic surgeon, will walk you through some of the most effective exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back and reduce the back pain of disc and other back injuries. These exercises can be performed by the young as well as elderly for the prevention of back pain.

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Following are the 8 simple home back exercises:

  1. Gluteal Stretch
  2. Bridge
  3. Knee to Chest
  4. Lying Knee Twist
  5. Back Extensions
  6. Bottoms to Heel Stretch
  7. Cat and Camel
  8. Quadrapled Arm/Leg Stretch

1.Gluteal stretch:

  • Lie on back with knees bent
  • Then cross right ankle over left knee.
  • Push the right knee with your hand and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Keep upper body flat against floor.
  • Relax, then switch sides.
  • Repeat for 5-10 times.

2. Bridge:

This exercise will strengthen your hamstrings and your gluteus muscles.

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart, arms by your sides.
  • Push your heels into the floor as you lift your pelvis up off the floor until your upper body and thighs form a straight line.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, lower down slowly.
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times.

3. Knee to chest:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Gently pull your knees to your chest.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Then, extend your arms back out straight.
  • Repeat 5-10 repetitions.

4. Lying Knee twist:

  • Lie flat on the mat
  • With your feet on the ground, bend your knees
  • Gently move bent knees to one side and move your upper body to the opposite side.
  • Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds.
  • Do same for the opposite side.
  • Repeat the cycle 5-10 times.

5. Back extensions:

All types of back extensions should be done slowly and under control. Avoid rapid movements, like jerking in one direction, as this can lead to injury.

  • Lie on a mat on your stomach and straighten your legs behind you.
  • Place your elbows on the ground and slide your shoulders down.
  • Lift your upper back, pressing your hips into the mat. Keep your head and neck neutral.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Lower to starting position.
  • Complete 5-10 sets.

6. Bottoms to heel stretch:

  • Kneel on all fours while trying to keep your back and neck straight but don’t lock your elbows.
  • Slowly move your bottom backward to meet your heels.
  • Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

7. Cat and camel:

Cat & Camel gently stretches the connective tissue around your nerve roots (nerve branches that come from the spinal cord). Practicing the cat-camel will help you learn good coordination for movements of your spine.

  • Kneel on all fours while trying to keep your back and neck straight but don’t lock your elbows.
  • First arch your back up toward the ceiling, like an angry cat or camel.
  • Increase the movement with a deep inhale. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
  • Then exhale, tighten (or brace) your abdominals, drop your chest toward the floor and lift your head slightly as shown. 
  • Repeat this exercise 5-10 times.

8. Quadrupled arm/ leg stretch:

  • Kneel on all fours while trying to keep your back and neck straight but don’t lock your elbows.
  • While keeping your abdominals tight, raise one arm and the opposite leg away from you.
  • Hold this position for 3-5 seconds.
  • Lower your arm and leg slowly and alternate sides.
  • Do this 5-10 times on each side.


If any of these back exercises make the pain worse, it is vital to stop doing them immediately and consult with our doctor.