The 5 most important exercises you can do to prevent back pain

Lower back pain can vary person to person, some prefer bending forward and others leaning backwards. We can find these out during the assessment where we use; range of movement, strength testing and special tests. These will help diagnose the area of disfunction and then we can tailor specific exercises to manage it.

Based on some of your body preferences to movement, here are a few examples of exercise we may prescribe for lower back pain. The exercises can be modified (regressed or progressed) based on each person’s function and ability.

  • Spinal mobility: including knee to chest, lumbar rotations and pelvic tilts
  • Combining lumbar flexion and extension like a cat-cow movement, or lumbar extension only like a cobra, or lumbar flexion only like a child’s pose
  • Bridges and side bridges
  • Planks
  • Bird dog

You can also include stretching your hip flexors, piriformis and hamstrings muscles, but a lot of the time they need to be strengthened.

The above listed exercise are only an example of the most common ones we prescribe. A holistic approach should be taken to manage lower back pain, which includes having:

  • An active lifestyle
  • Strong muscles, especially in your trunk
  • A good posture, when sitting or standing
  • A healthy weight


Good luck trying some of these exercises out, be safe and if unsure rather ask, we are happy to help.

Also see our post on the Australian Physiotherapy Association position statement on management of low back pain.

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