I’ve had lower back issues ever since I started working my first office job. I finally had to start doing something about it when I realized I was not even able to go to work.
So I went to a physical therapist and learned the first core exercises that have become a staple in my daily core routine: standing hip flexor stretch, tabletop with double knee lift, prone lateral pulldown, and dead bug.
Over the last decade and a half, I’ve added some yoga poses and other stretches to keep my core strong and consequently my back too. This post lists those exercises along with videos for you to learn how to do them yourself.
The order the exercises are presented is the order I do them—each exercise or pose flows into the next once you’ve got a handle on them. So get into some comfortable clothes, roll out your mat, and get started!
Disclaimer: I am not a physician or physical therapist/trainer. I’m not qualified or trained to give medical advice. The exercises I’m about to recommend are just the ones I use every day. Do not assume they will all work for you and that you are ready for them. If you are having back pain, see a medical doctor before starting these exercises.
1. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
My most frequently used stretch that I find myself doing multiple times a day.
2. Neck and Shoulder Rolls
You can easily do these at your desk too.
3. Half Moon Stretch
This stretch is not the same as the half moon yoga pose, which is much more challenging.
Takes a bit of balance and is very bendy.
This takes a lot of balance. I find I’m much more successful at the tree pose when I’ve been awake and moving around for a while.
Keep the feet together to strengthen your inner thighs.
7. Standing Forward Bend
Bend down only as far as you can go without hurting yourself to build up flexibility over time.
8. Downward Dog
Oh, the calf muscles will thank you!
9. Tabletop With Double Knee Lift
This one is my go-to whenever I’m having back pain throughout the day.
10. Kneeling Lunge
Your legs, hips, and butt get a nice stretch and strengthen here.
11. Balancing Cat
Learn some simple balancing here.
This one really engages the lower back.
13. Prone Lateral Pulldown
I used to hate this one, but it’s the best one for strengthening your lower back.
If you’re not shaking, you’re not doing this one right. Engage the core and your abs!
My favorite resting pose that also stretches the ankles.
16. Reclining Spinal Twist
Get some more lower back stretching with this one.
17. Eye of the Needle
This is my absolute favorite stretch! My butt loves this one!
18. Dead Bug
Another go-to when I’m having back pain throughout the day.
19. Bound Angle
No need to bend forward if you’re not ready for that part yet.
I hope these poses, exercises, and stretches come in handy for you. Remember: You don’t have to do them all and you can always add your own to the mix or change up the order as it works for you.