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Updated on September 8, 2020

Back Exercises to Improve Flexibility & Strengthen Core Muscles

Here are some home exercises which may help ease your back pain and improve your core muscles.  Consult your physiotherapist or doctor BEFORE starting any exercises.  STOP if you feel any sharp pain (sciatica) or pins & needles down your legs.

Click to view UCSanDiegoHealth video on Simple Back Core Muscle exercises

Squeezing Shoulder Blades

  • Place your hands by your side with your elbows bent 90 degrees
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades down and back
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times

Single Knee to Chest

  • Lie flat on your back with both knees bent
  • Use both hands to hold one knee and gently pull it towards your chest
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the exercise with the other knee
  • Repeat the set 10-15 times

Cat & Camel

  • Get onto your arms and knees on the floor
  • Arch your back up to the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds
  • Then arch your downwards and hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the set 10-15 times

Shoulder Bridging

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent
  • Gently raise your pelvis and back until your whole body is supported by your shoulders
  • Hold for 5 seconds and gradually lower your body in controlled manner
  • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times

Lower Trunk Rotations

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent
  • Gently rotate your hips from side to side while keeping your shoulder flat on the floor
  • Hold for 5 seconds at each side
  • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times

Standing Extensions

  • Stand straight up
  • Gently arc your back backwards
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times

Quadruped Alternate Arm and Leg

  • Get onto your arms and knees on the floor
  • Stretch your right arm and left leg straight (like Superman pose)
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat with the other side

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If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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