41 Effective Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Sitting for long periods of time and participating in activities such as running, cycling and high impact exercises can lead to dysfunctions in your lumbo pelvic hip complex.

As a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, I have 8 years of experience working with clients who are sedentary. Muscle imbalances, tight tissues, deactivated glutes, hip flexor and SI Joint issues contribute to lower back pain.

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How does this happen?

Tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors and weak glutes cause an anterior pelvic pull and tilt in your pelvis, un-surprisingly called “anterior pelvic tilt”.

 

This can be remedied in a series of ways: by “turning off” the overactive muscles, strengthening and reactivating the muscles that are turned off and releasing pressure in areas that are tight. At times issues with the lumbopelvic-hip complex affect other areas of the body such as your knees, ankles and feet. An injury in your hip complex basically radiates as your body is connected, and in turn, affects surrounding tissues and joints.

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So How Can We Fix and Prevent This?

It’s not a one-time quick fix and it doesn’t involve just one type of exercise. A corrective exercise + mobility program involves stretching, SMR (self-myofascial release) and most importantly isolated strength training. One will not be good without doing the others. They all work well together and must be done consistently in addition to your current workout regimen. Even if you don’t have current back pain but are sedentary I strongly recommend following these exercises. Some of the programmings below has been specifically recommended by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as part of Corrective Exercise Program Model.

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Note: I am not a doctor or a physio please do not use my exercise guidelines to self-diagnose if you have excruciating pain. This formula is one that I use with clients that I have properly assessed and met with in person and does not replace time spent with a personal trainer. If you feel that you are seriously injured, seek out the advice of a GP or physiotherapist who will medically clear you to improve your condition. These exercises are specifically meant for people who have been cleared by their doctor to enter a workout program. Mobilization Techniques should be done 10-15 mins a day 5-6x a week.

 

Stretches

  1. Gastrocnemius/Soleus stretches
  2. Hip flexor stretches
  3. Abdominal Complex stretches
  4. Erector Spinae
  5. Hamstring Complex
  6. Adductor Magnus
  7. Supine Hamstring and Calf Stretch
  8. Hip Flexor Stretch (Stairs)
  9. Prone Hip Internal Rotation Stretch
  10. Side Lying IT Band Stretch
  11. Standing IT Band Stretch
  12. Adductor Stretch

 

SMR/Foam Rolling

  1. Gastrocnemius/Soleus
  2. Hip Flexor
  3. Latissimus Dorsi
  4. Hamstring
  5. Glute lacrosse ball flossing
  6. Vastus lateralis (lacrosse ball)
  7. Lacrosse ball laterally across quad
  8. Squeeze yoga ball or pillow while in hip raise
  9. Side hip smash

 

Strengthening +Mobilisation

  1. Banded walks
  2. Clams
  3. Sidestepping with a band
  4. Side lying leg lifts
  5. Frogger hip raises
  6. Fire hydrants
  7. Glute kickbacks
  8. Quadruped Rocking
  9. Supine Marching
  10. Brace Knee Fall Out
  11. Ball Squat to Overhead Press
  12. Hip Mobilization with band
  13. Seated Abductor Presses
  14. Posterior Hip Capsule Mobilization
  15. Floor Cobra
  16. Bridges
  17. Ball Crunches
  18. Quadruped
  19. Gluteus Maximus (glute cable kickback)
  20. Prone Hip Extension

 

Further Reading and Resources:

https://www.nasm.org/injury-prevention/corrective-exercise-continuum

How to Get Rid of Lower Back Pain

5 Steps for Dealing With Anterior Pelvic Tilt

The Top 10 Corrective Exercises

 

 

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