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6 simple exercises to help decrease low back pain

Information provided on the blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or offer treatment plans.

1. Double knee to chest

  • Lay on your back and bring both knees towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the low back; hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 3x

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2. Hamstring stretch

  • Lay on your back with knees bent; raise one leg towards the ceiling and, using a towel wrapped around the middle of the foot, gently pull the toes towards you while simultaneously pulling the leg backwards; stop when you feel a gentle stretch along the back of the leg; hold for 30 seconds; repeat on other leg
  • Repeat 3x on each leg

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3. Cat-camel

  • Begin on your hands and knees with a flat back and nose pointing towards the ground; gently arch your lower back while simultaneously lifting your chin towards the ceiling; hold for a count of 5 and then slowly transition towards pressing your low back up towards the ceiling and pulling your tummy in while simultaneously dropping your head so that your nose is pointing towards your toes; hold for a count of 5. That’s 1 repetion.
  • Repeat transitions for a total of 10 repetitions

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4. Prone press-up

  • Begin by laying on your stomach, face down, elbows bent with hands flat on the floor at chest level; keeping your hips on the floor, gently press up by straightening your elbows, arching your low back and raising your head; you can progress or regress this exercise based on how far you can tolerate extending your elbows while maintaining hips pressed to the floor
  • Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions

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5. Standing lumbar extension

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips; gently lean back to your tolerance, using your hands to help support your low back; return to standing straight
  • Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions

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6. Seated flexion

  • Begin by sitting up tall in a chair with feet flat on the floor, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart; gently bend forward to your tolerance, allowing the back to round and the head to drop; hold this position for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 3-5x

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Jon Gallas, DPT

Jon Gallas is a doctor of physical therapy for OrthoIllinois. He's also an avid runner and biker, who likes to work with endurance athletes to stay healthy and perform better.


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