10 Useful Stretches for Lower Back Pain

by Gina Kelly

10 Useful Stretches for Lower Back Pain

It’s probably the last thing you want to do when you have lower back pain, but stretching those muscles is an important step in recovery. We’ve compiled 10 great stretches for lower back pain to help you feel better.
Although your lower back may feel a little tight, these stretches shouldn’t hurt, so stop if they do. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before performing this routine. And remember, strengthening your back will help you avoid lower back pain in the future.


Child’s pose

When you’re in child’s pose, remember to relax all of the muscles in your back.

Kneel on the floor with your toes together and knees hip-width apart. Lower your chest in between your knees and rest your forehead on the floor. Stretch your arms out in front of you. Stay in this position for five deep breaths.



Cat-camel, or cat-cow, is a yoga pose that’s perfect for stretching your lower back. Remember to go at your own pace, and don’t over-arch your back.

Start on the floor on your hands and knees. As you inhale, pull your stomach in, round your back, and tuck your head into your chest. Exhale as you arch your back and lift your head. Repeat five to ten times.



This is a simple stretch that can provide considerable relief for lower back muscles.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Bring your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around your shins and keep your back flat on the floor. Stay in this position for one to two minutes.


Ragdoll fold

Ragdoll fold, or forward fold, is great for lower back pain.

Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Bend your knees. Take a deep breath in and bend at your waist so that your chest drapes over your thighs. You can let your hands hang just like a ragdoll or grab your elbows with opposite hands. Hold for 20 seconds. Slowly roll your chest back up using your abdominal muscles.


Seated saddle stretch

You should feel the seated saddle stretch in your lower back, legs, and thighs. Depending on your flexibility level, you may only reach your torso down an inch or two, which is totally normal.

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out wide apart and your feet flexed. Bend at the waist and crawl your arms out as far as you can. Try to avoid rounding your back. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.


Seated toe touch

There’s mounting evidence that lower back pain is often linked to hamstrings that are too tight or stiff. This seated toe touch can help stretch and relieve tight hamstrings.

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and feet flexed. Lift your arms over your head and bend forward from the waist only to the point where you feel a small stretch in your hamstrings. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. Remember to breathe!


Reverse pigeon

You’ll feel this stretch in your lower back and throughout your hips.

Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Cross your right leg over your left knee. If this is comfortable for you, stay in this position. If you would like to feel a deeper stretch, grab your left thigh and pull it towards your chest. Hold the stretch for one minute then repeat on the other side.


Seated spinal twist

Not only does the seated spinal twist help with back pain, but it also improves posture. In this position, make sure you keep your hips level on the ground.

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Take your right foot and place it on the outside of your left leg. Lift your left arm up and wrap it around your right leg. Your left hand should be somewhere alongside your outer right thigh. Hold this twist for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.



Legs-up-the-wall pose allows all the muscles in your lower back to relax.

Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and toes touching the base of the wall. Walk your feet up the wall. Bring your hips as close to the wall as you can so your body makes an L-shape. Hold the position for one minute or longer.


Superman stretch

This move stretches both your upper and lower back.

Lie on your stomach with your legs and arms stretched out flat against the floor so your body is in a straight line as if you were flying like superman. Lift only your arms and legs off the floor. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat five times.

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