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What are the Best Back Exercises at Home?

If you have back pain you’ve, no doubt, had others recommend you strengthen your core. Exercises can be a great way to strengthen both your core and your back muscles. So, what are the best exercises for back pain? As it turns out, you can do many back exercises at home to help strengthen your back muscles and ease your back pain..

Saratoga Spine: Best Back Exercises at Home

Back Exercises at Home

Strengthening your back muscles can help take strain off of your spine and ease back pain. In addition, strengthening your core muscles can benefit as well. As your core weakens your back takes on a greater load from supporting your body. The resulting fatigue (and possibly) injury experienced by your spine can lead to back pain.

If you suffer from back pain you don’t need an expensive gym membership to build your muscles and get relief. There are many exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back and your core.

Beginning Back Exercises

heel slides back exercises at home

Beginning Back Exercises: Heel Slides

When you’re first starting an exercise regimen you want to start slowly. Starting out with difficult exercises can cause damage to your spine and possibly worsen your condition. It’s best to start slowly with exercises such as:

  • Ankle pumps
  • Heel raises
  • Abdominal contractions

Intermediate Back Exercises

knee to chest back exercise at home

Intermediate Back Exercises: Knee to Chest

As you begin to feel more comfortable with the beginning exercises you can start add in some intermediate back exercises like:

  • Hamstring stretches
  • Wall squats with an exercise ball
  • Knee to chest exercises

Advanced Back Exercises

piriformis stretch exercise

Advanced Back Exercise: Piriformis Stretch

When you’re comfortable with both the beginning and intermediate back exercises at home you can try some more advanced exercises:

  • Exercise ball push ups
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Piriformis stretch

See Also: Full List of Back Exercises at Home (with instructions)

Back Pain Exercises to Avoid

If you suffer from back pain you will probably experience mild pain during back exercises. However, if the pain is severe or lasts more than 15 minutes, you should not continue with these exercises. If your pain continues or is worsened by an exercise program you should contact your doctor to ensure you haven’t injured your back.

Examples of exercises to avoid are:

  • Standing toe touches
  • Situps – try crunches instead
  • Leg lifts (lying flat on back and lifting both legs at once) – try a knee to chest exercise or single leg lift instead

As goes with starting any new exercise regimen, you should consult your doctor prior to starting so you understand the risks versus benefits. If your doctor is comfortable with you doing back exercises at home, try the ones mentioned and see if you feel a difference.

Reach out to us on our facebook page and let us know which exercises benefited you the most.


  1. WebMD
*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery