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Lower Back Pain: 4 Exercises and 4 Stretches to Correct Poor Posture and Get Relief

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can lead to pain in your lower back and hips. Not fun. If the pain is impacting your livelihood, you could have lower crossed syndrome. What’s lower crossed syndrome? It’s a muscular imbalance in your low back, glutes and hips and that imbalance can lead to poor posture and constant pain.

Our exercise physiologists – always here to help us with our anatomical aches and pains – have some quick and easy exercises and stretches to get your muscles and spine back in line. So, while we all work on achieving perfect posture, let’s relieve our pain with these moves:

Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back and Improve Posture

Hip Bridge

  • Start lying flat on your back, your knees bent and your arms in low V by your hips. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart.
  • Push through your heels to lift your hips up while squeezing your glutes. Try to create one diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds, then lower back down.


Bird dog

  • Kneel with knees hip-width apart and your hands placed on the ground about shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend one arm in front and extend the opposite leg behind you, forming one straight line from your hand to your foot.
  • Keeping hips squared to the ground and your abdominals engaged.
  • Hold for a few seconds then return to starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.


Monster walk with band

  • Place an exercise band around both ankles and another around both knees. There should be enough tension that they are tight when your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  • To begin, take short steps laterally alternating your left and right foot.
  • After several steps, do just the opposite and walk back to where you started.


Dead bug with physioball

  • Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees.
  • Keep arms straight and hold the ball between your hands and knees.
  • Slowly, keeping pressure on the ball, lower right hand and left leg toward the table.
  • Repeat with the other arm and leg for a total of 20 – 30 repetitions.


Stretches to Help Lower Back Pain

Hip flexor stretch

  • Kneel with one knee on the floor and your other leg at a 90-degree angle in front of you.
  • Put your hands on your hips and keep your back straight.
  • Keeping your knee pressed to the floor, lean forward while squeezing your glutes until you feel a stretch in the hip with the knee on the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.


Calf stretch

  • Stand on step and place ball of one foot on the edge of a step.
  • Lower the heel until you feel a stretch in your calf.
  • Your hands may be placed on wall for support.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.


Lat stretch

  • From a kneeling position, sink your hips back and place your right forearm along the floor.
  • Lean your weight onto your right arm and stretch out your left arm, reaching out through your fingertips. You’ll feel a stretch along the side of your torso.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times. Repeat on the opposite side.


Piriformis stretch

  • While lying on your back with both knees bent, place the ankle of your right leg on your knee.
  • Next, hold your left thigh and pull it up towards your chest until a stretch is felt in the right buttock. You can use a towel or stretching strap around your left thigh if desired.
  • Hold for 15 – 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Is your upper back giving you fits, too? Check out our exercises and stretches for upper back pain!