Fitness Friday: How to Maintain a Healthy Back

Most of the time when one is experiencing back pain, they often stay sedentary all day, because they think being active or stretching will hurt them more rather than elevate their back pain. Here are some great stretches and exercises that will increase core strength to support a healthy back.


One of the best ways to ease back pain is by going on a walk. Walking on a daily basis, can help reduce back pain and can help with many other health issues, such as; maintaining a healthy weight, preventing or managing heart disease and high blood pressure, it strengthen bones and muscles, as well as improves your mood, balance and coordination.


Stretching is very important, as most Yogi’s say, “we are as old as we are flexible”. It is also important to strengthen our core as it helps reduce the chances of back injury. Here are some good exercises to work on flexibility and core strength.

Cat/Cow (Also called Cat/Camel): This exercise works to warm up the spine for any activity, it can also increase the flexibility of the neck, shoulder and spine as well as stretches the muscles in the hips, back, abdomen, chest and lungs.


Hamstring Stretch: Often times back pain can be caused by tight hamstrings so it is important to stretch our hamstrings. One exercise is to lay on floor extend one leg straight, while extending one leg up towards the ceiling, flexing your foot, if you want a deeper stretch, you can get a stretch band or towel, place it around the arch of the foot and pull towards you.   Take deep breathes, and keep foot flexed.

Pelvis Rocks (Windshield Wipers): This exercise requires stability and will help increase core strength, focus on your oblique’s and use slow and controlled movements.

Bird Dogs: Is a great exercise for core and spine stabilization and elongation. Extend one leg long and opposite foot long, hold, return to starting position, repeat using on other side.

Bridges: Bridges increase flexibility and builds muscle to support our back in daily activities. This exercise is uses your abdominal muscles but benefits, your butt, hips and lower back.

Please make sure to review with your doctor or physical therapist before performing any of these exercises. To find more exercises please look at our Back to Life Physical Therapy Program