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Stretches for Your Lower Back

    • A lack of flexibility in your lower back can cause pain. The following stretches can keep this area loose and pain-free.

      Keep these guidelines in mind when doing the stretches:

      • Start out slowly and build repetitions gradually.
      • Stop any exercise that causes pain.
      • Repeat each exercise three to five times.
      • Begin each stretching session with five to seven minutes of gentle aerobic exercise, such as walking or riding a stationary bicycle.

      Sitting Knee-to-Chest

      Sit in a straight-back chair, with your feet on the floor. Grasp your left knee with both hands and bring that leg up toward your chest. Hold, return to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg.

      Full-Body Stretch

      Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms extended above your head. Try to make your body longer by stretching your legs as far as they can reach while extending your arms in the opposite direction. Relax and repeat.

      Sitting Lower Back

      Sit in a chair with your legs bent at the knees and slightly apart. Relax your lower back, bend at the hips, and let your arms hang toward the floor. Bend forward until your stomach touches your thighs.

      Low Back Rotation

      To start, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Don't press your neck or lower back to the floor. Breathe deeply. You should feel comfortable and relaxed in this position.
      • Drop both knees to one side. Turn your head to the other side. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor.
      • Hold for 20 seconds.
      • Slowly switch sides.
      • Repeat two times.

      Seated Rotation

      To start, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Shift your weight slightly forward to avoid rounding your back. Relax, and keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned.
      • Fold your arms, elbows just below shoulder height.
      • Turn from the waist while keeping your hips forward. Turn your head last.
      • Hold the twist for a count of five. Return to starting position.
      • Repeat five times on one side, then switch sides.

      Side Stretch

      To start, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Shift your weight slightly forward to avoid rounding your back. Relax. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned.
      • Stretch your right arm overhead.
      • Slowly bend to the left. Don't twist your torso; stay facing forward.
      • Hold for 20 seconds. Return to starting position.
      • Repeat two times, then switch to the other side.

    Download our lower back exercises and stretches.