Back Strengthening and Stretching Exercises

In order to strengthen and stretch your back muscles, it's essential to perform and follow correct exercise techniques. Read the FitnessVigil article to find such exercises, and achieve the fitness goal you've been searching for.
FitnessVigil Staff
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Due to issues with back pain, more and more doctors are advising their patients to perform back strengthening and stretching exercises. These exercises help tone and reduce the pain in your back, stomach, core, and thigh muscles. Everyday, we use our back muscles for various purposes and that can put a lot of tension in the muscles. Hence, regularly stretching these muscles can help us prevent unforeseen injuries.
However, more often than not, some people end up overdoing them on their lower backs. As these exercises are done to relieve back pain, doing too much too soon can really set you back furthermore. While doing these exercises, you should remember to be patient and follow the exact instructions mentioned below.
Back Strengthening Exercises
While strengthening the lower back muscles, don't forget to breathe normally throughout the workout routine. Pay close attention to the fact that you don't hold your breath, and continue the exercises. Doing so can cause a hike in your blood pressure (that sort of goes against the whole idea behind doing these exercises). Also, start with only 5 repetitions in the first couple of weeks. Slowly, you can add more repetitions as the weeks go by.
The Bridge
Bridge Back Exercise
  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and lie on your back.
  • Bend your knees at 90º angle, and place feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your core muscles, breathe normally, and keep your hands on your upper abs.
  • Slowly, lift your buttocks off the floor; keep your abs tight.
  • Stop when your shoulders and knees come in a straight line.
  • Count till 5, and hold this position.
  • Gently come back to starting position.
Wall Squat
Wall Squat Back Exercise
  • Stand next to a wall, and touch the wall with your back.
  • Keep the heels of your leg at least 18" away from the wall.
  • Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
  • Keep abs tight and slowly, come down into a crouch position.
  • Bent your knees at 90º angle, keep touching the wall with your back, and count till 5.
  • Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly come back to starting position.
Arms and Legs Raises
Arms and Legs Back Exercise
  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and lie on your stomach.
  • Extend your arms forward, over your head.
  • Place palms on the floor, keep abs tight, and breathe normally.
  • Point the toes of your feet, and extend them as far as you can.
  • Lift right arm, and left leg simultaneously and stretch them away from you.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and then bring them back down.
  • Repeat on the other side.
Back Stretching Exercises
While doing the stretches for your back, remember that you will have to hold the stretch for a certain amount of time. The ideal time frame is between 60―90 seconds. If you are holding the stretch for let's say 30 seconds, do 2―3 repetitions of each exercise. And if you are holding the stretch for only 5 or 10 seconds, do more than 3 repetitions.
Pelvic Tilt
Pelvic Tilt Back Exercise
  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and lie on your back.
  • Bend the knees at a 90º angle, and plant feet on the floor.
  • Inhale, and while exhaling, flatten the small of the back.
  • Make sure you don't press your feet into the floor.
  • Count till 5, and then come back to starting position.
  • Relax for 5 seconds, and repeat.
  • Do 5 to 15 repetitions.
The Cat
Cat Back Exercise
  • Place an exercise mat, and come down on all fours.
  • Keep hands underneath shoulders, and knees under hips.
  • Inhale, and droop the stomach towards the floor.
  • As you do so, tilt head up and look up towards the ceiling.
  • Exhale, and bring the stomach back up, round the back, and bring your chin close to your chest.
  • Do these 2 positions as slowly as you can.
  • Repeat the exercise for 5 times.
The Cobra
Cobra Back Exercise
  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and lie on your stomach.
  • Rest your forehead on the floor, bend the arms, and place palms underneath shoulders.
  • Push yourself down with your arms, and lift your upper torso off the floor.
  • Arch your back as far as you can; don't overdo it.
  • Hold the position as you take 3 deep breaths, and come back to starting position.
As you're doing these exercises, keep in mind that you should do them every other day (take some time to relax the muscles as well). This will help the muscle group recover from the stretches. Overusing the muscles or doing these stretches, no matter which part of the body they may be in, can result in injuries. Again, I would suggest that you should consult a professional health provider before you begin the exercises. Following the right guidelines is the right precaution you can take so that you don't exert or harm yourself.