Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

The Right Way to Do Back Exercises

As you get ready to launch a lower back exercise program, don't go it alone. See your doctor or an orthopedic specialist to help design a workout program that works for you.

It helps to have a physical therapist get you started on your new routine. They can make sure you're doing the exercises properly and monitor your progress. Physical therapy sessions can help you learn how to stretch and strengthen your back muscles -- and the muscles that support them -- correctly. Your physical therapist will also teach you how to stand and sit to prevent strain and pain.

When you first begin your exercise program, go slowly and follow these tips:

  • Start with as little as 10 minutes of a gentle workout daily. Gradually work your way up to longer and more intense workouts, but always be conscious of your limits.
  • Avoid any exercises that can aggravate your low back pain, including straight leg sit-ups, leg lifts while lying on your back, or lifting heavy weights above your waist.
  • Never work out to the point of pain.


Chronic Back Pain Exercises

Exercises you should and shouldn't do when you have back pain.
View slideshow