Christmas this year was almost comical in the amount of talk about our bad backs. We were all groaning when we had to bend over or stand up.

Now, after slacking off for a week, I am picking up my at-home back exercises. These exercises were recommended to me either by my physio or my osteopath (or both) for my chronic lower back pain.

These are exercises and stretches for lumbar rehabilitation. We aren’t talking weight lifting here.


1) Knee Raise


2) Side Twist


3) Glute Stretch (great for sciatica)




1) The Clam.
This was the first exercise my physio taught me. It is a good position in which to learn the proper way to contract stomach muscles without loading your back. I was taught to put my hand between my hip and belly button and feel the ab contraction there.

Hold for 2 seconds. Repeat 10 times each side.


2) Pelvic Tilt.
The next step was learning to do the pelvic tilt without “rib flaring”.
Zip and contract for 5 breathes. Do 5 to 10 times.


3) Table Top / 100.
One of the basic pilates positions in which you focus on a good pelvis position and contracted core. Zip and contract for 5 breathes. Do 5 to 10 times.

From table top you can do “The 100”. Start with table top, then curl up your shoulders and hold for up to 100 straight arm “pulses”.


4) Curl Ups.
Start with 20 and work up.


5) Bird Dog.
Do 2 sets of 20, alternating each side (you may need to start off doing less or just using the leg).


6) The Bridge.
I personally don’t like the bridge. It feels very challenging to my back. So I do it once or twice, but no more. I focus on contracting my core the whole time and I don’t go up super high.