5 Exercises for a Healthy Spine

Pain Treatment Safety & Recreation Fitness & Athletics / January 27, 2017
woman doing yoga to strengthen her spine

Back pain is something most everyone will experience at some point in their life. Spinal problems can begin as early as age 29 and for those who are active throughout their youth, back pain can become the norm.

Whether you’re suffering from a spinal condition or recovering from an injury, some spine health exercises can help alleviate pain and prevent further injury.


Completing a bridge is simple. Lay flat on your back on a mat with your knees bent and shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise your butt, hips, and back off the floor while keeping your shoulders on the ground. Your body should create a diagonal line from your knees to head. Hold this position for five seconds, then return to the resting position. Repeat the move as many times as you can, then complete two more sets.

Single Knee Tuck & Pull

Lie flat on your back and bend both legs at the knee. Your feet should be planted firmly on the ground. Grab your left knee with both hands and pull it toward your torso. Hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds, then release it. Switch legs and complete the same movement. Repeat 3-4 times per leg. This is a low impact exercise that not only stretches your hamstring but can also strengthen your core.

Abdominal Curl-Ups

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and arms at your side. Raise your shoulders and head until your shoulder blades are off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, release, and then repeat 10 times for three rounds. Curl-ups are similar to crunches but with proper form can prevent excessive strain on your low back.

Birddog Exercise

Get down on the floor in the all-fours position with your hands and knees firmly on the ground. Tighten your abdominals. Lift and extend one leg behind you while simultaneously lifting the opposite arm out in front of you. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Go back to all fours, and then repeat the move with the other arm and leg. If you are just beginning to exercise, you may want to first begin stretching either your legs or arms, rather than simultaneously lifting both, until you are confident in your balance.

Wall Sits

Stand 10 to 12 inches from a wall, then lean back until your back is flat on the wall. Slowly slide your back down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and you are in a sitting position. Hold for a count of 10, then slowly slide back up the wall. Repeat the wall sits five to 10 times.

There are many weight training exercises that are great for strengthening your back, but it is recommended that you speak with a professional before beginning a weight training regimen if you have never practiced these movements.

Low-impact aerobic activities such as water therapy, walking, and stationary biking can also be beneficial for back and spine health. Before completing any spine health exercises, speak with an experienced chiropractor. A doctor can help you determine if any of the spine health exercises will make your back pain better or worse, and provide some alternatives so you can continue working on your health.

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