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Back Exercises

helping patients to manage their muscle and joint problems

Exercises to Improve your Muscle & Joint Problem

Below are a series of exercises which aim to improve muscle strength and joint movement of the lower limb.

They are provided in 3 different levels of difficulty. 

These exercises are provided to support the exercises provided within the MSK assist app. If you feel that the exercises you have been provided are too difficult or have become too easy, try the exercises below to find the level that suits you. 

Basic Level Exercises

Pelvic tilt

Ly on your back with knees in a bent position. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and rotating your pelvis up slightly. Hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Knee slide

Lying on your back with your unaffected knee bent and the affected knee straight, slide the heel of your straight leg towards your buttock as you bend your knee.
Try to get your feet side by side and then return to original position.

Continue the exercise for 30 seconds.

The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Supine Lumbar Rotation

Lying on your back with your knees bent, slowly drop your legs to one side and hold the stretch for 5 seconds. Come back to the middle and switch sides. You should feel the stretch in your back on the opposite side that your legs are leaning.
Repeat for 30 seconds.

The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Lumbar Lateral Flexion

Standing with feet shoulder width apart and hands by your side. Slowly move one hand down your leg towards your knee. You should feel. stretch in your opposite side.
Hold this stretch for 20/30 seconds before returning to standing.
Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Lumbar Flexion

Standing with feet shoulder width apart. Slowly roll/bend forward and slide your hands down your legs, towards your feet, until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds before returning to standing.
Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Moderate Level Exercises

Bilateral Hip Flexion

While lying on your back, bend and raise up your knees. Then use your hands to pull your knees to your chest.
Hold this position for 20/30 seconds.
Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

4 Point Kneeling (cat stretch)

On you hands and knees, start by arching the mid-back upwards towards the ceiling. Then reverse the position by rotating the pelvis and increasing the arch within the lower back.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Child pose stretch

Start in a kneeling position then lower your upper body towards the ground until your forehead is resting or touching the floor. Your arms should be above your head with your palms flat on the floor.
Hold this stretch for 10secs and repeat for 30 secs.
The aim is to do 3-5 sets.

Double Leg Bridge

While lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, tighten your lower abdominals, squeeze your buttocks and then raise your buttocks off the floor or bed as creating a ‘Bridge’ with your body.
Hold for 5 secs and then lower yourself and repeat for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Plank (on knees)

While lying face down, lift your body up on your elbows and knees. Try and maintain a straight spine. Do not allow your hips or pelvis on either side to drop. Maintain pelvic neutral position the entire time.
Hold position for 20-30 secs.
The goal is to repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Advanced Level Exercises

Single Leg Bridge

While lying on your back, bend your knees, feet flat on the floor and then then lift one leg off the floor. Next, tighten your lower abdominals, squeeze your buttocks and raise your buttocks off the floor or bed as creating a ‘Bridge’ with your body.
Hold for 5 secs and then lower yourself and repeat for 30 secs.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Full Squat

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart bend your knees and lower yourself down until your knee is at a 90 degree angle. Then push up to return to the starting upright position keeping your weight in your heels.
Repeat for 30 secs.
Aim to do 3-5 sets.

Donkey Kicks

Start on your hands and knees, aligning wrist/hands with shoulders and knees under hips. Tighten abdominal muscles and slowly kick involved foot toward ceiling keeping knee flexed. Avoid arching your back, straightening your knee or twisting your pelvis.
Slowly lower and repeat for 30 secs.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Dead Bug

Lay on floor or bed.
Raise one leg at a time so that hips and knees are at right angles. Also raise both arms so hands are facing straight up. The exercise is to slowly lower one leg and alternate arm at the same time towards the floor. Then repeat with the other leg and opposite arm.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Thoracic Rotation

Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your hips over your knees.
Take one hand off the floor and reach it through (between your other hand and leg).
Allow your shoulder and head to follow, moving down towards the floor as your hand reaches through.
Allow your back to twist.
You should feel a stretch down your side, your shoulder blade and neck.
Return back to the starting position and repeat.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Romanian Deadlift

Begin in a standing position with a kettlebell held with both hands. Ensure that your back is straight and stays that way for the duration of the exercise. 
Initiate the movement by flexing your hips, slowly pushing your buttock as far back as you can. The knees should bend, and your weight should remain on your heels. 
When your hips cannot perform any further backward movement, pause, and then return to the starting position by extending the hips.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.