Beginners Back Exercises for Strengthening your Back Muscles

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Back exercises for beginners with Physical Therapist Michelle Kenway from Please scroll down for written guidelines for doing these exercises I have included for my hearing impaired viewers. I hope you enjoy these back exercises and they give you more information about how to safely strengthen your back muscles. Your comments & questions are most welcome!

Your comments and questions are most welcome!

These 4 Physiotherapist-guided back exercises are designed to:
*Improve posture
*Recover back strength
*Reduce neck and back strain
*Prevent back injury

Back Exercises Suitability

These back strengthening exercises are suited to healthy individuals seeking gentle upper and lower back strengthening exercises.

This Physiotherapist video consists of:
*2 upper back exercises
*2 lower back exercises

No single back exercise program can suit everyone. If you have and existing back problem or back pain seek the approval of your health care provider before commencing new back exercises. In the unlikely event you experience any back discomfort associated with any of these exercises cease that exercise.

Description of these 4 Back Exercises

Upper Back Exercise 1: Push Back

Push back exercises promote good posture. These exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles in the middle back (between the shoulder blades)

*Starting Position
*Lying down prone
*Place a pillow under your pelvis. Positioning a pillow or cushion under your pelvis can help to reduce the risk of lower back discomfort when doing exercises in prone position. This is recommended but not essential if your back feels comfortable without a support.
*Position your arms by your sides with your palms facing your thighs
*Tuck your chin towards your chest so that your forehead touches the mat. Always keep your chin tucked in and your forehead supported when doing exercises lying down prone on the mat. This will help you to minimise your risk or neck pain or neck injury.

*Keep your arms extended and raise them backwards
*Draw your shoulder girdles back and down
*Slowly lower both arms back to the mat
*Keep both feet in contact with the ground
*Repeat up to 10 times in a row

Upper Back Exercise 2: Stop Sign Exercise

Stop sign promotes back strengthening for upright posture. It strengthens the middle back and back of shoulders.

*Starting Position
*Start lying down prone
*Place a cushion or pillow under your pelvis
*Position your arms palms facing down and elbows out from your trunk
*Bend your shoulders and elbows to right angles. If you are prone to shoulder problems keep your elbows close to the sides of your trunk or avoid this exercise in favor of push back exercises.
*Tuck your chin so that your forehead remains in contact with the mat
*Keep both feet in contact with the ground throughout

*Squeeze your shoulder blades together
*Raise your elbows and wrists backwards away from the ground
*Return your arms back to the ground
*Repeat up to 10 exercises in a row

Lower Back Exercise 1: Lower Back Extension
This exercise strengthens the lower back muscles and spine.

*Start lying down prone
*Position a cushion or pillow under your pelvis
*Place your arms by your sides
*Tuck your chin and keep your forehead in contact with the mat
*Keep both feet in contact with the ground throughout

*Raise your shoulders and chest just off the mat. If you are prone to lower back pain avoid raising your trunk too far from the ground.
*Lower your body slowly back down to the mat
*Take a moment to recover before your next repetition
*Repeat up to 10 exercises in a row

Lower Back Exercise 2: Alternate Arm and Leg Raises (Superman Exercise)

Alternate arm and leg raises strengthen the core spinal and the deep abdominal muscles. This lying down variation is a great alternative to the kneeling version for beginners, individuals with knee pain or unstable pelvic conditions.

*Start lying down prone
*Position a cushion or pillow under your pelvis
*Extend both arms in front of your body and in contact with the mat
*Keep your chin tucked so that your forehead touches the mat

*Gently engage your deep abdominal muscles
*Slowly raise one arm and the opposite leg just off the mat. If your shoulders are sore you may prefer to avoid the arm raises and focus on the leg raises only
*Avoid raising the leg too high from the ground – high leg raises have potential to increase strain on the joints in the lower back
*Lower both limbs slowly back to the ground
*Relax your core abdominal muscles
*Repeat this action using the opposite arm and leg
*Repeat up to 10 alternate arm and leg raises

These 4 basic back exercises will help strengthen your lower back muscles – get down and get started now!

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Kaylee Wisman says:

I have scoliosis and my doctor told me to have stronger back musics to hold my spine in place… I’m trying this out for the first time and I hope it works for me!

HW Z says:

thanks for your kind explanation . it is easy to practice

Loneliness destroyed me says:

my doc told me to do this exercise. i hurt my neck and my muscles are weak so he recommended me this to make them stronger so i dont experience pain anymore and to stad straight up and not like im an old lady

Annie Cox says:

I was doing a lot of intense ab stuff and pulled something in my back a few days ago. It's been getting better and doing these exercises feels great! I think they will be very beneficial in the healing process.

taro jams says:

could u plz tell me at what time we should do this exercise? morning before breakfast? or anytime but before meal?

김민 says:

Thanks for this so~informative video. I love your kind explanation. :)it helps me a lot

Susan Liu says:

Thanks Michelle! Great little video, do you have anything for strengthening knees?? I've been running for about a year, but more consistently this year, doing about 5km's daily, or every other day.. but stopping for a week at times if I don't have time.. I have flat feet, and have been told that the impact (with running) has possibly injured my knees.. I can still run, but when I bend my knees now, I need to physically grab onto something to pull myself up! Can you offer some advice??? Thanks!! :))

Lakeisha Hemphill says:

Thanks for talking through it, that really helped! I have been suffering with lower back issues and this has truly blessed me and my health!!!!

MsDinoGal says:

Great video. Thanks!

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