Relieve lower back pain from the comfort of your chair with these simple feel-good moves.
Between sitting at a desk, driving a car and lounging in front of the TV at the end of the day, many of us suffer from lower back pain caused by sitting most of the day. Sitting causes tightness in the hip flexors, hamstrings, chest, and shoulders and weakness in the core muscles, back, and glutes.
By now, most of us know how beneficial stretching is to reverse the negative side effects of sitting, but what do you do when you are stuck in your chair? Luckily, we have these chair exercises to help you stretch out your hips and strengthen your core to ease lower back pain.
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Run through these chair exercises whenever you need to give your lower back a little supportive TLC.
7 Feel-Good Chair Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Seated Cat Cows | 8 breaths
Stretching your spine in this seated pose helps open up the back, chest, and shoulders while strengthening your core muscles to alleviate lower back pain.
- Sit at the edge of your chair and rest your palms on your knees.
- Inhale to arch your back and lift your chest up towards the sky, coming into seated cow pose. Press against your knees to feel a stretch through your chest and shoulders.
- Exhale to round your spine and draw your navel up and in, coming into a seated cat arch.
- Continue alternating behind cat and cow for eight breaths.
Side Bends | 10 reps per side
Stretch and strengthen your sides while also getting a nice opening through your chest and shoulders with this exercise.
- Sit up tall and place your hands behind your head.
- Inhale to arch your back slightly and lift your chest, leaning your head gently back into your palms to feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders.
- Exhale to side bend to the right. Feel a nice stretch through the left side of your ribcage.
- Inhale back to center, then exhale to the left. Continue alternating side-to-side for 10 reps per side.
Knee to Chest | 30 sec per side
When we sit for extended periods of time, our hips get tight and cause strain on the lower back. This simple exercise helps to relieve that tightness.
- Sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the ground.
- Inhale to hug your right knee into your chest, interlacing your hands around the front of your shin. Squeeze the leg up towards your body.
- Lean back slightly to deepen the stretch and hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch sides.
Seated Twist | 30 sec per side
This stretch relieves tightness in the lower back and hips.
- Sit at the edge of your chair and cross your left thigh over your right.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale to twist left. Place your left hand on the chair behind you and your right hand on the outside of your left knee.
- Hold for 30 seconds, lengthening your spine on your inhales and twisting deeper on your exhales.
- Switch sides.
Seated Twist and Kick | 10 reps per side
This exercise strengthens your abdominal muscles to protect your lower back.
- Sit up tall in your chair and lift your arms up in line with your shoulders. Make light fists with your hands.
- Inhale to twist your torso to the right and make a jab with your elbow.
- Exhale to twist back to center and use your abs to kick your left leg straight out and up.
- Switch sides, twisting left and then kicking with your right leg.
- Continue alternating side-to-side for 10 reps per side.
Figure 4 | 30 sec per side
This stretch relieves tightness in the lower back and outer hips.
- Sit at the edge of your chair. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh and flex the foot.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale to fold your torso over your right leg.
- Reach your hands around your right ankle and let your head and shoulders relax.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze | 12 reps
Gently squeezing your shoulders together helps strengthen your back muscles.
- Sit up tall and bend your elbows to 90 degrees with your palms facing each other. Engage your abs.
- Exhale to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for three seconds, then inhale as you gently release.
- Repeat this 12 times.
(Your Next Workout: 7 Easy Chair Stretches to Fix Back Pain)