3 Exercises to Prevent Lower Back Pain


Low back pain is very prevalent in the U.S., with over 80% of people having back pain at some point in their life – and 25% of the population has had back pain in the past 3 months. It’s expensive, too: treatment of back pain costs about $96 million a year!

Over the last 16 years as a physical therapist who primarily treats spine pain, I often get asked; “What are the best exercises for preventing back pain?”  With the caveat of “no exercises should be over-performed to the point of pain, and if you are currently having back pain one is best served by seeing a PT for an evaluation and specific exercise prescription,” I feel the best 3 exercises to PREVENT back pain are:

Walk 30 minutes 4-5 times per week

In the U.S. we tend to lead more sedentary lives.  This lifestyle is associated with many health risks, including back pain.  The benefits of walking include: better mobility, better cardiovascular health (which leads to healthier muscles and joints), weight control through calorie-burn, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis, increasing leg strength -not to mention studies have shown regular walking to improve one’s mood.



Front and side planks are a very isolated strengthening exercise for the deep muscles of the core.  Strengthening these muscles supports the spine and helps prevent injury.  When performing planks, most of us need to progress over time both in duration and intensity.


Spine stretching

Full range-of-motion spine stretching will help maintain mobility of the spine and prevent stiffness which can lead to pain.  What I call “Prayer” to “Prone press” stretching will help maintain flexibility in the spine.  Each stretch should be done comfortably and held for 30 sec each for 3-5 repetitions.

These exercises can not prevent all back pain, but I feel doing them on a regular basis will minimize your risk of developing a chronic spine issue.



If you do find yourself dealing with back pain, Body One Physical Therapy is here to help. Our team of caring, expert physical therapists works with patients of all ages and activity levels and we’d love to add you to our list of patients feeling better than ever. We’re both locally owned and operated, with three convenient Central Indianapolis locations: North Indy, Fishers, and Zionsville. Call or click today and find out what makes us the Best PT team in Indy!