7 Effective Core Exercises For Back Pain Relief (PDF Included!)

In today’s post, you’ll discover 7 amazing core exercises to help you get relief from lower back pain.

These exercises are focused on challenging stability, engaging the deep core muscles, and strengthening the core stabilizing muscles that work to support your spine.

This is a great bodyweight workout. We won’t be using a stability ball.

In addition, these core exercises are a great alternative if you have trouble getting on your back to strengthen your core.

We’ll be doing these exercises mainly using different plank positions and modifications.

If you can’t possibly get on the floor or perform any plank related exercises, check out these 8 standing core strengthening exercises here.

And I’ll provide many core exercises for beginners and that are also safe if you have a herniated disc.

Make sure to read the instructions below as I’ll point out which core exercises to do if you have an existing disc herniation.

I’ll also provide the core strengthening exercises for lower back pain in PDF format you can download for your convenience.

  • Watch the exercise video and scroll below for additional instructions:
  • Choose between 2-4 exercises to begin with.
  • Rest: Stretch out your arms and legs between each exercises.

7 Core Exercises For Back Pain Relief Video

7 Effective Core Exercises For Back Pain Relief (No Crunches!)


Core Exercises Breakdown

Inchworm Plank

Level: Beginner.

  1. Walk your hands forward while keeping your core and glutes engaged.
  2. Then walk your hands back by pushing back with your hips.
  3. Use your hips and core to maintain stability and work your body forward and back.
  4. Avoid compensating with your lower back or using your shoulders too much for additional support.

You’ll start to feel your core muscles working hard to perform the movement.

Plank Knee To Elbow

Level: Intermediate.

core exercise for back pain
  1. Start in the plank position.
  2. Engage your abdominals by tightening your belly area.
  3. Engage your glutes.
  4. Bring your knee towards your elbow in a controlled movement, and back to starting position.
  5. Make sure you keep your head facing forward to avoid lateral flexion (bending) as much as possible.

Plank In And Out

Level: Beginner-Intermediate.

  1. Begin in the plank position.
  2. Keep your glutes and core engaged.
  3. Walk your legs out while keeping your arms in the same position, and then bring your legs back in so they’re shoulder-width apart.

This is a safe core exercise if you have a herniated disc as it engages your core without any flexion or extension movement.


Low Impact Mountain Climbers

Level: Beginner-Intermediate.

One of my favorite core exercises for beginners is the low impact mountain climbers.

Mountain climbers is a great cardio exercise that also works the abs.

However, it’s a high impact exercise which can trigger hip pain for some people. This low impact beginner variation will engage your abs without putting more pressure on the joints.

  1. You’ll start in the plank position.
  2. Bring one foot forward, tap, and bring your foot backwards to the starting position.
  3. Switch sides and keep alternating.

Plank Leg Raises

Level: Beginner-Intermediate.

core exercise for back pain relief
  1. Get into the plank position.
  2. Keep your core engaged.
  3. Contract your glutes.
  4. Extend one leg while keeping your glutes engaged.
  5. Slowly lower back down and alternate between each sides.
  6. Make sure you keep your back straight. Avoid over-arching your lower back to help you raise your leg. Raise as high as you can without compensating with your back.

This core exercise is a good option if you have a herniated disc. When done with correct form, it’ll engage your abs without putting pressure on the spine.

Opposite Arm/Leg Raises

Level: Advanced.

  1. Start in the high plank position, engage your core and glutes.
  2. Raise one arm and the opposite leg up, your core will work to keep your stable.
  3. Then, lower back down and alternate between each side.

You may notice that you’re shaking which is normal. It just means you’re challenging your core. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice form.

Avoid over-arching your lower back. If the exercise feels very challenging, you can get on your knees and do the bird dog exercise version instead.

Diagonal Knee To Elbow

Level: Advanced.

core strengthening exercise for back pain
  1. Just like the previous exercise. Start in the high plank position. This exercise will target the obliques in addition to the deep core muscles.
  2. Start by bringing your knee towards the opposite elbow. Alternate between each side.
  3. Maintain core engagement throughout the whole exercise. If you feel any pain in your lower back, start the exercise and choose one of the beginner core exercises.

I usually pick a few of these exercises and mix them up with my regular workouts.

You can also choose the beginner exercises as part of your warm-up and activation routine.

Below are additional core routines I’m sure you’ll find helpful as well:

Coach Sofia
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