Video anchor 3.NOV.2021 3 MIN READ | 3 MIN READ


Backaches can be a pain, quite literally. However, the good thing is that they can be alleviated or sometimes even prevented, with some simple stretches and exercises.

1. Knees to chest stretch

This exercise relaxes your back and hips, and also promotes overall relaxation.

STEP 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

STEP 2: Use both hands to pull one knee in towards your chest gently.

STEP 3: Hold your knee against your chest for 10 seconds.

STEP 4: Relax and lower the knee to the starting position.

STEP 5: Repeat with your other leg.

Recommended reps/sets: 3 times with each leg

2. Modified cobra

This exercise helps to strengthen the spine. It also helps in stimulating abdominal organs as well as firming the buttocks.

STEP 1: Lie down on your stomach, with your body extended.

STEP 2: Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders.

STEP 3: Press down on the floor as you straighten your elbows and lift the upper body up.

STEP 4: Hold for 10 seconds. Exhale as you release.

Recommended reps/sets: Repeat 3 – 5 times

3. Standing hip stretch

This aims to alleviate back strain and hip tightness.

STEP 1: Standing up, place your right foot forward and your left foot back. Shift your weight on your right leg.

STEP 2: Step forward into a lunge, ensuring your back leg is straight.

STEP 3: Pivot your foot, so that your toes are facing slightly forward.

STEP 4: Position your hands for good balance.

STEP 5: Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Recommended reps/sets: 3 times with each leg

4. Seated spinal twist

This exercise encourages spinal mobility. It stretches your hips, glutes, abdominals, shoulders and neck.

STEP 1: Sit upright on the floor, with both legs straight in front of you, and your hands resting on your thighs.

STEP 2: Bend your left knee, cross it over and place your foot next to your right thigh. Place your right arm on the outside of your left thigh.

STEP 3: Place your left hand behind you for support.

STEP 4: Starting at the base of your spine, slowly twist your body to the left. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.

STEP 5: Gently release and repeat on the other side.

Recommended reps/sets: 3 times each side

5. Pelvic tilt

This builds strength in the abdominal muscles, which in turn, helps to relieve pain in the lower back.

STEP 1: Lie on your back, with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

STEP 2: Feel your abdominal muscles tighten as you flatten your back against the floor. Hold the position for up to 10 seconds. Release, and take a few deep breaths.

Recommended reps/sets: Repeat 3 – 5 times

6. Glute bridges exercise

This exercise aims to help strengthen your glutes and abdominal muscles.

STEP 1: Lie on your back with both knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor.

STEP 2: Keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed, tighten your abdomen and glutes, then lift your hip up. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Continue relaxed breathing, then return to your position in Step 1.

Recommended reps/sets: Repeat 3 – 5 times


The above exercises and stretches are not treatments for any chronic back pain that you may be experiencing. Do be careful when doing such exercises, and stop immediately if you feel any shooting or sharp pain.

If you are a beginner, you need to start your exercise routine under the guidance of a physiotherapist.

If you've been experiencing prolonged back aches and pain during this WFH situation, don't delay seeking treatment at MEH's rehab centre or Shenton's sports clinic.


Article reviewed by Wang Yu Hui, Senior Physiotherapist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital


Dehnke, A. (2021, September 2). Cobra Pose. Yoga Journal.

Cronkleton, E. (2021, September 27). 7 Lower Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Build Strength. Healthline.

Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain. (2020, November 19). WebMD.