4 Exercises to Heal Low Back Pain Postpartum

Once you had your baby, you thought the lower back pain would get better, but instead, it feels worse. Leaning over to change a diaper, doing the dishes, or trying to sleep on your stomach is leaving you with a throbbing backache. I get it; after two babies in two years, my back was fragile and needed some help to avoid constantly having back pain. I implemented these exercises on a consistent basis and significantly improved the way my back felt during the day. While I still don’t like doing the dishes, it’s no longer because of my back pain. If you’re suffering too, try these out and see the difference.  

What’s The Best Way To Decrease Low Back Pain After Pregnancy?

Strengthening your lower back and abdomen is the most efficient way to combat lower back pain. If you solely work on lower back exercises but lack recruiting your abdomen, you won’t get as much relief. For example, doing back extensions will certainly build your lower back however, we typically only focus on back recruitment in this exercise. An exercise like planks utilizes the core but also requires you to engage your lower back. Exercises that combine abdominal activation and lower back strength will help you eliminate your back pain for good. 

How Long Will It Take To Heal Low Back Pain Postpartum?

Depending on the severity of weakness and commitment to these exercises will determine the length of time it takes to restore strength. Committing to these exercises daily should help relieve some of your back pain in as little as two weeks. For a more personalized assessment and diagnosis, reaching out to a pelvic floor physical therapist is always a good idea. 

Lower Back Strengthening Exercises

Each exercise does not require any equipment and can be done right at home. Practice these movements in the small pockets of your day and see the difference they will make in your strength and stability. I try to take 10 minutes before my kids get up for the day and knock them out, or if I plan to work out, I’ll work on them before my scheduled exercise. 

Bridge With Abduction/Adduction: 

postpartum woman exercising her low back
  • Lying on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, exhale and engage your abdomen, keep your low back flat. 
  • Lift your hips up into the air and squeeze your glutes together to feel them activate. 
  • Bring your knees in together to touch for 2 seconds and then out wide for 2 seconds.
  • Work to keep your butt from falling during each rep.  
  • Repeat for 10 reps and 2 sets.

Bridge March: 

postnatal woman working out her lower back
  • Lay on your back with feet flat to the floor, exhale and engage your abdomen, keeping your low back flat. 
  • Lift your hips up into the air and squeeze your glutes together to feel them activate. 
  • With hips lifted, alternate marching one foot off the ground, avoid dropping your hips tilting to the side.
  • Repeat for 10 reps and 2 sets.

Donkey Kicks: 

post birth woman strengthening her core
  • Starting on all fours, exhale navel to spine and keep your abdomen engaged. 
  • Keeping weight even between your hands and one knee bent, kick your foot up towards the ceiling and back down. 
  • Avoid overarching your back; you want to stay in a tabletop position throughout the movement. Also, keep your hips parallel to the floor. 
  • Repeat for 10 reps and 2 sets.

Elevated Plank:

postpartum woman performing a lower back exercise
  • Begin by leaning your hands on a box or elevated surface. (chair, couch, wall, etc.)
  • Lengthen your legs so your body is in a straight line, exhale, pull your belly to spine, hold for 15 seconds (or for as long as you can keep your TA engaged), then relax down. 
  • Repeat 3 times.

Heal Your Core Postpartum

Practicing these exercises on a consistent basis will transform the way your back feels and your core. After having kids, it’s hard to feel like yourself, so adding in a few exercises each day is a small time commitment that will yield amazing results. If you’re looking for a more structured workout to heal your core postpartum, check out my two-week postpartum plan. It’s gentle enough to begin as soon as you feel ready and can jump-start healing your core so you can get back to working out effortlessly.