Exercises for Back Pain & Lordosis

Woman doing abdominal crunches pilates exercise on mat at home

While your spine has a natural curvature, a condition known as lordosis results in an exaggerated curvature, according to MedlinePlus. Also known as being “swaybacked,” lordosis causes the buttocks to stick out and the shoulders to round forward. This condition can cause back pain and muscle weakening. Your physician may recommend performing regular exercises to correct the condition.

Affected Muscles

When lordosis causes the back to become abnormally curved, some muscles may be stretched or tightened abnormally, which can lead to back pain. To reduce this, perform exercises that stretch tightened areas, such as the lower back muscles and the hip flexors, which extend from the groin area. Stretching these muscles regularly through exercise can help. Balance these exercises with those that strengthen the abdominal muscles and hip extensors -- including the hamstrings and buttocks muscles, which tend to be weaker and more stretched because of lordosis.

Exercises to Avoid

Proper form is important for exercise because it prevents you from becoming injured while performing a certain activity. For those with lordosis and back pain, certain exercises may be difficult to practice with proper form. Until your condition is more corrected, avoid the following exercises: squat, hack squat, a military press or a Roman chair situp, according to ExRx.net, an educational physical therapy resource. These exercises can place your back in a further exaggerated position and result in injury.

Exercises to Perform

Muscle-building exercises that are good to relieve lordosis and lower back pain include abdominal crunches, leg curls and seated leg presses. This is because each exercise places the back into proper positioning. For example, a leg curl machine requires you to lie on your abdomen while your legs hook into an apparatus that provides resistance as you bring your heels toward your buttocks. Lying on your abdomen helps to align the back and reduce strain.

Stretches to Perform

In addition to strengthening exercises, stretching exercises can help you to experience a reduction in back pain and lordosis symptoms. Two examples from ExRx.net include the lower back stretch and the kneeling hip flexor stretch. To perform the lower back stretch, sit in a chair and lean the body forward, placing your head and arms between your legs. Reach the arms as far through the legs are you are comfortably able. Rest and return to your starting position. To perform the kneeling hip flexor stretch, start at a kneeling position. Place your right foot on the ground in front of you as if you are performing a modified lunge. Lean forward slightly to feel a stretch in the hips. Do not allow the knee to go over the ankle, as this action can strain the leg.


If you perform back stretches and strengthening exercises, yet do not experience relief from lordosis pain, see your physician for a spinal examination, advises MedlinePlus. This is especially pertinent if your back is becoming progressively difficult to stretch and is more inflexible.