Mid Back Pain Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly; Back Extension

(Scroll down for more exercise videos)
Mid back pain exercises for seniors and the elderly include the back extension exercise or “cobra”  below.

Try these exercises 3 – 5 times per week for increased strength and endurance during the day.

As we age our spine  and head will begin to curve forward with the affect of gravity and poor posture.

This will bring on many mechanical problems including, pain in the mid-back or thoracic spine.

To reduce the risk of these problems associated with poor posture, it is important to perform a movement in the opposite direction as your curvature.

This is called spinal extension. A great and easy way to do this exercise is shown below. Relax on your bed or floor for this exercise. Let’s get started!

Purpose of this exercise

  • To stretch and extend the lower back and mid back muscles. It can also help with mid back pain associated with postural strain. This will make it  easier to maintain good posture with sitting and standing.

How to do it:

Step 1

Lumbar extension start

  • Begin by lying face down on your bed or the floor with your hands palm down by your face.

Step 2

Lumbar extension end

  • Begin to bring your head up and slowly arch your back.
  • Push up to your elbows.
  • Return to starting position and repeat 10 times.


  • Exhale during the upward movement phase.
  • Inhale during the downward movement phase.


  • Keep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Maintain your hips on the floor.

Take it up a notch:

      • Progress by pushing up and straightening your arms. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds.

Back Exercises – Watch These Exercise Videos

1. Eccentric Straight Leg Raise

      • This exercise works your abdominal and hip flexor muscles which will improve your ability to get out of bed, get out of a chair and maintain your posture and help back muscle pain.

2. Bent Knee Raise

      • This back pain help exercise works your abdominal and hip flexor muscles which will improve your ability to get out of bed, rise up from a chair and maintain your standing posture.

3. Curl Ups

      • Abdominal back pain symptoms exercises help with posture and balance by strengthening your core muscles. Simple things like getting out of bed or up from a chair can become easier when your
      • abdominal muscles are strong.

4. Cat and Camel

      • To stretch and extend the lower back and mid back muscles. Exercises for back pain and loosening up the pelvic area and learning the pelvic tilt.

5. Back Extension

      • To stretch and extend the lower back and mid back muscles. It can also help with mid back pain associated with postural strain. This will make it easier to maintain good posture with sitting and
      • standing.

6. Leg Extensions

      • To stretch and extend the lower back and hip pain muscles. It can also help with strengthening the pelvis and leg muscles reducing symptoms.

7. Bridging

      • These lower back pain exercises help strengthen the hip extensors, buttock muscles and hamstrings. It also helps strengthen the low back and sacroiliac. This can improve your ability to stand and maintain your balance.

8. Pelvic Tilt

      • To stretch the lower back and hip muscles. This is a great treatment for back pain exercise for tired or sore backs after a long day of walking!

9. Sit Backs

      • This back strengthening exercise will firm your abdominal muscles.
      • It will help your ability to get out of bed or up from a chair.

10. Arm Raises On Back

      • This back muscle exercise improves the range of motion in your upper back and shoulders.
      • When correctly stabilizing the lower back, this exercise will help strengthen your postural muscles including the abdominal muscles.

11. Arm Raises On Knees

      • This back pain and exercise movement will improve your upper back and shoulder stability.
      • It is also helpful in reaching to a high shelf, opening the refrigerator door or even combing your hair.

12. Hip Flexion

      • This lower back exercise will improve your lower back range of motion and flexibility.
      • It will help with activities such as doing the laundry, sweeping up with a dust pan or reaching to a low cupboard.


  1. I have bilateral knee replacements so getting on my hands and knees is uncomfortable. What are alternatives to this position?

    1. Judy. I recommend doing these exercises in bed if you do not have a floor mat or are having trouble getting back up off the floor.

  2. I thought I would do the 12 best upper, 12 best lower and the 12 best back exercises because I could use them all, but its too many for me to do. Which 4 in each of those categories would be good choices for me to do each day? I am a 68 female, overweight and I walk about 15 min per day. Thanks!

    1. I have a 4 week program in my free ebook.
      1. First, make sure you have Adobe reader on your computer. Most newer computers will have it already installed. You can download it at this address.


      2.Go to http://www.eldergym.com and look on the right column for the ebook sign-up area. After you sign up for the ebook you will be taken to the download page where you can download the ebook.

      3.After you click the link to download the ebook , the ebook will automatically download to your browser which may take a minute or so before it appears on your screen.

      4.The ebook is now on your browser. You must now save it to your desktop. To do this, you must find the “save icon” either at the top left of the screen or (on the latest version of Adobe reader), it floats at the bottom of the page in the middle and appears when your cursor floats over it.

      5.Once you save it, it will be permanently on your computer in pdf. format and not on your browser anymore.

      6.Now you can view the ebook at any time. If you are using the weekly exercise program at the end of the ebook, simply click on the blue underlined titles on the left and it will open the correct page on your browser.

      Let me know if this helps.

  3. I can’tell do some of the back exercises because I don’t have enough strength to get Up from the floor so I feel somewhat stuck.

    1. Yes, if you are too weak to get down on the ground, I recommend doing these exercises on your bed. It will be much more comfortable.

  4. What happens if your back is already so arched from lordosis that the exercise accomplishes nothing because it has no pull?

    1. You may be speaking about kyphosis which is an arched back. Lordosis is and inward arch of the lumbar or cervical spine. This exercise is for stretching the lower and mid back muscles.

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