Spinal decompression exercises can correct your posture, improve your stability, and strengthen your back muscles.

These benefits can help prevent pain and injury while improving overall function in daily activities. You may also learn to bring more awareness to your posture and movements throughout the day.

To maximize the success of your spinal decompression routine, talk with a healthcare professional or certified personal trainer about the most appropriate exercises for your needs. They may suggest modifications and offer guidance on proper form and technique.

Plan your routine and decide how often you want to perform the exercises and for how long. You can also opt to do multiple mini-workouts throughout the day. Start slowly and gradually increase the frequency, duration, and intensity.

Begin each session with a 5–10 minute warmup to boost circulation and elevate your heart rate. Include dynamic stretches and light cardio, such as walking or jogging.

During your session, allow yourself to relax completely. Pay close attention to your body and focus on breathing slowly and deeply. Use slow, controlled movements to perform the exercises and transition between them. Rest for around 30 seconds between exercises.

You can use accessories such as cold packs, heating pads, and pillows for exercises that require longer holds.

Finish with a cooldown to reduce soreness and tension. Options include gentle stretches, foam rolling, and relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation. You can also take a short walk.

If you’re a beginner, have an injury, or prefer a gentle workout, start with this routine.

These exercises can help you to develop proper form and alignment. Gradually build up strength, flexibility, and stability of your back muscles before progressing to more advanced exercises.

Supine position

The supine position encourages relaxation, alignment, and deep breathing. It helps to reduce stress and tension.

If you’re experiencing low back pain or tightness, position your feet slightly wider than your hips and drop your knees toward each other.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, pressing your feet into the floor.
  2. As you inhale, keep your arms straight as you lift them overhead, resting them behind your head.
  3. Hold this position for 5 breaths.
  4. Focus on relaxing and elongating your spine.
  5. Exhale as you bring your arms back to your sides.
  6. Hold the pose for up to 5 minutes.

Heel slides

Heel slides boost strength, flexibility, and mobility. Check out heel slide variations here.

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Bend your left knee and slowly slide your heel in toward your hips.
  3. Slowly straighten your leg.
  4. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Then do the opposite side.
  6. Do 1 to 3 sets.


This exercise reduces tension and increases flexibility, encouraging good posture and spinal alignment.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Distribute your weight evenly between all four points.
  3. Exhale and arch your spine, drawing your chin into your chest.
  4. Inhale and gaze up, relaxing your belly toward the floor.
  5. Continue this fluid movement for up to 1 minute.

Child’s Pose

This relaxing stretch gently elongates your spine, alleviates low back tension, and improves spinal alignment. Place a block, cushion, or blanket under your chest or hips for support.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Slowly lower your hips back toward your heels.
  3. Extend your arms forward or place them at your sides.
  4. Gently rest your forehead on the floor.
  5. Breathe deeply, focusing on releasing tension.
  6. Hold the pose for up to 5 minutes.

Do this routine once you’ve gained strength and are confident that your alignment, form, and technique are correct.

Single knee to chest stretch

This stretch reduces tension in your back, hips, and legs. It improves flexibility, posture, and spinal alignment.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, pressing your feet into the floor.
  2. Press your lower back into the floor, bearing down equally on both sides.
  3. Bend your left knee into your chest.
  4. Interlace your fingers around your thigh or shin.
  5. Gently pull your knee toward your chest and hold.
  6. Stay in this position for up to 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.
  8. Then do both legs together.
  9. Repeat the sequence up to 5 times.

Hamstring stretch

This stretch encourages alignment, mobility, and flexibility while alleviating pain and tension. It’s also beneficial in relieving stress and pressure on the lower back.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, pressing your feet into the floor.
  2. Raise your left leg, interlacing your fingers behind your thigh.
  3. Keep your knee slightly bent.
  4. Gently press your leg into your hands while pulling it toward you.
  5. Stay in this position for up to 1 minute.
  6. Then do the opposite side.
  7. Repeat up to 5 times on each side.

Straight leg raises

This exercise increases the strength and flexibility of your lower back, hips, and legs, thus enhancing stability.

  1. Lie on your back with your right leg straight and your left knee bent.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles.
  3. Gently press your lower back into the floor.
  4. Slowly raise your right leg at least 6 inches (15 cm) above the floor.
  5. Hold this position for 5 breaths.
  6. Slowly lower your leg until it hovers just above the floor.
  7. Repeat 10 times.
  8. Then do the opposite side.
  9. Do 1 to 3 sets.

Downward Facing Dog

Practicing Downward Facing Dog builds strength, improves circulation, and supports proper alignment.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, aligning your wrists under your shoulders and your hips over your knees.
  2. Lift your knees away from the floor and raise your hips toward the ceiling.
  3. Keep your heels slightly off the ground.
  4. Maintain a slight bend in your arms and legs.
  5. Spread your fingers and press firmly into your hands.
  6. Distribute your weight evenly between both sides of your body.
  7. Position your head in line with your upper arms or gently tuck your chin.
  8. Stay in this position for up to 1 minute.

Progress to this routine once you’ve mastered the beginner and intermediate exercises.

Piriformis stretch

This stretch alleviates pain, tightness, and tension in the low back, hips, and legs. Additionally, it boosts circulation and increases flexibility.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, pressing your feet into the floor.
  2. Place your left ankle on your right thigh near your knee.
  3. Interlace your fingers behind your left thigh.
  4. Gently pull your leg toward your chest.
  5. Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  6. Repear on the opposite side.

Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose stretches and strengthens the spine, reducing tension and improving circulation. This pose also promotes good posture.

  1. Begin by lying face down on your mat.
  2. Place your hands directly under your shoulders with your fingers pointing forward.
  3. Keep your arms close to your chest and your elbows pointing back.
  4. Gently press into your hands to lift your head, chest, and shoulders to your desired height,
  5. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
  6. To deepen the pose, allow your head to fall back.
  7. Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.

Fish Pose

This pose stretches the neck, chest, and spine. It relieves tension, improves posture, and minimizes compression.

  1. Sit down with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your hands underneath your buttocks with your palms facing down and your fingers pointing toward your toes.
  3. Draw your elbows together and expand your chest.
  4. Slowly recline onto your forearms and elbows.
  5. If comfortable, drop your head back.
  6. Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  7. To release, lift your head, remove your hands, and lie down on your back.

Camel Pose

This invigorating pose stretches the chest, upper back, and hips. It boosts circulation, relieves tension, and improves posture.

  1. Kneel on the ground with your hips directly above your knees.
  2. Place your palms on the base of your spine, fingers facing down.
  3. Position your pinky fingers on either side of your spine.
  4. Draw your elbows in toward each other.
  5. Lengthen your spine and lift your chest.
  6. Gently bend backward, arching your upper back.
  7. Reach toward your ankles to place your hands on them.
  8. Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds.
  9. Return your hands to your lower back.
  10. Slowly return to the starting position.

Spinal decompression exercises can improve your overall health by stretching and strengthening your spine. These exercises improve stability, posture, and alignment, enhancing comfort in your daily movements.

Creating an exercise plan and sticking to it requires discipline and consistency. For best results, do spinal decompression exercises a few times per week. Balance your fitness routine with strength training and low impact cardio such as swimming and biking.

For personalized guidance and support, consult a healthcare professional or certified personal trainer. They can address your questions and concerns and help you develop a customized fitness plan.