Top 5 Exercises for Back Pain During Pregnancy

by Onward Physical Therapy | April 6, 2022 |
Top 5 Exercises for Back Pain During Pregnancy

Struggling with back pain during your pregnancy? You are not alone. Learn the five best exercises for back pain during pregnancy!

50-80% of women deal with low back pain during pregnancy (1). Unfortunately, many are dismissed and told it is just part of being pregnant. But that’s not true! There is a lot you can do to help prevent, manage, and improve back pain throughout your pregnancy. In fact, women who participate in strengthening programs during early pregnancy can avoid problems from low back pain altogether (2).

At Onward, we specialize in working with women during their pregnancy and postpartum journey. We love helping women feel good and continue to exercise throughout their pregnancy. Let’s talk about some of our favorite pregnancy-related exercises to improve back pain or help prevent it from happening!


Our Top 5 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

Sumo Deadlift

The deadlift is such a great exercise for strengthening the back and the pelvic floor. During pregnancy, we can widen your stance to make room for a baby bump (turning it into a sumo deadlift) so that you can get the same great strength benefits! Strong backs are happy backs!



Copenhagen Planks

This sneaky version of the side plank helps to get all sorts of muscle firing around your pelvis and back. Not only can it help with back pain, but also with pubic symphysis pain, another common pain spot during pregnancy.


Pallof Press

This one can be as hard as you make it. We like timing the effort with an exhale to help get the most out of your deep abdominal muscles.



Bird Dog Row

If you don’t have a bench you can do the bird dog row on the ground. Focus on keeping the hips nice and steady while performing the row.



90/90 Breathing

Support your legs and relax into this one. As you breathe in, let that breath fill your ribcage and expand into your back. This is great for helping to release tension in the back and calm your system down. Bonus points if you work on relaxing and lengthening your pelvic floor on the inhale (not sure how to “lengthen” your pelvic floor? One of our PTs can help!).



Try these exercises out to relieve (or prevent) back pain during pregnancy and let us know what you think!

Need some help making a plan to address your back pain?

We would love to help. Click here to learn how to schedule with one of our women’s health specialists today.

Remember, you don’t have to suffer from back pain! You deserve to feel the best you can throughout your pregnancy.




  1. Clinton, Susan C. PT, DScPT, OCS, WCS, FAAOMPT1; Newell, Alaina PT, DPT, WCS, CLT-LANA2; Downey, Patricia A. PT, PhD, DPT3; Ferreira, Kimberly PT, PhD, MSPT4 Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Antepartum Population: Physical Therapy Clinical Practice Guidelines Linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health From the Section on Women’s Health and the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy: May 2017 – Volume 41 – Issue 2 – p 102-125
    doi: 10.1097/JWH.0000000000000081
  2. Shah S, Banh ET, Koury K, Bhatia G, Nandi R, Gulur P. Pain Management in Pregnancy: Multimodal Approaches. Pain Res Treat. 2015;2015:987483. doi:10.1155/2015/987483