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Find Strength in Your Back

Strengthen Your Back: Exercises to Target the Multifidus Muscle


A strong and stable back is essential for overall well-being and pain-free life. One key muscle that plays a significant role in back health is the multifidus muscle. The multifidus muscle is a deep, intrinsic muscle located in the back. It runs along the spine, spanning several vertebrae. Its primary role is to provide stability and support to the spine, as well as to assist in various movements and postural control.

The multifidus muscle plays a crucial role in maintaining the alignment and integrity of the spinal column. It helps control the fine movements of individual vertebrae, particularly during activities such as bending, twisting, and maintaining an upright posture. By selectively contracting specific segments, the multifidus muscle helps to stabilize the spine and maintain its natural curvature.

When the multifidus muscle is weakened or imbalanced, it can contribute to back pain. Several factors can lead to multifidus dysfunction, including poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, muscle imbalances, trauma, or repetitive stress. When the muscle is weak or not functioning properly, it can lead to decreased spinal stability, reduced ability to control movement, and increased stress on other structures of the spine, such as discs, joints, and ligaments.

Research has shown that individuals with chronic lower back pain often exhibit reduced multifidus muscle size and impaired activation compared to those without pain. Rehabilitative exercises and physical therapy programs that target the multifidus muscle can be effective in improving its strength, coordination, and function. By restoring the strength and function of the multifidus muscle, individuals may experience a reduction in back pain and improved spinal stability. Below are a list of exercises for you to perform at home to help with your back pain!


Bird Dog

The bird dog exercise is a classic move that targets the multifidus muscle while engaging the core for added stability. Here's how to perform it:

  • Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

  • Extend your right arm forward while simultaneously extending your left leg straight back.

  • Hold the position for a few seconds, maintaining a neutral spine and engaging your core.

  • Repeat with the left arm and right leg.

  • Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.



The bridge exercise effectively engages the glutes and multifidus muscle to promote spinal stability. Follow these steps:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.

  • Engage your core and glutes as you lift your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

  • Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down.

  • Perform 10-15 repetitions.


Side Plank

Side planks are excellent for targeting the multifidus muscle on the sides of the spine while engaging the core. Here's how to do them:

  • Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and legs stacked on top of each other.

  • Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your feet.

  • Engage your core and hold the position for 20-30 seconds.

  • Repeat on the other side.

  • Modify by bending your bottom knee and keeping it on the ground if needed.


Dead Bug

The dead bug exercise improves coordination and stability of the multifidus muscle. Follow these steps:

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended straight up toward the ceiling and knees bent at a 90-degree angle.

  • Engage your core and slowly lower your right arm toward the floor above your head while simultaneously straightening your left leg, hovering it slightly above the ground.

  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

  • Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.


Incorporating exercises that specifically target the multifidus muscle into your routine can greatly contribute to a strong and stable back, reducing the risk of back pain. Remember to start gradually and listen to your body, gradually increasing the intensity and repetitions as your strength improves. However, if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified physical therapist before starting a new exercise program.

I would recommend incorporating this into your workout/daily routine for 3 or 4 weeks, if you aren’t seeing any improvements in your pain or mobility, feel free to get in contact where we can go through a full assessment and treatment, helping to pinpoint the exact areas of muscle weakness and dysfunction, but more importantly, reactivate these areas through the use of Sigma Q technology to bring you out of pain and regain strength.

Strengthen your back, improve spinal stability, and embrace a pain-free life.

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