6 Best Spondylolisthesis Exercises and 3 To Avoid

May 9, 2021


Welcome to Regency Square Care Center's article on the best exercises for individuals with spondylolisthesis. Our aim is to provide comprehensive information to help you understand this condition and guide you towards exercises that can improve your strength, flexibility, and overall well-being.

Understanding Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition characterized by the forward displacement of one vertebra over another, causing various levels of discomfort and pain. It commonly affects the lower back, especially the lumbar region.

While exercises cannot reverse the condition, they play a crucial role in managing symptoms and preventing further complications. It is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen, as they can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation.

Best Spondylolisthesis Exercises

1. Pelvic Tilt

The pelvic tilt exercise targets the muscles in your lower back and abdomen. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Slowly tighten your abdominal muscles while pressing your lower back against the floor. Hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

2. Bird Dog

The bird dog exercise strengthens your core muscles and improves the stability of your spine. Get down on your hands and knees, keeping your back straight. Extend your left arm forward while simultaneously extending your right leg backward. Hold for a few seconds and then switch sides. Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.

3. Cat-Camel Stretch

The cat-camel stretch helps to increase flexibility and alleviate tension in the spine. Start on your hands and knees, with your back in a neutral position. Arch your back up towards the ceiling (cat position) and then lower it down towards the ground (camel position). Repeat this movement 10-15 times.

4. Wall Squats

Wall squats are gentle on the spine and help strengthen the leg muscles. Stand with your back against a wall and your feet hip-width apart. Slowly slide down the wall, bending your knees until they reach a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for a few seconds before pushing back up. Aim for 10-15 repetitions.

5. Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is a low-impact exercise ideal for individuals with spondylolisthesis. Engaging in water-based activities such as swimming or water aerobics can improve overall strength and cardiovascular fitness while reducing stress on the spine.

6. Yoga

Yoga is known for its numerous benefits, including improved posture, flexibility, and relaxation. Specific yoga poses can be beneficial for individuals with spondylolisthesis, but it's essential to work with a qualified yoga instructor who can guide you through modified poses that suit your needs.

Exercises to Avoid

While exercise is beneficial for managing spondylolisthesis, it's equally crucial to avoid activities that may exacerbate your condition. Here are three exercises to avoid:

  1. High-Impact Activities: Exercises that involve excessive jumping, jarring movements, or sudden impact can strain the spine and worsen symptoms. Examples include running, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and plyometrics.
  2. Heavy Weightlifting: Lifting heavy weights puts significant stress on the spine, which can lead to further complications for individuals with spondylolisthesis. Avoid exercises such as deadlifts, squats with heavy weights, and overhead presses.
  3. Excessive Forward Bending: Activities that require excessive forward bending, such as toe touches, may put excessive strain on the lower back and worsen symptoms. It's best to avoid these movements or modify them with professional guidance.


By incorporating the six best exercises mentioned above while avoiding the three exercises to avoid, individuals with spondylolisthesis can manage their condition effectively and improve their quality of life. Remember, always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program to ensure it is safe and suitable for your specific needs.

At Regency Square Care Center, we prioritize the health and well-being of our seniors. Our specialized team of professionals understands the unique needs of individuals with spondylolisthesis and provides comprehensive care in a supportive environment. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in achieving a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Ann Brandenburg
Spondylolisthesis exercises really make a difference! 💪 Thanks for these helpful tips!
Nov 8, 2023
Emil Basora
These exercises can make a real difference for spondylolisthesis sufferers.
Oct 7, 2023