Back pain can come from a number of sources like an injury, genetics, weight, posture, overuse or underuse. Let's look a the best 19 back pain exercises.
If you are unsure of the underlying cause, seek medical advice before starting any exercise program.
Once you are cleared by your doctor, there are several steps you can take to alleviate your intermittent back pain including the best 19 back pain exercises.
Take a look in the mirror. How is your posture? Is your ear in line with your shoulder and foot? Check out this from the Mayo Clinic to test for proper posture.
Squeeze the abs tight during your exercises and look at the horizon. Think about pushing your chest out. Check and monitor your form in the mirror.
Ask a trainer to evaluate your posture. A professional can help you tweak your positioning to ensure good form. Good form equals more effective exercise.
Check and monitor your posture throughout the day, not just while exercising.
A five minute walk is sufficient to get the blood flowing and warm up your muscles. Once your muscles are warm, they are ready to stretch.
I like to do these eleven essential stretches:
1. Gluteus Stretch
2. Hamstring Stretch
3. Adductor Stretch
4. Side Stretch
5. Quadriceps Stretch
6. Back Curl Up
7. Hip Rotation
8. Seated Spinal Twist
9. Calf Stretch 1
9. Calf Stretch 1
10. Calf Stretch 2
11. McKenzie Stretch
Do each stretch for a minute. Move in and out of the stretch twice in that minute.
Once muscles are warm and stretched, they are ready for the rest of the best 19 back pain exercises.
Stretch daily for a lifetime of mobility.
Exercise machines tend to isolate one major muscle group like a bicep curl or tricep extension.
Use freeweights, dumb bells and cables or bands for a more complete workout.
These resistance methods force you to use more muscles to maintain your balance and form.
By using more muscles you are strengthening and developing your whole body.
Incorporate a 55 cm exercise ball into your weight routine.
Use an exercise ball as your “bench”. Keeping your hips and legs flat and feet as close together as possible is key. It’s hard at first but stick with it!
Use the same ball as your “incline bench”. Try this for incline chest flys and twisting punch ups.
Squeeze a ball between your legs while doing standing exercises such as the twisting dumb bell curls.
Focus on squeezing the ball between your legs. It helps to have someone counting so you can focus on squeezing and form.
My favorite exercises to strengthen the back take less than a minute to complete and can be performed daily as part of your stretching routine.
The prone leg and chest lift with two variations and swimmers or supermans.
Variation 1: Lie on your stomach as shown holding hands, feet and chest off the floor. Try and keep your legs straight. Hold for five seconds and lift chest and legs a little higher. Hold for five seconds. Lift chest and legs higher and hold for five seconds. Release your body gently to the floor.
Variation 2: Lie on stomach holding feet and chest off the floor while grasping hands at lower back. Hold for five seconds and lift chest and legs a little higher. Hold for five seconds. Lift chest and legs higher and hold for five seconds. Release your body gently to the floor.
Supermans: Lie on stomach with arms extended off the floor over your head and legs off the floor. Alternate raising opposite arm and leg while keeping all limbs off the floor. Repeat 15 times staying in motion. There is no holding on this exercise.
Those are my essential 3 of the best 19 back pain exercises.
The following 5 exercises can be performed on a weekly basis.
1. The Scott Pull-Down. This can be performed with cables or bands in a high position. Starting from the kneeling position, grasp cables with palms facing forward. Pull down focusing on contraction of the upper and middle back. When range of motion has been reached, rotate elbows to your chest and palms toward you in a circular motion. Raise to beginning position and repeat.
1. The Jockey Row. This exercise can be performed with cables or bands in a low position. Start in the standing position. Bend slightly at waist keeping legs and arms straight leaning toward the weights with palms facing down. While focusing on using your back muscles, bend legs and move into a seated position rotating the palms up and pulling elbows back. Return to starting position and repeat.
1. The Seated Row. This exercise can be performed with cables or bands in a low position. Sit facing weights with legs extended and back in an upright position with palms facing down. Pull elbows toward shoulders focusing on contracting back muscles. When maximum range of motion has been reached, return to starting position and repeat.
1. The Wood Chop. This exercise can be performed with cables or bands in a high position. Stand with weights to your left, grasping ropes in fists with palms facing each other in a left-handed batter’s position, swing arms toward floor and follow through while rotating body to your right. Head and arms should follow through 180 degrees from beginning position. Return to starting position and repeat.
1. Pull Ups. Perform this exercise from a stationary bar. You can use a spotter to assist you. Begin with palms facing back and pull your chin to the bar. Lower your body and repeat.
Exercises like the weekly group set places significant stress on the back muscles. They should be performed a maximum of once every 5 days.
Proper rest will avoid fatigue, injury and allow for proper muscle fiber recovery. After 5 days, this muscle group will be primed for another set of best 19 back pain exercises.
Your body will let you know what it can handle and when you have reached your limit. Listen to it. If something painfully hurts (not muscle fatigue) stop.
It’s better to rest that body part and get back on track the next week. Pushing your body too fast and hard can result in injury that could sideline you for weeks.
Slow down. If you haven’t worked out in a while, go slow and light.
A healthy back is not a competition. No one notices how much weight you move or how many reps you do.
What’s important is what you notice: a stronger body with less aches and pains and more ease of movement.
Get good advice and be cautious of the well intended advice of friends.
Enlist the help of a professional. Talk to a trainer at the gym.
They will listen and assist you with everything from an assessment, tips, nutrition or a workout program designed specifically for you.
A good trainer can assist you with a program that includes the best 19 back pain exercises.
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice.