Struggling with back pain? Have trouble moving around or picking objects for the floor? You’re not alone.
Back pain is a major health concern and a leading cause of disability worldwide. About 31 million Americans experience this issue at any given time.
From children to seniors, no one is safe. More than 80 million adults will develop back pain during their lifetime. The best thing you can do is to prevent it in the first place.
What if you’re already in pain? In this case, exercise probably comes on your list. After all, you can barely move and don’t want to make things worse.
Physical activity can actually help. The best back exercises may reduce injury risk and increase your range of motion. Plus, your pain will decrease.
Discover the Best Back Exercises
Health experts recommend daily exercise for a good reason. An active lifestyle not only keeps you fit but also boosts brainpower, mobility, and overall endurance.
Certain exercises are particularly beneficial for your back and core muscles. Planks, for instance, help develop core strength, which improves your posture. Not to mention that your abs will look amazing!
Rows, deadlifts, and reverse hip raises strengthen the back muscles and improve your fitness. As a result, your spine will be better protected and less prone to injury.
Compound movements, such as the squat and deadlift, build total body strength. Additionally, they make daily activities easier. These exercises target multiple muscles, including your back, core, shoulders, legs, and glutes.
Another good choice is low-impact cardio. This form of exercise can relieve chronic low back painjust as well as physiotherapy. Cycling, swimming, rowing, and brisk walking are just a few examples.
The key is to be consistent and stick to your routine. Not even the best back exercises can compensate for prolonged sitting. If you work out once in a blue moon, don’t expect results.
How to Structure Your Exercise Program
Before getting started, decide how much time you’re willing to invest in exercise. Ideally, aim for at least four weekly sessions. If you’re short on time, split your workout into mini sessions.
Next, research the best back exercises. If you’re struggling with chronic back pain, you might not be able to perform certain moves. To stay safe, use low weights and avoid activities that put pressure on your back.
Pilates, stretching, strength training, and bodyweight exercises are all a great choice. Pick three to four exercises for each session. Complete up to four sets of eight to 12 reps each.
Work your back muscles once or twice a week. Do the same for your core. Compound exercises target these muscles anyway, so they’ll get a good workout every time you hit the gym.
What if you can’t make it to the gym? No problem! From push-ups and hip raises to single arm rows, there are plenty of exercises that can be done at home. Get creative and use water bottles, sandbags, or elastic bands to make your workout more challenging.
Try to stay active on your off-training days. Just because you’re not working out, it doesn’t mean you should lie on the couch. Power walking, stretching, yoga, or Pilates can do wonders for your back.
Better yet, use a foam roller after exercise to get rid of pain. Foam rolling is one of the best ways to relieve pain and soreness. It also helps speed up recovery and strengthens your muscles.
Use a mix of exercises to keep your routine varied. Focus on the core and back muscles. Watch your form at all times.
Not sure where to start? Try the best back exercises and core moves to keep pain at bay:
This classic core exercise increases your strength, flexibility, and endurance. It targets your abs as well as your arms, back, shoulders, and leg muscles.
By strengthening your core, planks help reduce back pain and correct postural imbalances.
Beginners should be able to hold a plank for about 30 seconds. As you progress, increase the time spent in this position.
Experiment with plank variations to hit your muscles from different angles. Try the side plank, low-plank twists, knee-to-elbow planks, and more.
The back extension stretches and strengthens your spine while improving your balance. You can either do this exercise at home or use a back extension machine.
This exercise works the erector spinae, a muscle group that runs the entire length of your spine. When done right it helps improve your posture and strengthens the lower back. Your core will get an intense workout too.
As your strength increases, use an exercise ball or a weight plate for extra resistance. Hold it close to your chest and perform the movement with a slow, controlled motion.
Avoid common mistakes, such as keeping your hips grounded or bending your neck backward.
Stretching not only keeps your muscles flexible but can also ease the pain. Plus, it lowers your risk of injury and prepares your body for exercise.
Your workout routine can include back flexion stretches, piriformis muscle stretches, or kneeling lunge stretches. You may also try neck stretches or knee to chest stretches.
These moves are convenient and simple enough to be done on a regular basis. Try them at work, at home, or on the go. Stretching requires no equipment, so you can exercise anytime, anywhere.
For a strong core and back, include partial crunches in your routine. Unlike traditional crunches, this exercise puts less stress on the spine.
When done regularly, partial crunches strengthen your abs and core muscles.
They also increase your flexibility and boost overall fitness.
Once you master this move, add weights to the mix. Do crunches on a BOSU ball or hold a weight plate on your chest.
Bent Over Rows
This list wouldn’t be complete without bent over rows, one of the best back exercises out there. It helps build a strong back and improves spine stability. At the same time, it develops core and arm strength.
Depending on your fitness level, do this exercise with a barbell, dumbbells, or resistance bands. Keep your back straight and hold the contraction at top of the movement.
Exercise Your Way to Pain Relief
As you see, there are plenty of exercises to relieve back pain and regain your mobility. A few weeks from now, you’ll be leaner, stronger, and more flexible.
Consider wearing a back support belt during exercise. This way, you’ll recover faster and minimize your risk of injury.
What does your workout look like? Do you have any favorite exercises for the back muscles? Leave a comment below!