What To Do When Back Pain Throws a Wrench In Your Workout

back pain

Squats! They’re not just good for the lower body!

Moves to Do Now to Prevent Back Pain

3. Squats. If we lived in less developed countries, we would spend a good portion of our time squatting on the ground, mostly because furniture is a luxury that a huge number of people cannot afford. And frankly, we’d be healthier for it. Most westerners can’t even get into a full squat with their heels on the ground comfortably, which means that our hips and legs are made of a combination of very weak and very tight muscles. This bodes ill for back pain. Doing full-body squats is a great way to loosen the hip joints and allow free movement of the leg. If your leg is too tight in the hip socket, it drags your spine into every move it makes, work for which your spine is not designed.

  • You don’t need weights to do squats. Stand in front of a wall with your toes about four inches away. Widen your stance so your feet are about three feet apart, toes turned out slightly.
  • Pull your body down into a squat but do not let your knees or your nose touch the wall. Most people pitch their bodies way forward when they do squats; you want to keep your chest upright.
  • Do about five repetitions of this, trying to go a bit lower each time.  This may be very difficult at first, but it will get easier over time.

You may notice that none of these exercises are specifically a back exercise or stretch. That’s because the hips and legs are like the foundation of a house; they support your entire structure, and if they’re faulty, your whole body is on shaky ground. Do these exercises daily to start improving your flexibility and strength and you’ll notice a marked difference in your lower-back and hip pain.

Awesome, Sukie! We can’t thank you enough for the usable tips and info. Have you ever suffered from back pain? Tell us about it! —Jenn


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  1. Lisa R says:

    If you truly have pain you can’t fix it yourself by the above exercises/stretching you have in the article. You need to see a Chiropractor or licensed Massage Therapist to help manually shift either the lumbar area of the spine or the muscle and fascial tissues in the sciatic area. You are right that the pain is only masked by drugs, not correcting the problem. So do yourself a favor and get it fixed the right way. The exercises here are good AFTER you have the problem correctly fixed.

  2. Cat says:

    I have a bulging disc in my lower back and am under the care of a chiropractor. I have been doing the shoulder bridges as instructed by him for a couple of weeks now, along with a small list of other strengthening moves. I have been told to minimize the time spent sitting so I stand all day at my desk job and in the evenings at home. I am also not allowed to bike (because of the sitting) or run (because of compression/jolting) so I get my cardio by walking and on the elliptical. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to return to running but I know that this disc will always be a weak spot on me and may plague me the rest of my life. 🙁

  3. Gosia Mashigo says:

    Good morning
    I read the comment of Cat saying she is not allowed to bike.I have a terrible backache with two of my discs dropped and the only thing I do to keep fit is an indoor bike with different programmes,each 30minutes.Am i damaging my back more with this indoor bike?

  4. I have started working out on my back pain and i am being cured a bit. Thanks for it.

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