Exercises to avoid with lower back pain | Auckland Health and Performance

Exercises to avoid with lower back pain

Better, Stronger, Fitter

What exercises are best to avoid when you have lower back pain?


Compressive forces.


When you have spine pain and are a big niggly in the lower back the best advice I can give is to avoid compressive forces

Eg. The bar bell squat


A bar bell squat for example is placing a load on the shoulders and squishing your spine. Not ideal when you are a bit tender



It is sometimes appropriate to modify and change the load to help keep you moving and achieve a similar stimulus. I am not saying don’t squat or squats are bad, just use a variation. See below


Keep moving with lower back pain


Here is an infographic giving 9 different squat options to do instead of the barbell squat. They all keep your torso up straighter and prevent you leaning to far forward. To make it easier you can always modify reps sets weight and tempo.


I would personally debate whether the overhead squat should be included in this diagram as an overhead squat all be it not compressive requires a huge amount of stability and core strength, and when your back is sore – it would be bloody hard…

Compressive force is actually a great thing for the spine, when you slowly load it and work your weight up slowly with a good program. Train smarter not harder. Compressive forces to the spine will make your spine stronger and even help prevent osteoporosis


Most bulging disc type injuries occur from biting off more than you can chew too quickly….


Strength is build over time and allowed by your nervous system.  You must increase compressive load slowly and methodically.


Add weight slowly and progressively so that the spinal discs, ligaments tendons have time to strengthen and adapt.


The discs ligaments and tendons of the spine are relatively a-vascular meaning not a lot of blood supply which is why sometimes they can be an ongoing annoying niggly injury.


Movement is medicine…Do you notice you are stiff and sore first thing in the morning and better as the day goes on?


Discs for example are nourished by a process called imbibition. Gentle movement of the spine and spinal joints allows the magic healing to happen. If the joints of the spine get stuck, no healing takes place. Move it or loose it


The best relief and treatment for lower back pain is to keep active, keep moving and strong. Movement and exercise are the best long-term strategies for improving pain in your lower back.


Have a program designed for you that is specific to your start point and moves you slowly and consistently to your goal.


If you would like help with getting better, stronger or fitter book online or call 09 265 1778