10 Easy Back Exercises That Will Help Eliminate Pain

Stronger muscles won't guarantee you'll be impervious to pain. But particularly around your spine, increased strength can reduce the risk of injury and improve posture, thus reducing pain and the chance of newly occurring injuries. While stretching for posture is important, strength training for your back and spinal cord is just as crucial. (See also: 20 Great Body Weight Exercises)

When looking to strengthen back muscles, you've got to be certain that your form is good and that you're doing the movements right. Some good practices to follow include:

  • Using manageable amounts of weight (you usually don't need much);
  • Working on posture before you perform a weighted movement;
  • Focusing on keeping your back straight and stop reps when you begin to lose form.

Your first priority is to avoid injury and issues that will incur more back pain. Go through these stretches first, then try these exercises to build up strength in your back muscles and around your spinal column.

1. Wall Sits

Although wall sits look simple, there's a lot of form involved that you have to think about. Make sure that your back is flat against the wall, with your feet on the floor and your knees bent forming a right angle between your upper leg and your spine. Hold your arms out for balance and keep the position for 30 seconds.

2. Seated Cable or Band Rows

A modest amount of weight is fine if you're just starting out with seated cable or band rows. Sit in front of the pulley system and use both hands to pull the cable towards the center of your chest. Make sure that you release the weight back to the original position slowly, keep your shoulders square and without bending your back forward. Also avoid moving your body backward to try and pull the weight. If you need to do that, use less weight.

3. Kettlebell Swings

There are a variety of different kettlebell swings you can do but the video explains some of the basic movements and gives you the proper form to follow. Once again the primary concern with form is that you keep your back straight and bend at the hips if you need to.

4. Overhead Band Press

Step on one side of the band with your right foot, then grab the other end with your right hand and push it straight up. Make sure your arm, back and leg are all forming a straight line from the floor to the ceiling. Hold that position, then repeat the exercise on your left side.

5. Lateral Medicine Ball Throws (Against Wall)

To perform a lateral medicine ball throw, grab a medicine ball and stand with your left side facing a wall. Hold the ball with both hands and throw it against the wall so that it bounces back to you. Catch the ball and pivot at your hips if necessary. Switch sides after 10 reps.

6. Long Bar Row

Before you start a long bar row, make sure you position the long bar in a corner where it can't move on you. Then use one hand to hold the bar on one side and pull it up, bending at your elbow. You'll want to bend your knees slightly while maintaining a straight spine. Try the movement with just the bar before adding weight.

7. Suspended Row

The suspended row requires something sturdy to hold onto that sits above you and will support your upper body. The example given uses two suspended rings, but a bar will work as well. Simply pull your body upwards in a controlled movement while resting your feet on the ground. Keep your core tight and your spine straight throughout.

8. Reverse Crunches

This simple core exercise strengthens your lower abdominal muscles in the front and on your sides (obliques), which can help reduce back pain and improve posture. Strengthening areas that support your back, like your core are just as important as the back muscles themselves.

9. Cable Arm Pressout

This movement works your chest, shoulders and back with a low impact movement. The cable machine is ideal since you have more control over the weight you use. Start with a manageable weight and concentrate on getting your form right. Once again it's crucial that you keep your back straight and avoid bending forward or backward.

10. Hindu Pushup

The form of the Hindu pushup is a bit tricky so be sure review the video before you attempt the movement. Your chest, back, arm and shoulder muscles will all be engaged. In this particular exercise, there will be a slight curve to your spine as the movement subtly resembles an upward dog yoga position.

Strength as a Pain Preventative

Strength training is more effective as a pain preventative than a pain treatment. Particularly when it comes to back pain, the issue can often be injury related, which means strength training isn't going to be the best immediate solution.

However, resistance workouts that build muscle should be utilized as tools to prevent injury and decrease the chances of experiencing pain in the future.

When done with proper form and technique, it can be one of your best preventative pain treatments.

What exercises or stretches do you do to alleviate back pain?

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