“I can’t deadlift because my back hurts,” is a common concern that personal trainers like myself encounter on a daily basis. Back pain is one of the most common health issues, and the sedentary desk job culture is definitely contributing to it. While rest is often recommended as the best cure for a backache, I decided to dig deeper into the topic and conduct extensive research. After 40 hours of research, I found that exercise is actually a more effective solution for relieving and preventing back pain.
A meta-analysis of 45 studies on Clinical Rehabilitation revealed that exercise significantly reduces chronic low back pain compared to other treatment methods or no intervention at all. In addition to reducing back pain, exercise can also help prevent it. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that exercise can reduce the risk of low back pain by 33%. The study recommends a combination of strengthening exercises for the spinal and abdominal muscles, along with stretching or aerobic exercises, performed two to three times a week, to prevent low back pain in the general population.
Exercise relieves back pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area. In this article, I will provide you with everything you need to know about exercising with back pain, including the best training equipment to help relieve and prevent it.
Best Exercise Equipment For Bad Back (Cardio)
Are you looking for the best exercise equipment for a bad back? Look no further. Here are some options:
1. Elliptical Machines
Elliptical machines are a great choice when it comes to training equipment that combines effectiveness with comfort. Here’s what you need to know about them:
Advantages for People with Back Pain:
– Prevents Strain on Spinal and Lower Body Joints: The elliptical pedaling motion of this machine prevents strain on the spine and joints, making it a better option for those with back pain.
– Great for Cardio Training: Most of my clients prefer the elliptical over a treadmill because it provides the same cardio training results without the joint and back strain.
– Adjustable Incline: This allows you to adjust the intensity without significantly increasing joint strain.
– Adjustable Stride Length: The ability to adjust the stride length ensures that the motion fits your body mechanics and feels natural.
Pro Tip: For exercisers with back issues, the zero incline setting is the most comfortable.
Our Pick for the Best Elliptical: Niceday Elliptical Machine
– This machine uses a magnetic system that eliminates noise and controls the sound at 20dB, making it a great option for home gyms.
2. Stationary Bikes
Stationary bikes can be a powerful tool in your exercise routine. However, it’s important to choose the right type of bike that suits your needs. There are two main types to consider:
– Upright Bikes: These bikes have an upright sitting stance, similar to traditional road bikes. They are ideal for intense workouts.
– Recumbent Bikes: These bikes offer superior back support and are better suited for people in rehab or those who prefer a more comfortable option.
Advantages of Adding a Stationary Bike to Your Routine:
– Improve Cardio Fitness: Like elliptical machines, stationary bikes are great for cardiovascular fitness, enhancing heart health and increasing endurance.
– Low-Impact: Unlike other cardio machines, stationary bikes don’t put unnecessary stress on the spine, allowing for longer sessions without discomfort.
Pro Tip: If you’re on a tight budget or have limited space, consider an under-desk bike, elliptical, or stepper machine.
Our Pick for the Best Stationary Bike: Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
– This highly-rated recumbent bike offers Bluetooth connectivity, a DualTrack blue backlit LCD screen, and 25 resistance levels for a wide range of intensity options.
3. Rowing Machines
Rowing machines provide a full-body workout that combines cardio and strength training. Here’s how they can help strengthen your back and some technique tips for safety:
Strengthening Back Muscles:
– Rowing machines engage all major muscle groups in the back, leading to significant muscular endurance and strength gains when done with proper form.
– During the drive phase, power should come from your legs and core, allowing your back muscles to work without strain.
– Limit your back engagement by reducing your range of motion in the drive and finish phases.
Technique Tips to Avoid Back Injury:
– Warm up your muscles before a training session.
– Keep your core tight and back straight to maintain efficiency.
– Start with a leg push, followed by an arm pull.
– Move smoothly and avoid yanking at the handle.
– Start with the damper at the lowest setting and gradually increase the resistance.
Pro Tip: For those with existing back pain, it’s important to avoid going beyond a 90-degree angle with your torso.
Incorporating exercise into your routine can be an effective way to relieve and prevent back pain. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified trainer before starting any exercise program, especially if you have existing back issues. They can provide personalized guidance and ensure that you are using the correct form and equipment for your specific needs.
Remember, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one person may not work for another. Listen to your body, start with low impact exercises, and gradually increase the intensity as your back strengthens. With the right equipment and proper technique, you can overcome back pain and improve your overall fitness and well-being.