Guidelines for Choosing the Best Lower Back Exercise

Lower Back Pain

best lower back exercise

What’s the best lower back exercise?

Drum roll please…

There isn’t one! BUT, here’s what you really need to know to find the best lower back exercise..

There are literally hundreds of exercises and treatments for lower back pain. The best lower back exercise today may not be the best next month for you. Some require expensive equipment, some are moves adapted from yoga or maybe it’s a lower back stretch or stress reduction technique. Plenty of things can be done at home. And when it comes down to it, you’re the one that has to choose what to do to help manage your pain.


By listening to your body. One of the major virtues in life is to learn how to listen to the inner wisdom of your body. I mean really listen. Memorize the following rules, they’ll teach you how to choose the best lower back exercise.

OK, granted there are a plethora of tools and techniques to help get rid of lower back pain, so to save you the pain (pun intended :) ) of trying to figure it out, here’s a cool list of rules to figuring out which is the best lower back exercise – the ones that will likely be most effective to help manage or get rid of lower back pain:

Best Lower Back Exercise Guidelines

1. If it hurts, don’t do it
This rule simply means that pain is bad. When you are trying a new exercise, or performing one you know, the exercise should be helping to relieve pain, not increase it. Some things to consider when implementing this rule are: (1) change the resistance (i.e. decrease or increase the weight), (2) change the speed (i.e. slow down or speed up), (3) change the range of motion (i.e. make your movement smaller or bigger). If none of these things helps to decrease the pain you are experiencing as a result of the exercise itself, stop the exercise.

2. If it helps, do it as often as you feel is necessary
Exercise is movement-movement is health. When you find a movement that results in an immediate reduction in your pain, do it for as long as you are able and as frequently as you are able. The only reason to ignore this rule is if increased frequency increases the pain (see #1 above).

3. If you aren’t sure how to do the exercise correctly, don’t do it at all
Let’s face it: some exercises are simple to learn and perform, and others are harder to figure out. If you can’t do the exercise precisely the way it’s meant to be done (which means that you aren’t 100% confident that you are doing it correctly) then don’t do it at all. If you think it might be helpful to learn, then find someone to teach you.

4. Listen to your body
I can’t tell you how far reaching this one tip can go be-in all aspects of health. But regarding lower back exercises, some will require gradual increases in intensity to maintain their effectiveness (i.e. you may have to increase the resistance as you get stronger, or increase the range of motion as you are able). The rule here is to make increases slowly, test to be sure you tolerate the change (i.e. it doesn’t hurt), and repeat gradually over time. Don’t rush this process. If you find a good exercise for low back pain then use it as a tool and know that there is no right answer of how to how quickly to progress – everyone is different. Make a collection of what helps you-  the best lower back exercise you come across. Listen to your body.

Determining which exercises to do for lower back pain can be a daunting task. My hope is that with the information you learned in this article, you’ll be on your way to managing your back pain quickly and effectively and becoming a good steward of your human machine. Just as the best chiropractor for you is the one who can help YOU, the best lower back exercise is the best one for YOU, at that time.

Best Lower Back Exercise Advice…

If you need a chiropractor in Denver give us a call. We’re actually in Lakewood, Colorado. If you need a referral to other chiropractors in Colorado closer to you or another type of provider leave me a note here and I’ll try to give you a recommendation. Maybe you need yoga, pilates, massage therapy, physical therapy, rest… who knows. That’s what these rules were meant to do is give you some guidelines for YOU, because you are unique and every day and situation is unique. Take this info into account when deciding which is the best lower back exercise for you.

Posted from Newtown, Pennsylvania, United States.

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Ron Spallone

Dr. Ron Spallone, DC is the chiropractic clinic director. His passion is the driving force behind Denver Chiropractor dot com. He's been a Colorado chiropractor for over 15 years.

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1 Comment

  1. September 15, 2011, 5:41 pm

    I agree with your statement that neck pain should not be taken lightly. It is always better to consult a doctor or chiropractor near you. Some may even advise that you have an x-ray in case it’s a more severe condition. What helped me was a good posture in sleeping to prevent neck pain. Also, check if your cervical pillow for neck pain is the right size or too big for you. You can check for recommendations for the best (neck pillows) that are highly recommended by doctors.

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