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Exercises for Back Pain

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Chronic low back pain is related to the impaired control of many lumbopelvic muscles (lower back). It’s a very common condition and it’s the first cause of disability worldwide.

The cause of the the impaired muscle control it’s still not clear but researcher believe that can be caused by a sedentary life, biomechanical stress (ie: sustained bad posture for long periods of time, bad exercise technique, excessive exercise, etc), lack of motor control (ie: coordination), reduce force output, emotional stress, lack of mobility or a structural injury. A substantial amount of this variables are processed and controlled in the brain. Taking this into consideration it is crucial that when rehab exercises are performed there is a correct awareness of which joint and muscles should be working.

I specialise in bridging the gap between physiotherapy and fitness and over the past 12 years I’ve been seeing clients with lower back symptoms.

Despite of the fact that every one is unique there are some generic exercises that can reduce back pain.


  1. Be aware of your back and/or abdominal wall working (contracting)
  2. Exercises should be performed on a low intensity (maximum a 6 out of 10 in an effort scale). You should feel a light muscle contraction of the desirable area.
  3. Do not execute any exercise if it increases your pain levels.
  4. If there is movement involved you should only go into a comfortable range, with a slow speed.
  5. Start doing 2 sets of 6 repetitions or 3 sets of 10 seconds holds (for isometrics)


Angry Cat, Happy Cat






Finish. You should feel your back muscle along your spine working.


Seated Trunk Rotation (version 1 – Isometric)

Twist your trunk on the arrow direction. There is no movement as your inner leg offers resistance against your hands. You should feel your abdominal and back muscles working.


Seated Trunk Rotation (version 2 – cable)

Start. Make sure your hips don’t move.

Finish. You should feel your abdominal and back muscles working.


Abdominal Curl  (Isometric)

Push your hands against your knees. You should feel your abdominal muscles working.



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