Managing Low Back Pain: Effective Movements for Daily Life

Dealing with low back pain can be debilitating, even for personal trainers. I recently experienced acute back pain, and I found myself in a predicament – needing to maintain daily activities while ensuring that I didn’t exacerbate the issue.

In this blog, I’ll share insights into the movements that helped me navigate this challenge. While everyone’s condition is unique, these approaches may offer some relief or guidance to those experiencing low back pain.

Training for Core Engagement

When confronted with low back pain, maintaining core strength is crucial. However, it’s equally essential to know what not to do. Unsupported bending over, especially with back pain, should be avoided at all costs. The key to preserving low back health is moving as though you’re handling something heavy, ensuring your spine remains in a neutral position.

Morning movements should be approached with extra caution, as your body is stiffer and more susceptible to injury during this time. While squats and deadlifts with proper form might work for some, I had to find alternative approaches that were gentler on my lower back.

Reverse Lunge

rlunge personal training

One movement that proved invaluable during my low back pain ordeal was the reverse lunge. As part of daily life, we often need to pick up items from the floor.

Reverse lunges became my go-to method for this. Starting with a neutral spine, step one leg back. Here’s a tip: resting your elbow on your knee while lunging can significantly reduce the load on your lower back.

Lunge with a Narrow Stance

rlunge2 personal training

This variation of the lunge involves a narrower stance. If you need to reach for items slightly higher than ground level, this method provides a practical solution that doesn’t overly strain your lower back.

Single Leg Reach

single leg movement personal training

Maintaining a neutral spine, bend at the hips when attempting to pick up something. It’s vital to ensure that the movement primarily originates from the hips and not the lumbar spine. Having a chair or table to support yourself, if available, can make this movement more manageable.


Low back pain can disrupt even the most routine activities. As a personal trainer, I’ve learned the importance of respecting your body’s limits and finding alternative movements to preserve your well-being.

These approaches, such as reverse lunges, narrow stance lunges, and single-leg reaches, can be useful tools for managing low back pain. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice, and remember that the key to overcoming such challenges is a blend of caution, adaptation, and perseverance.

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