Best core exercises for back pain

Here’s a question I get a lot, and I love to see my clients’ reactions when I give an answer they don’t expect.

“What’s the best core exercise to get rid of my back pain?”

I pause dramatically for a few seconds … and then say …

“Squats and deadlifts.”

Let me explain.

We know that back pain is one of the most common ailments of modern life. It can be caused by poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, and improper lifting techniques (whether that’s lifting weights at the gym or stuff around the house). 

We also know that one of the best ways to alleviate back pain is to strengthen the core muscles that support the spine. 

But when most people think about core exercises, the first ones that come to mind are sit-ups and crunches.

And while there’s a time and a place for those, most people are missing out on something much better.

Squats and deadlifts are compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups at once. These exercises work the lower body, but also require a significant amount of core engagement to maintain proper form. The muscles of the core help stabilize the spine during these exercises. By strengthening the core muscles, individuals can reduce the risk of back injury and alleviate existing back pain.

Squats are a classic exercise that target the quads and glutes. When performed correctly, squats also engage the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and erector spinae. Those are fancy names for “abs.”

Deadlifts are another excellent exercise for strengthening the core muscles. They primarily target the lower back, hamstrings and glutes. Like squats, deadlifts also require significant core engagement to maintain proper form. 

When performed correctly, squats and deadlifts can be incredibly effective at strengthening the core muscles that support the spine. These exercises can help alleviate back pain and reduce the risk of injury. 

Of course, it’s essential to perform these exercises with proper form, posture and mechanics. That’s where a knowledgeable, experienced coach would be really helpful 🙂 

If you’re new to strength training – or getting back into it after some time away – let me know if you need help or advice incorporating squats and deadlifts into your workout routine.