Often back pain can flare up during or after exercise, which can lead to people avoiding exercise altogether.
Because the majority of issues stems from poor movement quality and over-compensatory patterns occurring when we are under load (bodyweight or additional resistance), priorities need to made to strengthening areas that weak and performing movements that lessen the likelihood of poor movement.
When using resistance in the form of weights etc, often movements such as squats, deadlifts or Kettlebell swings can cause such back pain and discomfort. If this is the case try the following exercises, which can lessen the load on the back whilst still stimulating strength and muscle adaptation in the lower body and hips.
Split Squat / Lunge REPLACES The Squat:
Because of the split stance of this exercise we are training the hip and leg muscles on the lead leg in isolation, which can help address any strength imbalances that may exist from leg to leg and hip to hip.
The sheer forces through the lumbar spine are also much less in comparison to something like the squat and therefore will not promote overload there.
Staggered Suitcase Deadlift REPLACES The Heavy Deadlift:
Due to the heavy nature of a normal deadlift, it is one of the exercises that is most likely to cause you back pain if the movement is performed poorly.
Again in order to isolate one hip, we can stagger our stance in order to only be loading that particular hip hinge on that side, this will in turn mean the total weight you are using is less, avoiding the potential risk of overcompensating.
Single leg Hip Bridges REPLACES Heavy Hip Thrusts:
A common issue that can occur when performing heavy hip thrusts is that the individual uses their back far too prominently when executing the extension of the hips under such a load. This can be as a result of poor understanding of the movement or deficiencies in the strength in either glute complex.
We can better address the understanding of the movement, whilst at the same time isolating any engagement or strength issues, by executing a single leg version that will test the stability and engagement in that hip in isolation.
Also look out for our article on strengthening the core to avoid back pain.