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How To Safely Workout With Back Pain

how to workout with lower back pain, and piriformis syndrome or sciatica and not flare things up

In this week’s training video, I want to show you that you can start getting active and workout without flaring your back or causing a new injury, even if you experience chronic back pain.

I get it. You’re scared to move because you’re not sure if your back will start hurting again.

…What if I injure yourself again?

I totally get this fear

But if you’re letting the fear paralyze you, you’ll be stuck in that spot for months or years, even when you’ve fully recovered. I call it exercise-phobia.

And being completely sedentary is NOT the answer. I know it and you know it too. 

You have to find a way to move your body. And if you feel stuck right now on how to get started. Then I want you to scroll down and watch this week’s video.

I’m going to explain and show you how to start with very safe exercises and some very important tips to keep in mind as you make your way back to the gym.

To make this process easier, I also created a FREE exercise/activity planner to keep track of what you’re doing and to make sure you’re not overdoing one area over another (stretching vs strengthening). You can download it below the training video.

How To Safely Workout With Back Pain 


Here’s a quick summary of today’s training.

When Is It Okay To Rest?

Rest has its place. You want to give your body time to recover, heal and regenerate (especially after a lower back injury or a hip injury). The inflammation phase lasts up to 3 days. After that it’s highly advised you resume exercise. It’s not healthy to just stay in bed for longer than 3 days even after an acute injury.

The Safest Low Impact Activity

Can you guess? 

Well, it’s walking. It’s the safest form of exercise and…it’s kinda hard to injure yourself walking (unless you fall, trip or something).

To make your walks even easier on your hips, simply split it up into short walks throughout the day. Instead of going for a 30-minute walk, go for a 10-minute walk in the morning, another 10 minutes at lunch and squeeze another one before dinner if you can. You get the idea.

How To Workout With Lower Back Pain

  • Always start with bodyweight exercises. You need to master bodyweight training first before loading your spine. If you can’t do a squat right with your own bodyweight, imagine loading your body with an additional 50 pounds. 
  • Incorporate rehab core and glute exercises before each workout. No excuses. You want to make sure your core and glutes are activated and engaged and the best way to do that is to do some isolation rehab exercises to target those muscles. Not sure how to do it? Join the Back Pain Bootcamp and I’ll show you exactly how to stabilize your spine using your deep core muscles. 
  • Your routines should be no longer than 5-10 minutes when you’re first starting out. You don’t want to load your body and your back. Also, stick to 3-4 exercises so you can easily monitor and assess how you’re feeling. 
  • Add challenge by adding another repetition or set but NOT through adding more exercises. 

How To Lift Weights With Back Pain

  • Start with lighter weights. I know you’re probably like ‘well…duh’. But you have no idea how hard this can be for someone who used to lift heavy. You have to leave your ego out at the door when you walk into the gym and focus on what’s best for your body right now.
  • Keep the weight as close to your body as possible to reduce the load on the joints and the discs. Avoid any pressing when you’re first starting out. Again we want to avoid too much load on the spine and just focus on foundational exercises that move the whole body.
  • Practise the core brace before each exercise. Again the Back Pain Bootcamp will help you with that. Stabilizing your spine when you’re lifting weights is key to avoiding more injuries.

If you follow these tips, you’ll enjoy your workouts without flare-ups. If you have any questions about any of these steps, let me know in the comment section below. I know I went through them at lightening speed to keep this post short.

Again you can join the Bootcamp here and workout with me each day if you’re not sure how to get started.

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