Fitness

Exercises That Can Help You Reduce Back Pain

You might not be able to see it in the mirror but your back works hard all day long – extending, bending, lifting and rotating. With so few of us taking the time to strengthen these well-used muscles, it’s no wonder that so many of us suffer from pain! Our backs do so much for us, why not treat it? Aim to perform this workout at least once a week. Simple!

Wide-grip Row

2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

1. Hold a barbell in each hand with your arms beyond shoulder-width apart and your hands facing towards your body
2. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from your hips with a straight back
3. Draw the barbell back towards your upper abs by bending your elbows out to the sides. Return and repeat

Upright Row

2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

1. Grab a barbell with your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart
2. Hold the bar at the top of your thighs with your arms extended
3. Draw the bar up your body, leading with your elbows until it’s at chest height. Lower and repeat

Reverse Grip Bent-over Row

2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

1. Hold a barbell in each of your hands with your arms shoulder-width apart and your hands facing away from your body
2. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from your hips with a straight back
3. Draw the barbell back towards your lower abs, keeping your elbows close to your torso. Return and repeat

Stiff-legged Deadlift

2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

1. Grab a barbell and hold it in front of your thighs, with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent
2. Bend at your hips to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor
3. Return to standing, squeezing your glutes as you rise and thrust your hips forward
Pt tip Keep your eyes forward and your chin down to maintain posture

Rear Band Flye

2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

1. Stand tall and raise your arms out in front of you at shoulder level. Hold a resistance band with your hands shoulder-width apart
2. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band out and back until you feel a squeeze between your shoulder blades
3. Slowly return to the start and repeat the move for the correct amount of sets

Standing Upper Back Stretch

1. Stand with your feet hipwidth apart
2. Place one hand on top of the other with your palms facing your body
3. Raise your arms to shoulder level and reach your hands away from your body with your arms extended
4. You should feel a stretch in your upper back. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release

Lying Lower Back Stretch

1. Lie on the floor, facing up
2. Draw your legs towards your tummy and hold both of your knees in your hands.
You should feel a slight stretch in your lower back
3. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release

Credit: Personal trainer: Sarah Ivory (sarah-ivory.com), Photography: Cliqq (cliqq.co.uk), Hair and make-up: Jo Adams (hairandmakeupatelier.com), Model: Emma Atkins, W Model Management, Clothing: Top and leggings: ElleSport (ellesport.co.uk), Trainers: Adidas by Stella McCartney (adidas.co.uk), with thanks to Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa (stokebynayland.com)

Sarah Ivory