Weight Lifting For Back Pain: Friend or Foe?

I remember when I first got into weight lifting, I’d get a recurring response:

“Be careful! Don’t hurt your back lifting all those weights!”

And this is a common thought process. Of course, when you’re lifting heavy objects, the possibility of hurting yourself – especially your back – exists. But if that does happen, it’s usually because the weight is too heavy or the lifter’s form is incorrect. 

Otherwise, lifting those weights – if done properly – is what is going to strengthen your back and preserve it in terms of injury.

Your spine stays properly aligned and moves the way it should thanks to the muscles in your back and core. So, naturally, if your muscles are weak, your spine is likely to move in ways it shouldn’t, making you more susceptible for strains and pain in general, and even more serious issues like herniations and rotations in your spine. 

Additionally, strong and healthy back muscles are what contribute to having a good posture. If your posture is lacking, daily motions like sitting, standing, and walking can be painful and lead to chronic back pain. 

So all of this seems to point to something: weight lifting is great for improving your back pain!

And that doesn’t just only refer to back-specific weight lifting. Lifting weights with very muscle group allows for an overall balanced, strong, and healthy body – one that won’t fall victim to instability or poor posture, things that make back pain creep up.

Reasons your back will thank you if you lift weights:

  1. You’ll decrease the likelihood of any future injuries by building strength and stability in your back and core.
  2. You will stabilize your spine, allowing it to move and function properly, while also promoting proper posture.
  3. Every day activities will be more comfortable, as you’ll be sitting, walking, standing, and moving around in ways better suited for your back.
  4. You’ll increase muscle tone, which is, well, awesome.
  5. Effective body mechanics will become more natural.
  6. You’ll increase bone density and strengthen your bones – everywhere, not just in your back.

Strengthening your body will change your life for the better, especially in terms of your back and avoiding injuries. The only goal of weight lifting isn’t to “get big” or “make gains” – it is absolutely to maintain a strong and healthy body, based on your lifestyle and goals, to allow you to live the best life possible.