What is the best exercise for lower back pain sufferers?

Regular exercising can improve strength and endurance, prevents fatigue from causing improper body mechanics, increases beta endorphin levels, reduces depression and gives people an overall feeling of wellbeing. For those who suffer from lower back pain, then this is not so easy. We are exploring the best aerobic exercise for lower back pain sufferers. If this sounds like you then please read on or watch the video.

Lower back pain or worry that exercise may aggravate lower back pain, can stop people from getting their daily exercise. A great place to start is to aim for 30 minutes a day if you are concerned about your lower back. Changing the type of exercise, so you are not doing the same thing daily keeps you motivated and allows tight muscles and areas of the body to rest between activity.

With the following suggestions, please start slow and build up the time and intensity of exercise. For lower back stability, then adding some core exercises to your daily aerobic exercise routine will help to strengthen the core and create more stability for the lower back.

Aim is to elevate heart rate during this time – age recommendations

Age             Target HR Zone 50-85%                                 Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%

20 years      100-170 beats per minute (bpm)                 200 bpm

30 years       95-162 bpm                                                   190 bpm

35 years       93-157 bpm                                                   185 bpm

40 years      90-153 bpm                                                   180 bpm

45 years      88-149 bpm                                                   175 bpm

50 years     85-145 bpm                                                    170 bpm

55 years     83-140 bpm                                                    165 bpm

60 years    80-136 bpm                                                    160 bpm

65 years    78-132 bpm                                                     155 bpm

70 years    75-128 bpm                                                    150 bpm

Benefits of aerobic exercise

– Increase efficiency of respiration

– Increase blood volume, distribution and delivery to muscles

– Decrease resting heart rate

– Strengthens muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones

– Decreases anxiety and stress

– Increase cardiac output

– Increase body composition

– Increases bodies ability to use fat as energy source

Types of aerobic exercise that is good for protecting low back


  • Need to walk at a brisk/fast pace
  • Goal is to elevate heart rate
  • deliberately move arms
  • can add ankle or arm weights to get more from walk.

Bike riding

Interval running/ jog/walk

  • walk 2 mins
  • Jog 2 mins
  • increase pace 2 mins
  • repeat 3-5 times, increase as feel more confident

Keep away from concrete as much as possible, find a track.

Step ups


If you have stairs at home- great way to get heart rate up

stair climbs

walk, jog up them

up/down 5 times

then do body weight exercises, repeat to finish


Walk up , run down

can start jogging up to get more exercise


15-25 minutes

Good way to get kids involved

Easy one to do at home and get heart rate up



Body weight exercises

Great to get heart rate up .Home work out circuits can include some of the following:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Dips
  • Star jumps
  • High knees
  • Burpees
  • Jog/ march for active rest.

Important to work within your limits

It is important to find the right exercise for lower back pain. If you have a history of low back pain then only do exercises that you feel comfortable with, and if anything hurts, stop immediately, and seek professional help. 

For information about the what postures may aggravate stress, CLICK HERE..

To find out why your posture is important and how to determine if you have good posture, then CLICK HERE.

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