Exercises for back pain and injury recovery

Personal trainer Michael Fireman exclusively shared with Express.co.uk his top exercises for injury recovery and back pain.

He started by saying that it is essential to “get the approval and recommendations of your treating physician or therapist” first. 

It is important to “follow their recommendations about when you can resume exercise, how much, and what type of exercise is best”.

Recovering from injury and losing the extra weight from rehab inactivity “can take more time than you think”. However, as with any recovery from injury, “be patient but persistent”.

The personal trainer recommended: “You may have to build the good habits of fitness and health again from scratch. So basically, treat yourself like a beginner.”

The exercises that “give you the best chance in losing weight” are cardiovascular and strength training exercises and people should “aim to incorporate both into their routines”.

  • Cardiovascular exercises raise your heart rate and increase your endurance.
  • Strength training helps you lose weight and keep it off by building muscle tissue.

Michael explained: “The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be. More muscle helps our bodies to burn more fat than muscle, which is important as we want to lose weight and not our strength.”

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Five easy and low-impact exercises for injury recovery and back pain:

1. Pelvic lift

Lay down on your back and bend your knees. Cross your arms over your chest and lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling. Hold it there for 10 seconds and repeat this exercise in sets of 10.

2. Bird dog

Get down on all fours, extend one leg behind you and flex the foot, then extend the opposite arm. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds before repeating it on the opposite side.

3. Lunges

Lunges are a great exercise for those who suffer from back pain as they help in reducing the load on the spine while working on other parts of the body.

4. Squats

Squats are one of the most recommended back exercises as they work as stretches for lower back pain and can greatly improve flexibility.

5. Walking

A brisk walk is considered cardio exercise as it gets the heart, lungs and large muscle groups working harder. Walking is a great low-impact activity to help back pain.

Michael also recommended swimming as “a great form of cardio and strength training, it’s a full-body workout”.

He said: “You can lose the same amount of weight swimming as you could by running but without the impact which is great after recovering from an injury.

“If you are an experienced swimmer and your heart rate doesn’t increase then you need to swim harder and faster. Try sprint interval training, which consists of sprints for up to 30 seconds followed by up to four minutes rest.”

The personal trainer suggested: “Try experimenting with various routines to keep your muscles and body guessing. Depending on the muscles being worked some swim strokes can result in a greater calorie burn than others. You could also join a water aerobics class for extra strength and endurance exercise.”

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