Among all the pains that we can suffer from, back pain is probably the most common. The back is actually supposed to stabilize our body, and because balance and stability play an extremely important role in our physical well-being, being free from back-pain is very important.
At the same time, the rise of technology in our daily lives enhances our inactivity and makes us move less and less, which causes more and more people to suffer from severe back pain. With specific exercises and a healthier lifestyle, we can counteract this dangerous trend. In this article we will therefore take a look at the best exercise machines for back pain. Have fun! 😉
Back Pain – A Global Burden
Before we talk about the best exercise equipment for the back, I’ve collected some interesting, yet frightening facts for you:
- Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.
- One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
- Up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.
- Worldwide, years lived with disability caused by low back pain have increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015.
(source: American Chiropractic Association: Backpain Facts and Statistics)
When I started doing research for this article and read these facts for the first time, I felt very bad. How is it possible that such a high number of people suffer from back pain?
The truth is basically known to all of us, and yet we often ignore it. Technological progress has gradually driven us to living a very inactive lifestyle.
We drive to work by car, take the elevator to our office on the third floor, and then we can do our work comfortably from sitting at our desk. In the evening, we sit in front of the television. All in all, we spend most of the day sitting and being inactive in general.
Of course, not everyone’s daily life looks like this, and this is probably a bit exaggerated. Nevertheless, it is unmistakable that the trend of increasing inactivity exists and that this does not have a positive effect on the well-being of our back.
It is therefore important to put an end to inactivity and to work on the health of our back on a long-term basis. So, let’s talk about the best options you have for exercising your back and fighting back pain.
Which Exercise Machine is Best for the Back?
Best Cardio Machines for Back Pain
Probably the most popular exercise machine is the treadmill. Especially running enthusiasts swear by the indoor running equipment and enjoy the comfort of being able to exercise even during bad weather. These advantages should not be doubted here, and yet the treadmill is not considered to be the most back-friendly exercise machine.
We must remember that with every step we take, certain impact forces act on our body. When we go for a run, each heel strike produces a force that equals 3-4 times our own body weight. The spine as the central element of our body is particularly exposed to high pressure. This can especially be problematic for overweight people.
Better options that lead to similar training effects are the elliptical and the exercise bike. With both of these exercise machines, the feet remain in constant contact with the pedals, which eliminates the impact forces just described.
When choosing the right machine, you should focus on high-quality products. A high flywheel mass, high-quality workmanship and numerous other factors play an important role when it comes to providing a healthy and back-friendly workout. Therefore, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish and spend a little more money.
I can recommend the Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine and the Schwinn 570U Exercise Bike, both of which place great emphasis on quality and simply have everything you would expect from an exercise machine. But I guess it’s best if you take a look at both machines for yourself. You can find the Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine here and the Schwinn 570U Exercise Bike here.
Best Exercise Machines to Strengthen the Back Muscles
Ellipticals and Exercise Bikes are designed to counteract inactivity and thus prevent back pain in the long run. However, it is also important to strengthen the back muscles. One exercise device that is becoming increasingly popular but is still very underrated in my opinion is the rowing machine.
Rowing targets almost 80% of our muscles, which makes the rowing machine a perfect exercise device for a full-body workout. It is mainly the back muscles that we can strengthen with this workout machine.
Additionally, if we train many muscles at the same time, our body has to provide a lot of energy, and that means: You will burn a hell of a lot of calories!
Rowing machines therefore have numerous advantages and are increasingly purchased for home use as well. If you think that this exercise equipment could be interesting for you, I would recommend that you take a closer look at the Waterrower and the Concept2 Indoor Rower, which are the two most popular choices, that I can both recommend without reservation.
Especially the lower back is prone to back pain. The Roman Bench Chair is an exercise device that targets exactly this part of the back and counteracts back pain very effectively.
This very simple back extension exercise ensures that you have an upright posture and strengthens the muscles around the lumbar spine. It is important that you keep your back straight throughout the exercise, otherwise it can even be counterproductive. As always, paying attention to the proper technique is the most important thing.
Roman Chairs also have the advantage that they are comparatively affordable. Take a look at this product on Amazon for further information.
What to Do If the Back Pain is Already There?
If you already suffer from back pain, there are numerous types of exercise equipment that can help you. Of course, there are thousands of possible reasons for back pain and in some cases even the right equipment might no longer be helpful. In case of severe chronic pain, I would definitely recommend you to consult a doctor first.
However, in the majority of cases inactivity is what causes the pain and in this case the exercise equipment I would like to introduce to you will certainly help you.
I am talking about the foam roller. Only 20 years ago, fascia were known almost exclusively to scientists, but now you come across them again and again, especially if you’re following the newest fitness and health trends. What are the fascia anyway?
Fascia is basically the connective tissue that envelops all our muscles, bones and organs like a spider’s web, providing stability on the one hand and mobility on the other.
The fascia are normally present in a very orderly grid structure. Inactivity, however, results in the production of excess collagen, which turns this order into a chaos.
This in turn restricts mobility and often leads to tension and pressure. These tensions mostly appear in the area of the back and neck.
We can effectively counteract this by using a foam roller, because when used correctly, it has a collagen-reducing effect and thus restores the original, ordered grid structure.
The foam roller is therefore a very good exercise device for the back, which is also very affordable. If you’re interested in this back pain remedy, take a look at this foam roller on Amazon.
Further Tips for Reducing Back Pain
With all the exercise equipment mentioned so far, you can relieve back pain. Nevertheless, it is important to look at your body as a whole. The back is very important, but you should work on all of your muscles.
All parts of our body work together in some way, and that is why it is also very important to train the other parts of the body as well.
Especially the abs and legs should be strengthened regularly. If we would only train our back and neglect the abs, this would lead to an imbalance which would ultimately result in back pain again.
Final Thoughts on the Best Exercise Machines for Back Pain
The dangerous and yet constantly increasing trend of inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle raises the number of people suffering from severe back pain every year. It is therefore important to incorporate more physical activity into our daily life. Exercise machines, such as the elliptical or the exercise bike, provide a very good possibility to work out in a joint- and back-friendly manner.
In order to strengthen the back muscles most effectively, exercise machines such as the rowing machine are recommended. If you’re already suffering from back pain, using a foam roller would be a good idea.
I hope I could help you with this article. However, if you still have any further questions or suggestions on this topic, feel free to write me an e-mail.
Otherwise, I wish you good luck when trying out your new back-friendly exercise machine! 😉