This is a bit of a perennial favourite: as we slouch into our sedentary lifestyle, get older and miss out on our usual workouts (think Covid-induced lockdowns), it’s our backs that take a beating.

Word of warning: If you’re currently experiencing moderate or intense back pain, you should go see your doctor or an orthopaedic specialist who will have to try to find out what the root cause is. They may well point you to a physiotherapist or recommend exercises, but starting with „live“ back pain and simply hoping that random exercises will solve them, is probably not a winning combination.

Lower Back Pain Relief

About 15mins; use foam rollers if you’ve got them.

I’ve struggled with back pain for some years now and it sort of comes in waves: there have been times of crisis, when I could hardly get up out of bed in the morning, especially when I had played a hard 3 hours of Badminton the night before. These kinds of exercises certainly helped me and I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of the moves my physiotherapist recommended in order to strengthen my back, were included here as well. I’ve also found that, if I do a selection of these stretches or use of the foam roller right after my badminton session, this will do wonders for my back and general muscle soreness the next morning.

The one critique I would make of this video on the content side is that it takes me way more time to do a proper twist such as the „Reclined supine twist“ (known as „Jathara Parivartanasana“ in Yoga, about 8 minutes into the video); feel free to take up to a minute or 10-20 deep breaths in this position to progressively lower the upper leg toward the ground with each exhaling.

8 Yoga poses to relieve lower back pain

Between 10mins and 30mins; no equipment needed

If you haven’t had any contact with Yoga previously, don’t be put off: these gentle exercises will help you strengthen your core, help with general flexibility and stretch tight or achy muscles. Again, these are no quick fix if you’re in serious pain, but do them regularly and you will prevent problems from arising!

If you haven’t had much experience with yoga, it might be best to initially use these exercises as a flow, going through them one after the other. Once you are more familiar with what works best for you, you can start varying the flow.

By the way: cat-cow is one of my favourite exercises to loosen things up and warm up my back before a session and the reclined supine twist is my go-to whenever my lower back tightens up or to prevent this happening after a badminton session.

If you’re interested in some other twists, stretches and gentle workouts to strengthen your back, leave a comment below and I’ll share more detailed descriptions and other flows.