Can I Weight Train with Back Problems?
Tips and tricks on performing weight training exercises with back pain
Sean Lee, NASM ACE – CPT, NSCA – CSCS
Fitness Expert, Barrington, IL
I have the initial stages of degenerative disc disease, but still want to achieve the benefits of my weight training regime. What suggestions would you have for someone like me who wants to enjoy the strength and core stability benefits of exercises like squats and military presses but would like to avoid the stresses and additional compression forces involved in executing these types of maneuvers?
If you’re currently asymptomatic, meaning squats and military presses cause no discomfort at the present time, I wouldn’t discourage your involvement in these types of exercises. However, I do recommend choosing lighter weights and focusing on muscle endurance. Move slowly and pay close attention to form on all exercises as this is often what leads to injury. Also, consider changing up your routine every 4-6 weeks and including a variety of movements to avoid repetitive movement strains which may aggravate your condition.