5 exercise modifications to protect your lower back

Low back pain is one of the most common ailments that adults suffer and also one of the most difficult to deal with: the very idea of leaving the bed in these cases is unthinkable due to the pain concentrated in the back, but remaining prostrate only worsens things.

The truth is that this is one of the cases in which our body seems to ask us exactly what it needs, but in reverse: precisely the activities that cause us pain. Stretches or exercises that involve the hips or hamstrings are what could prevent this pain that afflicts us.

For these exercises to work and allow you to strengthen your lower back , it is necessary to make slight modifications to make them more effective and healthy.

Ejercicios para lumbares

5 modified exercises to protect your lower back

1. Swiss ball squat

For this variation of the squat, you do not need to load yourself with weight on your shoulders, since the objective is not to develop strength but to teach your body to stabilize the weight of the back. All you will need is a stability ball.


  • Standing with your back to a wall, put the ball holding it between your back and the wall.
  • With your legs slightly spread, perform a traditional squat, keeping your spine neutral and the ball well supported.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for about 30 seconds, 3 sets.

2. Mid-range sit-ups

Sit-ups are the most difficult exercise to perform when you have lower back pain . At least it is not possible to do the movement correctly without wearing out, so you have to make a modification that allows the body to tone that area, without actually hurting you.


  • Start lying on your back, in the traditional posture to perform an abdominal crunch (legs tucked, hands crossed behind the head).
  • Perform a crunch, but instead of trying to get your chest up to your thighs, go up only until your scapulae are off the ground.
  • It is important to take care that the back is well supported, so that it is not counterproductive.

3. Romanian deadlift

Many people find it difficult to perform this exercise properly while maintaining proper back posture. Usually it is a problem at the level of the hamstrings, but it is not something impossible to solve.

There are many variations of the deadlift that you can try. One that we suggest is the Romanian deadlift with bar or dumbbells, because it is easier to perform and still works the area that interests us in this case.


  • Start standing up, with your legs slightly apart and holding the bar with both hands at the height of your thighs.
  • Slowly lean forward until you bring the bar approximately to the level of your knees.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
  • It is important that your back remains straight while you perform the movement.

4. Unilateral leg raise

The leg raise is a good abdominal exercise, useful to develop both the abdomen and the lower part. However, performing this exercise in a rough way can load the back too much, especially when people are looking to prolong the movement too much, with the idea of increasing its intensity.

The best recommendation in this case is not to go too far when raising the legs. However, if the exercise is still difficult for you, you can try doing raises with one leg at a time.


  • Start by lying on the floor on your back, with one leg extended in front of you and your hands at your sides, with your palms facing the ground. The other leg should remain bent, with the thigh facing you.
  • Raise the leg that you have extended to the height of the thigh that you keep flexed.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

5. Iron

The plank is a challenging exercise in any of its variations, but this does not mean that it must also be painful. At least it is not if you execute it properly, taking care to maintain a straight posture.

More than an exercise modification, what you can do is practice and improve your posture by performing the exercise with your hands resting on a high surface, such as a chair. Once you have stabilized your posture, you can perform the exercise again without support.


  • Fetters, Aleisha. 5 Exercise Modifications to Ease Lower Back Pain. For Dailyburn. [Revised January 2017].