Ahhhh…. The trials and tribulations of back pain – perhaps the most elusive member of the “aches and pains” family. How it feels and where it comes from can vary drastically from person to person. It can be attributed to anything and everything from a singular event (like an athletic injury, a car accident, or pregnancy), to genetics, to a life of sitting all day. It can creep, linger, or strike you like a bolt of lightning. The point is, there’s a long list of types, perpetrators, symptoms, and unknowns. But the one thing we do know is that back pain is a real drag.
Fortunately, there are generic exercises for the relief and prevention of back pain – and the TRX Suspension Trainer lends itself to many of these.
Before we get started, there are a few important rules:
1. If it hurts, stop. 2. If these exercises exacerbate pain then you need to seek professional treatment. 3. Stay in “neutral spine” at all times.
What’s neutral spine?
Neutral spine is when the curves of your spine are even and form a natural “S” shape. A neutral spine is the position of vertebral alignment and the safest and most efficient posture to begin and end movement from. All the exercises outlined are designed to test your ability to move or resist moving in different directions, while maintaining a neutral spine. The greater your movement ability in neutral spine, the more you will relieve back pain and prevent it from returning.
In the image below, the first profile represents “too arched”; the second, “too flat”; and the third one is just right. (Goldilocks anyone?)
4 TRX EXERCISES FOR BACK PAIN:
The following TRX exercises are designed to challenge your ability to keep in neutral spine by varying the direction of movement. These exercises are suitable for any back pain. Perform this program 2-3x per week to help relieve back pain, or add it at the end of your regular routine to help prevent back pain.
1. TRX Standing Plank
This exercise trains the neutral spine and sets the standard for all other exercises to follow. Set your posture from the ground up by squeezing your thighs, butt, tummy and putting your shoulder blades in your back pocket for total body tension. Tempo: Hold for 5 seconds, rest for 5 seconds, perform for 2-3 mins. Repeat 1-2 sets. Rest 1 min between sets. 2. TRX Inverted Row
This exercise trains the all of the back muscles without putting huge pressure on the spine.
Tempo: Down for 2 seconds, up for 2 seconds, and hold for 2 seconds.
Aim for 6-14 repetitions for 1-3 sets. Rest 1 min between sets.
3. TRX Resisted Rotation
This exercise activates your spinal rotation muscles without rotating your spine, and so helps you to resist rotation.
Tempo: Out for 2 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, and return for 2 seconds. Repeat 12-15 times for 1-3 sets. Rest 30 seconds between sets. 4. TRX Quadruped This exercise trains the small stabilizing muscles of the spine. Tempo: Move one leg to horizontal and hold for 10 seconds. Alternate each leg for 10 reps each. 1-2 sets with 1 min rest in between.
To learn more about movement based training, check out TRX Academy, a progressive curriculum based on foundational movements.
About the Author:
Ross Eathorne is an experienced Personal Trainer who has specialized in corrective exercise since 1996. Ross’ interest in rehabilitation started because he did not want a spinal stress fracture sustained at age 15 to prevent him from competing and participating in sports. Since then he has completed many specialist courses and represented New Zealand in 10 World Sports Aerobics Championships, completed several ultra marathons, outrigging races and played veterans rugby. He has developed a series of apps that emphasize quality content and programming and has authored books on topical issues such as fat loss, movement and mobility.