Dossier: Exercise videos

Exercises against back pain

Numerous muscles help move and stabilise our spine. But: if muscles aren’t used, they increasingly lose their strength. More and more people are suffering from back pain due partially to a lack of exercise. Do something good for your back with these exercises.

Text: Martina Kratzer; videos and photos: Sebastian Doerk

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, 44% of women and 34% of men in Switzerland claim to have suffered back pain in the last four weeks, with shoulders, neck and arms being most affected. In most cases, those affected don’t know how or when the pain started. The good news is that treatment can often alleviate the pain. The bad news: it often occurs again within a year. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Causes of back pain

One main cause of back pain is our lifestyle today. We spend hours sitting, don’t get enough exercise, experience unilateral strain and other stress factors. So the recipe for a strong, healthy back is to exercise regularly our whole life long and do targeted strength training. Regardless of how active you are or whether you spend most of the day sitting, standing or walking, if you don’t take care of your core and back muscles, you can suffer strain and pain.

Exercises against back pain

These exercises will help prevent pain in your neck and lower and upper back. All you have to do is spend seven minutes at least twice a week doing the recommended exercises. This video trains the following areas:

  1. Strengthens the core muscles to take the pressure off the lower back
  2. Strengthens the upper back for a straight posture that takes the pressure off your neck

Sanitas bootcamp: 5 exercises for a strong back

Expert tip for exercising the back

Consciously tensing your stomach protects the back in everyday life and while doing sport. If you practise this regularly, it will become automatic. Even if you’ve got strong stomach muscles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re activated properly when you’re moving. For this reason, it’s a good idea to do static abdominal exercises while also moving your limbs. This requires concentration. It’s physically and mentally demanding to always tense your stomach muscles while moving. That’s why it’s a good idea for beginners to start with static exercises without movement, or maybe just to tense the stomach muscles for a minute once an hour while working. Even sitting correctly at work can help prevent back pain.

Martina Kratzer, personal trainer

Martina plays in the Swiss national water polo team and is currently doing a masters in elite sports at the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport in Magglingen. At Zone4Performance in Winterthur she has turned her passion into her profession and supports athletes and private individuals in overcoming physical and mental limits to unlock their sporting potential.