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Top Weight Lifting Exercise to Ease Back Pain

Research finds weight lifting better than cardio for easing back pain


Updated February 10, 2014

A small study of 27 back pain sufferers reported that those who lifted weights had a 60% improvement in pain and function. Those assigned to aerobic exercise such as walking or jogging only improved by 12%. The study used a full body weight-training program three days a week for 15 weeks. Participants increased the weight lifted over three weeks, reduced the weight every fourth week (for recovery) and repeated this for 15 weeks. As this is a small study, talk to your doctor before trying this yourself.

The program in the study included the following exercises of three groups of nine people each.


Kell, R; Asmundson, G. A Comparison of Two Forms of Periodized Exercise Rehabilitation Programs in the Management of Chronic Nonspecific Low-Back Pain. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 23(2):513-523, March 2009.

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