Back pain is one of the most common complaints among athletes and casual gym goers. Research shows that eight out every 10 Americans will experience this issue at some point during their lifetimes. More than a third of women suffer from back pain. Poor exercise form, prolonged sitting, and muscular imbalances can trigger and worsen back problems. When your back hurts, you may not be able to resume your workouts and do certain exercises like the squat or deadlift. This can stall your progress and cause frustration. However, there are plenty of exercise variations that put less on the back. If you keep pushing through the pain, you'll only make things worse. Listen to your body and focus on what you can do rather than what you can't. So, here are five exercises that make back pain worse: Sit-Ups
A strong core helps support the spine and maintain good posture. Most people associate ab work with crunches and sit-ups. Unfortunately, these exercises can worsen back pain. There are better ways to strengthen your core muscles without hurting your back. Reverse curl-ups, pelvic tilts, planks, and flutter kicks are safer and more effective, so give them a try! Barbell Squat
Squats are by far the best lower body exercise. However, this movement has its drawbacks. First of all, it requires strict lifting form. Most gym goers do squats all wrong. They either use bad form, or sacrifice form for weight. Secondly, the barbell squat puts stress on the lower back, which can make pain worse. Thirdly, a weak core and muscular imbalances can increase your risk of injury. If you have back pain, stick to safer options, such as the bodyweight squat, front squat, goblet squat, wall squat, and Bulgarian split squat. Keep your abs tight at all times and watch your form. Deadlifts
The deadlift provides a full body workout, hitting nearly every muscle. The downside is that it can wreak havoc on your back if you do it wrong. Refrain from doing deadlifts until your back pain goes away. Replace this exercise with the leg press, single leg deadlifts, or front squats. Burpees
Burpees are well-known for their ability to burn fat and increase metabolism. This exercise is a favorite choice for Crossfitter, gym buffs, and elite athletes. The reason why it works so well is its fast-paced, high-impact nature. If you suffer from back pain, this could work against you. High-impact exercises place stress on the spine and joints, which can make pain worse. To stay safe, swap burpees for kettlebell swings, sled pushes, shoulder tap planks, or lunges. High-Impact Aerobics
Aerobics classes may not be the best choice for those struggling with lower back pain. The exercises are dynamic and explosive, which puts stress on the spine. The same goes for running, tae bo, jumping rope, plyometrics, and other high-impact activities. Low-impact workouts, on the other hand, can help relieve back pain and strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Swimming, power walking, cycling, pilates, yoga, and strength training are your best bet. These activities reduce tension and stiffness in the joints, build overall strength, and increase your endurance. Weight lifting elevates your metabolism, so you'll burn more calories at rest. Yoga and pilates strengthen your muscles and boost joint flexibility.