It’s alright being told what exercises we should do to help our backs but what about exercises we should not do? Below I’ve listed some that are better left alone if you have a back problem.

Sit-ups are bad for you as you use your hip flexors, which are attached to each vertebrae on your lumber spine spine, so when you over use these muscles they generate force that pulls from the lumber are of the spine which causes stress to your lower back.

Also when this exercise is performed with your hands behind the head, you’re more likely to pull on your neck (cervical spine) and add additional unnecessary back pain.

Leg raises and crunches are another exercise which they class as the 2nd worst exercise due to the potential harm it can do by involving the hip flexors as before with sit-ups and it can put your lower back into a compromising position.

Twists of your body which is usually an exercise you do on a machine where you hold a couple of handles with a pad at your chest and twist from side to side. You can easily perform this twist improperly which can create sheering forces at the spine and injure the discs that protect your spine.

Finally, low back extensions are another no, no, this is done on a machine where you sit with a weighted pad at your back. You lean forward then push yourself back up to sitting upright against the resisted pad. This movement tends to overuse the muscles of the lower back and can therefore cause more harm than good to your back.


  1. My back exercises are on hold. About the last thing my physio told me as she arranged for me to go to the gym was, that I have had a herniated stomach some time. When, and how long ago. My daughter tells me to no do the exercise regime until my GP can check out my stomach.


    1. I agree with your daughter hutt, if that’s a hernia the last thing you want to do is start pulling on it. Don’t do any until you have seen your GP like she has suggested. Very sensible daughter you have 🙂


  2. Crunches are the only thing that help the tummy aren’t they? I suppose with a bad back you must be really careful though and find an alternative. I wonder if the plank is allowed, that is good for stomach?


    1. Yes, crunches are the tummy exercise and like you say they are bound to effect you back – not heard of the plank but just as long as your not pulling from your lumber without your knees bent I think, but I’m no expert so it’s best ot ask first and always let whoever is giving you the exercises know that you have a weak back. I made a big mistake and didn’t tell someone when I rejoined a gym many, many years ago and on my second trip I prolapsed a disc in my NECK of all places.


      1. It was especially as I’d had two previous neck fusions so pulling on a plate made it much worse. That was my last time in a gym and I will NEVER go again, I just walk now, can’t hurt myself that way :))


  3. Hey !
    This sounds terrible!! Thanks for posting about it!
    The pictures you’ve used are really helpful, but kind of small.
    I was wondering if you’d maybe want a bigger, pretty graphic for that…
    It’s so much easier to follow your advice if the picture is bigger and easier to see.

    I can make the graphic myself.
    And if you like it, you can put it up.
    All I ask is an attribute link.


  4. I’ve been doing leg crunches. This is really helpful Barb. I guess I have to carefully assess the exercise routine I perform.

    Spatch MErlin
    How to Get Rid of Back Pain Guide


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.