Reduce Back Pain: 5 quick and easy exercises to reduce back pain

Exercise for Back Pain: Chair Squats

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Chris Dounis

Chris is an accredited exercise physiologist with over 15 years professional experience working with a wide range of clients.
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This article is part of our 6 part series on back pain. Download the complete eBook for FREE here.

Chair Touch Squats (or Box Squats) are beginner-friendly squat variations that target the legs and glutes, supporting back pain relief by strengthening the lower body and promoting proper posture.

Chair Touch Squats are an excellent exercise for strengthening the lower body, which can indirectly relieve back pain by providing better support to the spine. As your strength and confidence grow, you can gradually increase the intensity of this exercise, eventually transitioning to traditional squats without the use of a chair or box.

Benefits of the Chair Squat:

  • Chair Touch Squats strengthen the legs and glutes, which can reduce the load on the lower back and alleviate back pain.
  • This exercise encourages proper posture and hip mobility, promoting a healthier spine.

How to perform the Chair Squat – Instructions:

Step 1: Starting Position

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Place a sturdy chair or box behind you to serve as a target for your squat depth.

How to do a chair squat / box squat - step 1 front viewHow to do a chair squat / box squat - step 1 side view

Step 2: Engage Your Core

  • Tighten your core muscles to maintain proper alignment and support your lower back.

How to do a chair squat / box squat - step 2 front viewHow to do a chair squat / box squat - step 2 side view

Step 3: Perform the Exercise

  • Begin by hinging at your hips and bending your knees to lower yourself towards the chair or box.
  • Keep your chest up, and your back straight as you descend.
  • Aim to lightly touch the chair or box with your glutes, then immediately push through your heels to stand back up.
  • Maintain a controlled tempo throughout – aim for 2-3 seconds as you descend to the chair and 1 second to stand.

How to do a chair squat / box squat - step 3 front viewHow to do a chair squat / box squat - step 3 side view

Chair Squat Sets and Reps:

  • For beginners, start with 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  • As you become more comfortable, you can increase the sets and repetitions to continue building strength.

Tips and Form:

  • Ensure your knees track over your toes and don’t collapse inward.
  • Maintain a neutral spine, keeping your chest up and avoiding rounding
    of the back.
  • Breathe consistently and focus on control and proper technique.

Disclaimer

This series does not serve as specific medical advice, and should be viewed as educational ONLY. Chronic pain is an individual and complex experience, and as such, any treatment needs to be tailored to the individual. Always seek advice from a relevant medical professional before undertaking any treatment or exercise program.

 

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