Overcoming Lower Back Pain with Barbell Exercises: A Unique Approach

Overcoming Lower Back Pain with Barbell Exercises: A Unique Approach


Welcome, Unity Gym tribe! Today's discussion focuses on a discussion from our recent podcast available here on Youtube, where we dicuss a unique method for overcoming lower back pain: mastering the barbell back squat and deadlift. 

The Myth of Dangerous Exercises

Many fear exercises like squats and deadlifts, especially when suffering from lower back pain. However, the real problem often lies in poor technique or excessive weight, leading to poor load management. This topic emerged from a conversation with a UMS Tribe member who had severe back pain and was wary of these exercises.

Personal Journeys and Professional Insights

At Unity Gym, we've seen fear around squats and deadlifts linked to lower back pain. My personal journey from chronic back pain to living symptom-free is a testament to overcoming this fear. Our expertise extends beyond personal experiences, drawing from client success stories and expert physical therapists' case studies.

Changing Perspectives in Physiotherapy

My early interactions with physical therapy included warnings against squatting and deadlifting. As a seasoned professional, I now see a shift in top-tier sports physical therapy, focusing on technique optimization and skill development for pain relief and prevention.

Confronting Misconceptions in Strength Training

It's crucial to challenge the misconception that effective strength training requires heavy weights, deep ranges of motion, and training to failure. This narrow view can hinder recovery and perpetuate injury by fostering a harmful mindset.

The Role of Sports Physiotherapy

Treatment from a sports physiotherapist, whose goal is peak performance or rapid recovery from injury, differs significantly from a general population clinical physiotherapist. Personal experiences with both have highlighted these differences.

Understanding Different Adaptation Rates

Recognizing that individuals adapt at varying rates is key to preventing injury. Customizing exercise intensity and progression ensures safety and effectiveness, particularly for those with a history of back pain.

Leveraging Pain Symptoms

Pain can be an ally if understood correctly. It signals when to modify or intensify training. Ignoring pain can lead to worsening conditions, while using it as a guide can foster a healthier, more sustainable approach to strength training.

The Importance of Proper Technique

Mastering the correct technique in exercises like squats and deadlifts is vital. It not only prevents injury but also maximizes the benefits of these exercises. Regular assessment and adjustment of technique, especially for individuals with lower back pain, are essential.

Balancing Exercise and Recovery

Understanding the balance between exercise and recovery is crucial. Overtraining can exacerbate back pain, while undertraining may hinder progress. Finding the right balance is key to overcoming and preventing lower back pain.


Overcoming lower back pain with barbell exercises is not only possible but can be transformative. By debunking myths, embracing proper techniques, and understanding individual needs, we can turn these exercises into powerful tools for pain relief and strength building. Let's embrace this counterintuitive approach and move towards a healthier, pain-free life.

Learn more by watching the full video here.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Explore Our Incredible UMS

The world's only movement system that balances strength, flexibility & fitness in programmatically structured, efficient 1-hour workouts.