Your Back Or Your Body? | Torch Fitness

Your Back Or Your Body?

Intermediate Plank

You can actually have both!

But for so many, they have one or sometimes none.

Calgary bootcamps are soaring and various fitness classes pop up in video and online each and every day!

It’s definitely an exciting time to want to get in shape; but why are so many people suffering from back pain?

One of my mentors (and coach) is a world renowned back expert and he has mentioned that EVERY single person, at some point in their life will experience back pain! That’s not good.

Before people even come and see me, I often get emails mentioning an injury that they already have. I feel bad…it shouldn’t be that way and it is not fun to live in pain and have the vitality that you possess get stripped away from you, even for a short period of time?

When I fix back pain with my clients, or at the very least, help to minimize it, I use two key strategies:

1)      I provide custom exercises that protect the back during the rebuild phase as it continues to gain strength.

2)      I inquire about previous exercise routines to see if they may have contributed to the problem.

I’d like to take a closer look at the second point, but before I do, I wanted to share with you one of my exercises I use for my clients, in hopes that it will help you keep a strong back and help to remove any pain if you do suffer from back pain.

Tara (one of the great trainers here) and myself shot this for those around the world who want to have a strong and healthy back.

Have a look and if you can find a way to do this, you’d be on your way to a healthier back. Even if you have a healthy back, this is a great exercise to keep it that way!


Give this exercise a try and let me know by commenting below, how it is working for you.

Believe it or not, back pain will not easily disappear if the root cause (the problem) is not removed. Now many people are surprised to hear that certain exercises are bad for your back, even though they have been promoted as healthy.

I just want to make sure you don’t do these exercises, and if you are, try to substitute them or improve them by keeping the back safe.

I’ve listed 5 fitness exercises that are popular for your core. And 5 variations to get you slimmer while keeping the back safer.

1)      Full-sit up  

personal trainer calgary 1






Note the rounded back in this picture (that is a huge cause of low back pain when done over and over again)

Do this crunch instead


calgary bootcamp exercise






This is more effective to tone and keeps the low back in neutral


2)      Superman   

calgary bootcamp class






Very popular around the world, this exercise was tested and puts almost 3000 pounds of force on the low back. It is a poorly designed exercise.


Do bird dog instead

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This will give you great back strength and a firm bum. If you look closely at my hips, you’ll see that the cheek of the leg that is up, cannot be seen.

It’s not sticking up. If you can manage that, which I know you can, you’ll have a great core exercise that works the low back, bum and obliques muffin top)


3)      Burpees      

calgary personal trainer burpee






This one is world famous and many hate them. One reason, aside from shortening your hip flexors (which attach to your low back) is that they are uncomfortable and they too cause a rounding of the back.

* Remember it’s not one single movement that will hurt us, it’s moving poorly over and over again that will, over time, have the back give out


do modified burpees instead

calgary personal trainer good burpee






This bench still allows a great jump portion and a fast kick in and out without going so low.


4)      Seated twists 

Calgary bootcamp twist






Anytime the hips are stuck and cannot move (in this case they are stuck to the floor) the back does a lot of the work.

When we twist like this, it’s like ringing out our spine, similar to wringing out a dish cloth. It’s rotation pressure that the back was not meant to absorb, unless the hips were allowed to join them (they move as well).


Do seated reaches

Calgary personal trainer rotation






Say by by muffin top if you eat well and do this beauty. Notice all I do is reach out and away, but don’t twist my back.

Go back to the picture above and see the difference in my shoulders and how far they turned.


5)      Arched planks 

calgary bootcamp plank






If the abdominals are not strong, the body will do one of two things to hold us up. 1) Arch the back, which is not healthy and 2) let the hips sag (I am doing both in this picture)

Do strong planks instead

calgary personal trainer plank






Imagine how you stand and talk to someone. Nice good posture with your back in a nice neutral position. Visualize that and hold that same position in the plank.

You’ll hold it for less in the beginning but you’ll reap the benefits of it in both strong muscles and a healthy back in the long run.


Begin one step at a time to change the way you move and also be patient in rebuilding your back. If it is injured, it most likely took time to get there and will take some time to get back to 100%.

 You can do it though! Trust me, I’ve helped relieve back pain in many!

If you know anyone with back pain, or any passionate about their health and their fitness, be a great source of knowledge and share this with them.

Train Smart!



  1. Great article – love the video and the alternate, back protecting exercises.

  2. Super article Aaron! So glad you did the video as well.^_^
    Nice job Tara!

  3. There’s certainly a lot to know about this subject.
    I really like all the points you made.

    Look at my web page; How To Remove Cellulite

    • Thanks! With all the information out there, it’s best to try a program or approach for 1-2 months to see the value.

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