You might be suffering from lower back problems, which might put a full stop to your workout routine, debilitating the quality of your workout.
Moreover, suffering from back pain and other back problems prevent you from getting on with your fitness routine, which adds excess weight, leading to yet another set of questions.
But with the appropriate exercise equipment, you can get the ticket to improvements in your fitness levels.
Elliptical machines, treadmills, step machines, and stationary bikes (source) are such equipment that can help you strengthen your body yet keep you from experiencing stress and high impact on your back.
Moreover, they provide you with a range of benefits, including better heart health and loosening up stiff joints/muscles besides relieving back pain.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks of the best exercise equipment for lower back pain:
- Schwinn 470 Elliptical Trainer
- Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical Machine
- LifeSpan Fitness E5i Commercial Elliptical Trainer
- Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Nautilus R614 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- LifeSpan TR3000i Treadmill
- NordicTrack T 6.5S Treadmill
- BowFlex TreadClimber TC100 Stepper Machine
- ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
- Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
- Marcy Total Body Training Home Gym MD-9010G
See the overview, pros & cons below.
What Are Some Best Exercise Equipment for Lower Back Pain?
If you are curious about the exercise equipment that helps you alleviate lower back pain with exercising, I am happy to say that several cardio machines come to your rescue.
Some of the best include elliptical trainers, treadmills, step machines, and stationary bikes (source).
These types of low-impact aerobic exercise equipment are your best bet when you want to get rid of the excess weight while suffering from chronic back problems.
Losing weight benefits your back as the stress placed on your back reduces as you gradually lose weight.
You also benefit from rapid disc healing and avoid tightening of back muscles.
Exercise Machines that You Must Avoid If You Have Lower Back Pain
Knowing which machines to use when you have back pain is a good thing. But, it is even more necessary to remember those machines that you must never step on while you have chronic back pain as exercising on them can cause further harm than good.
Key equipment that you must avoid:
#1. Lying Leg Press
The name tells it all. You subject your legs to exercising hard, making use of this equipment. This way, your lower back is put under increased stress, which is unnecessary.
The action of moving your legs, which in turn affects your back, has higher risks of leading to herniated discs or even worsening already existing back problems.
#2. Hip Abductor
You use a hip abductor machine to clench together and pull away from the muscles present in your spine. Avoid this at any chance and choose low-impact leg exercises such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals.
#3. Loaded Standing Calf Raise
The equipment is primarily used to exercise your calf muscles, which might make you wonder how it would affect your back.
But, to do this action, your body is forced to carry ample weight on your shoulders. This way, you put your spine under ample stress, which could be avoided altogether if you skip using the loaded standing calf raise.
How to Choose the Best Exercise Equipment for Lower Back Pain?
Each of you has a different goal in mind when you decide upon buying a home gym equipment, and there are plenty of options in the market that satisfy your needs.
If you are one of those hunting for a piece of beneficial cardiovascular equipment that doesn’t increase your lower back pain, you have quite many options.
Choosing the best equipment for back pain depends on several factors, including the type of exercise that you do, ease of use of the equipment, its compactness, and the brands that market these machines.
Go through the following points carefully before concluding to buy any equipment.
#1. Type of Exercise
You might be used to performing a specific activity, and even when you succumb to back problems, you may lookout for a piece of equipment that fulfills your ongoing exercise routine.
For instance, you might be used to walking day in and day out, and purchasing a treadmill might be the smartest choice in this case.
Otherwise, if you are looking mainly for versatility, I recommend you select more flexible equipment that fulfills a variety of other exercising needs.
These days, you are given too many choices that your head spins when you must make a decision. This is where the Internet comes of immense use.
Before you make a choice, it is only wise to understand how good the equipment has worked for other users. Yes. I am talking about user reviews.
There are innumerable reviews both from users and unbiased third parties, that exactly let you know about an equipment’s quality that’s offered by each of the brands.
Go through these reviews diligently as you come to know about the equipment’s pros and cons.
Besides review, warranty is yet another important aspect that’s of prime focus while purchasing equipment.
Make notes of both the duration and scope of coverage before zeroing on a piece of equipment.
#3. Ease of Use & Compactness
We need to assign a dedicated space for the exercise machine when it’s not foldable. So, before you choose a machine, it is better to realize the space that’s available with you for storing the equipment.
While some machines are foldable and could be stored compactly, some are bulkier and occupy ample space.
Some others occupy more space height-wise, too, and a typical example is an elliptical trainer.
Hence, measure your available space for keeping the equipment and performing exercises, storing it away somewhere, and taking care of height measures too while hunting for a piece of exercise equipment.
Benefits of Using Exercise Equipment for Lower Back Pain
Exercising is an activity that brings about not one or two but a whole range of benefits to you irrespective of the kind of exercise that you perform.
Choosing the right fitness routine provides you with wholesome advantages to both your mental as well as physical health when you are suffering from problems such as back pain and more.
Some of the significant benefits of using the ideal exercise equipment for lower back pain include:
- Optimal weight loss/weight maintenance
- Better strengthening to your joints and muscles that are directly related to your spine
- Improved sleep quality
- Enhanced circulation in your spine and surrounding tissues
- A greater range of mobility and flexibility
- Mental health benefits including relief from stress, anxiety, and depression
A home gym setup always gives you the flexibility to exercise in the comfort of your home but also gives other members of your family the headache of having to put up with the noise generated from the equipment.
With the Schwinn 470 Elliptical, you can say goodbye to any noisy action as the manufacturer has made use of their very own patented ECB magnetic resistance technology that assures quiet, smooth, and frictionless movement on the elliptical.
This is also a tech-savvy machine as you can easily connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to ride through fascinating destinations around the world, including squeaky clean green lands and high range mountain making use of iFit.
Experience all of this working out in the presence of experienced fitness coaches who keep motivating you.
The 20-inch stride length elliptical assures a comfortable and good performance when you step onto the machine.
Don’t worry about getting bored working out solely on this equipment as the company brings you 25 resistance levels and a motorized incline (as high as 20 degrees).
This makes it ideal for use for both beginners and advanced trainers.
- The premium-quality steel frame can withstand maximum user weight up to 300 pounds
- Assures versatility with 18 resistance levels
- Excellent flywheels assure a smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride
- Transportation wheels help in easy movement of the machine
- iFit purchase is mandatory which is not appreciated by many buyers
You are already suffering from back problems, which narrow your choice of exercise equipment.
To add to this, your home presents you with ample space crunch that makes it even more difficult to purchase a machine.
In this case, you might be frustrated, and I am glad to suggest the Evolve 3 model from Horizon Fitness as a relief to all of your sufferings.
The equipment is designed with the FeatherLight Folding System that enables you to fold it up in an instant soon after using it.
Buy Evolve 3 if you suffer from a smaller space crunch as this machine satisfies your need for optimal performance as well as compactness.
Still, you don’t find that the Horizon Fitness brand has compromised on performance as it is provided with a 20-inch stride length that’s perfect for tall as well as short users.
The smoothness and quiet operation of the machine is guaranteed by its 18 lb flywheel and the magnetic resistance system, which provides you with 20 different resistance levels.
So, you can forget about your chances of getting bored with the elliptical in some time.
The equipment oozes versatility as it contains as many as 30 different pre-set programs, which keep you challenged and motivated to exercise any day of the week.
You can monitor your daily progress using the 5.5 inches backlit LCD screen, which shows you a measure of various metrics, including heart rate.
Keep yourself entertained using the pair of built-in speakers to listen to your favorite music or watch any interesting videos using the media shelf provided to keep your tablet/smartphone.
- Foldable, compact, and easy to store
- Superb versatility with 30 different pre-set programs and 20 resistance levels
- Optimal stride length
- No Bluetooth connectivity option available
The LifeSpan E5i boasts of quality and performance with a massive flywheel, user-friendly console, and a self-generating power source that’s good for occupying a minimal footprint.
The E5i has a 20-inch stride length meaning it can accommodate most individuals. The machine is built with sturdiness and promises withstanding maximum user weight up to 375 pounds.
The 34-lb flywheel guarantees smooth performance and optimal resistance as the flywheel’s weight are on the higher range than normally seen.
You are also provided with 20 different resistance levels that could be easily changed with the push of a button to keep your workout challenging and engaging.
Above all, the E5i needs absolutely zero power to function. Operating on a self-generating magnetic system, you are spared of any extra electricity charges which the elliptical could incur otherwise.
When it comes to additional accessories, you are quite surprised by the versatility offered here too.
You get to enjoy a 7.5-inch backlit display that shows your progress metrics, including speed, time, and distance, monitors heart rate by placing your hands on the sensors available in the handlebars, and can also work out from the 21 different pre-set programs available.
Enjoy listening to songs or watching videos as the equipment is Bluetooth-enabled, has built-in speakers, a USB port, a tablet shelf, and a water bottle holder too to keep you well-hydrated.
- Self-generated power
- The massive flywheel of 34 lbs that guarantees smooth performance
- Superb warranty
- Two front-mounted transport wheels
- Tablet shelf when used could block the console display
- Absence of inclination levels
- LCD is not up to the mark
Though back problems might be a health issue faced by anyone across different age groups, it is predominantly faced by seniors.
Schwinn, one of the frontrunners in manufacturing exercise equipment, has understood this concept extremely well and has used the expertise in coming up with a world-class model that’s affordable yet performance-oriented.
So, if you are a senior person suffering from lower back pain and on the lookout for an easy-to-use recumbent bike, the Schwinn 230 model should be ideal for use.
The frame is sturdy, and the construction is done smartly, implementing the step-through design, which makes it easy for anyone, especially the elderly, to get on and off the seat. This design even helps those using a walker to use the bike conveniently.
You get to enjoy 20 different resistance levels and 20 different preset workout programs that help you choose any program of your wish, depending on your training ability.
Besides this, additional features including dual LCD monitors for viewing metric stats, grip heart rate monitor for monitoring your heart rate, and transport wheels for easy maneuvering of the equipment make this model a great bargain for you.
- Comfortable seat
- Extremely easy to get on/off, especially for seniors
- Superb warranty of 10 years on the frame
- Optimal resistance levels
- Some people complain about the accuracy of the heart rate monitor
A cornerstone of home fitness equipment, Nautilus is a brand that’s sailed through decades of competition and emerged successfully as manufacturers of affordable equipment.
You could compare Nautilus’ R614 to Schwinn’s 230 discussed previously.
Both are similar in many aspects, and the R614 could be called the more advanced model with many more features and options comparatively.
There are 20 different resistance levels and 22 different workout programs offered here. If you want a quick workout, you always have the option to get on the bike and do your manual workout—the most preferred one by most seniors.
This model is designed with utmost caution to make it as comfortable as possible for seniors to use.
The backrest and seat are ergonomically designed with optimal contouring that makes it comfortable as well as supportive.
With seat adjustability and step-through frame getting on and off the bike should be a piece of a cakewalk for all seniors. The back is vented to help you cool down, and there are 3-speed fans to increase comfort levels.
- Great warranty with ten years on frame
- Easy to get on/off
- LCD and heart rate monitor
- USB charging port, speakers, and fan are additional attractions
- Some individuals don’t find the seat to be as comfortable as proposed
Coming from a brand that’s primary focus is on performance, LifeSpan’s TR3000i is the most advanced compact treadmill manufactured by the brand.
You could easily make use of this treadmill if you want something compact for your home. When unfolded, it has a footprint of 71″ x 33″, and on folding, it occupies not more than 42″ x 33″.
Also, for a compact-sized treadmill, it has a running surface of 20″ x 56″, which is pretty large comparatively.
Still, tall users could find the deck size to a bit small for serious running though they could walk or jog comfortably on the same.
The machine has a considerable motor speed of 2.75 CHP and can go up to a speed of 12 mph.
Besides this, you get to enjoy 15 levels of motorized incline, which help you experience the versatility of the equipment.
You can witness your performance, making use of the touchscreen color console that displays all your required metric details.
- Maximum user weight capacity up to 350 lbs
- 21 workout programs and 15 levels of inclination
- Lifetime warranty on frame
- A compact treadmill that occupies a smaller footprint
- Smaller running deck
- Motor performance is not top in class
Coming from the homes of one of the prominent fitness brands in the world, the T 6.5S model is one of the most compact ones that’s released by the company.
They are occupying a slightly larger footprint (73″ x 36″ when unfolded and 38″ x 36″ when folded) than the LifeSpan model mentioned above; this equipment’s running space is also a tad shorter comparatively (20″ x 55″).
The motor speed is average around 2.6 CHP, and its maximum speed is only ten mph with a maximum inclination of up to 10% possible.
The motor capacity is good enough for walking and jogging, but if you want to run continuously, I suggest you go for a treadmill that has a capacity of at least 3.0 CHP.
The best thing about this equipment is its provisioning to adjust the shock absorption system (FlexSelect Cushioning).
You can choose between a softer and firmer feel that mimics your running surface outside. The equipment supports maximum user weight up to 300 lbs.
The machine offers you with 20 different built-in workouts, one-touch speed, and incline option, and is even iFit compatible.
Make use of your smartphone/tablet to enjoy the features offered by iFit and reap excellent benefits.
- One of the best budget-friendly treadmills
- Easy to fold and store
- Good warranty
- FlexSelect Cushioning system
- The running surface is short
- Customer service is not noteworthy
Are you looking for a multi-purpose machine that offers you the benefits of working out on several machines in the form of single equipment? If so, don’t look beyond the Bowflex Stepper.
This equipment combines the functionality of a stepper, treadmill, and an elliptical, bringing to you an exceptional workout regimen that’s satisfying and comfortable.
You are provided with foot treadles (belts which move) that enable you to perform a normal climbing motion and also provide you with an elliptical’s functioning—move forward as well as up and down.
The stepper from Bowflex promises strong build and a superb construction designed to accommodate user weight up to 300 pounds.
Whatever you choose to do, there is the provisioning for 12 different resistance levels. In case you want to use the stepper as a treadmill or an elliptical, it can go up to 4 miles/hour.
The LCD screen provisioning helps you track usual metric statistics except for heart rate monitoring.
- 3-in-1 cardio equipment combining the advantages of a stepper, treadmill, and an elliptical
- A low-impact workout that’s easy on joints/back
- Compact design and superb built
- Four different LCD screens show metric values
- 300-pound max capacity
- Durability is questionable
- Quite expensive
Similar to the Bowflex model above, the ProForm Elliptical Trainer combines the functioning of a step machine and an elliptical.
However, the term ‘stepper’ isn’t mentioned anywhere in the machine’s name.
The best part is that all of these are offered at almost 50% lesser price than the Bowflex machine.
The pedal’s elliptical footpath differentiates it clearly from a normal step machine and requires additional efforts from the user due to its measurements that guarantee better health results.
The handlebars are also movable, promising you a great workout for your arms, shoulders, back, and core.
Hence, this equipment offers a total body workout that’s good for the upper body as well as your legs and butt.
This way, you are assured of burning higher calories and building more strength.
Don’t worry about the impact of the equipment as you are guaranteed of a low-impact workout as your feet stands permanently on the oversized, cushioned pedals all through the session.
The warranty period is great, with a lifetime warranty offered for the frame.
You also get great additional features, including an LCD screen, a 2-speed fan, a water bottle holder, and a tablet holder that helps you sync with iFit and explore the different landscapes of the world.
- 24 resistance settings and 32 pre-defined workout programs
- 28-pound flywheel provides magnetic resistance
- A low-impact workout that’s good for individuals with lower back pain
- Durability is not promised
- Customer service isn’t good
Dreaming of building muscles and improving overall body strength? Don’t wait anymore, but finalize on purchasing the Bowflex Xceed.
The machine might not be quite versatile for hoisting Olympic weight plates but must be good enough for home gym use.
You can set your weight loss target and forget about it as performing regularly on the machine helps you get in shape without any doubt.
It offers up to 410 lbs of upgradable resistance, and the standard resistance level offered includes 210 lbs.
Be guaranteed to enjoy a versatile exercising experience as the upper and lower pulley system, multiple workout stations, and various attachments help you do more than 65 movements.
- Space-saving design as the rail could be folded
- Built-in aerobic rower
- Perform over 65 movements
- Extremely affordable
- Doesn’t offer the best lower-body workout
- Power rods tend to lose resistance over time
Having the Marcy MD-9010G model in your home gym promises you a lifetime of exercising options as the machine is extremely sturdy and made of heavy-duty material.
The home gym boasts of a premium-quality steel frame with a powder-coated finish.
The aircraft cable used can withstand tensile strength up to 2000lbs, promising utmost durability.
You get the perks of a range of Olympic plate-loaded stations, which include a free-weight squat rack and a Smith machine, and also a dual high-pulley cable crossover system.
This is an ultimate combination offering you with innumerable options to exercise.
Besides these, the company has also fulfilled the basic multi gym features of providing a low row station, butterfly arms, leg developer, and a preacher pad.
Workout different muscle groups, perform a variety of arm and chest exercises developing your biceps, triceps, pectorals, and every other muscle group, and do a combination of workouts at ease using this home gym equipment.
- Extremely sturdy and built from heavy-duty material
- Provided with all accessories that are required for full-body workouts
- Target multiple muscle groups simultaneously
- Good for intense weightlifting or strength training
- Weight plates must be bought at an additional cost
- Absence of pull-up bar
- Deck build doesn’t allow you to perform a range of movements
In today’s world, suffering from joint/knee problems or lower back pain issues are commonly witnessed among individuals.
Never quit exercising; quoting these reasons as such an action would only lead you to greater troubles in terms of weight gain, muscle rigidness, and so on.
It is better to discuss to your doctor about the various exercise equipment possible for your health status before proceeding to look out for any exercise machine.
Never lose hope about staying fit. If some machine isn’t right for you, there are always plenty of other exercising options to choose from.
Select the best one by making use of the list above and reap ultimate health benefits without causing impact to your back.