Five Ways to Strengthen Your Client’s Back

It’s your job as a trainer to train and strengthen your client’s whole body, not just isolated parts. However, some of your clients might be experiencing back pain and need some extra attention in how to properly strengthen it. Of course, you should instruct your client to see their doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise program to ensure they don’t make their current problem worse.

Once released by a health care professional, you can use the following tips to get your client’s back in tip top shape.

1. Pool Exercises

If a pool is available at the gym you train at, pool exercises provide an excellent opportunity for strengthening the back, especially if your client has experienced back pain in the past. Due to its low impact nature, it will provide plenty of good exercise without adding unnecessary strain to your clients’ muscles. Swimming is one of the best exercise choices because it tones and strengthens every part of the body and gives you an aerobic workout at the same time. Your client can find water aerobics classes at many fitness centers. This is something you can instruct your client can do on his own time and not during your training time.

2. Use Machines

To exercise and strengthen the entire back in a single session; utilize machines like the lat pull down, shoulder press and chin up bar. If your client is just beginning an exercise regime, show them how to properly perform each so they can eventually perform them on their own without risk of injury. Teaching your clients proper form will go a long way in preventing injuries and gaining faster results. Begin with lower weight amounts, and gradually increase the weight as their strength increases.

3. Mix in Free Weights

Mix it up when taking your client through various sessions. Use a combination of machines and free weights. Any movement done with a machine can be duplicated with free weights and will actually produce better results. Some examples are: shoulder raises, seated row, and bent over row. Make sure when you client is in a bent over position, to raise back up slowly.

4. Suggest Yoga

Yoga is good for balance, flexibility and building strength. Yoga is an appropriate class for all fitness levels, including those with chronic back pain. Ensure your client is matched with a qualified yoga instructor so they learn proper technique.

5. Stretching – the most important one

Stretching before exercise and after is absolutely crucial for clients riddled with back pain. Stretching warms up the muscles and helps keep them flexible and prevents future injuries. You can also design a regular stretching routine to specifically work your clients’ back muscles.

By using the five techniques in this article, you can help keep your client’s back healthy and strong. Your client will thank you for helping them learn how to strengthen their entire body by strengthening their back.



These resources are for the purpose of personal trainer growth and development through Continuing Education which advances the knowledge of fitness professionals. This article is written for NFPT Certified Personal Trainers to receive Continuing Education Credit (CEC). Please contact NFPT at 800.729.6378 or [email protected] with questions or for more information.
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