Backstroke – the benefits for back pain

Swimming, especially backstroke, is an excellent form of exercise for those suffering from back pain.

Being in the water frees you from the constraints gravity usually imposes on our bodies.

Maintaining an active lifestyle when you have back pain is important when it comes to relieving daily aches and pains, and swimming has many benefits.

Swimming can provide a light cardiovascular exercise coupled with resistance raining, this combined with the weightlessness that you feel in the water can provide a low-impact workout for the whole spine!

Let’s take a look at 5 benefits you can enjoy as a result of regular time spent swimming on your back!

  1. Backstroke helps in back pain relief.

Backstroke can be very beneficial for back pain sufferers as it is a naturally slower stroke that provides you with more control over your movements in the water.  Swimming the backstroke with your back straight and parallel to the pool floor can work the core muscles as well as helping with flexibility in the shoulders.

Also, with this stroke you are not as prone to hyperextension compared to the other strokes.

  1. Can help reduce pain from osteoarthritis.

Being in the pool can help minimise stiffness and joint pain as it places far less stress on the joints compared to land-based exercises.

Backstroke stretches and strengthens the back whilst doing the same for the arms.  You may be pleasantly surprised by the results you are able to achieve with swimming the backstroke!

  1. Backstroke can help improve posture.

When it is executed correctly swimming on your back can be extremely beneficial for posture, in particular round shoulders, because it helps to return the shoulders to their proper alignment.  It also strengthens the other muscle groups that give support to the spine and shoulders.

  1. It provides a whole-body workout.

Swimming on your back provides a whole-body workout that is especially helpful to the latissimus dorsi muscles (lats) in your back.  It also works the chest, arms legs, glutes, and core.

Consistent swimming on your back will help all these muscles grow stronger.  As an added bonus, you may even notice your muscles will become attractively toned as your strength increases!

  1. Strengthen the heart.

Swimming is considered a low to medium impact activity that can give a fantastic cardio workout.

As the water is supportive of your weight as you swim, the backstroke is far gentler on the body than high impact cardio exercises like jogging or running.  Swimming can make the heart work more efficiently by making it stronger.  A stronger heart pumps blood more efficiently, meaning you will gain improved circulation throughout the whole body!

A final note..

There are, of course, numerous possible causes of back pain, so before starting any exercise programme speak to your Chiropractor to see if swimming could be the right exercise for you.

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or [email address=””