If You Have Lower Back Pain When Standing And Sitting…

Dave T. had a question about how to eliminate lower back pain from standing or sitting for a long time. Quote of his email…

Hi Mehdi,

They say that if someone has succeeded in something you want, you should emulate what they did. I remember reading that you used to get lower back pain from standing, but since you’ve been lifting it went away. I have suffered this for as long as I can remember. I also get back pain from sitting for a long time; Sometimes between my shoulder blades, usually in my lumbar spine.

You’ve given plenty of anecdotal evidence that stronglifts can resolve these kind of issues, but I’m wondering what specifically do you attribute it to? Is it because you are standing a different way, because you learned how to stand, or is it because you are just stronger now?

Thanks for the fantastic resource,


I indeed used to have lower back pain when standing, I remember going out with friends and after a few hours I had to sit on a chair because my lower back hurt. This was in my early 20s, I was already lifting weights. Fast forward today, age 30, I no longer have any lower back pain when standing or walking.

Looking back, in my case the lower back pain was caused by poor posture from years of sedentary lifestyle (playing videogames for hours as a kid, then IT job). As a result, my shoulders slouched forward, my hip flexors were tight, and I had too much arch in my lower back (hyper-lordosis). Look at the pic below…

The Anterior Pelvis Tilt or hyper-lordosis or just “monkeybutt” in layman’s term is what puts stress on your lower back when standing for long times. I even had back pain when walking, and when doing Squats and Deadlifts (because I was lifting with my lower back, instead of using my hip muscles correctly).

Guys suffering of this kind of back pain will often say they have a “weak lower back”. Even I used to think that. But rarely is it weak, it’s just overworked from the poor posture. The solution is therefore simple: stretch your hip flexors to realign your pelvis, and stretch your chest to put your shoulders back.

Not all back pain is caused by this. But from my experience, guys who work in IT like I did for 5 years and who sit a lot behind a computer, will often have hyper-lordosis. So yes, my lower back pain is gone because I’m standing in a different, CORRECT way, and by eliminating this back pain I’ve been able to get stronger at Squats and Deadlifts today at age 30 than in my early 20s.

As for back pain when sitting: get a chair with proper lower back support. A standard chair obviously doesn’t work with the different bodytypes, you need an adjustable, ergonomic chair. I work from home since 4y, spend most of my time working behind a computer, and own the BMA Axia chair (950€, not cheap, but investment in your spine). I don’t think you can get that outside of Europe though, try the Aeron from HM, I’ve heard good stuff about it.

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