Exercises You Need To Avoid When Suffering From Bulging Disc

A professional physiotherapist will recommend a number of exercise techniques that can lessen the impact of a bulging disc, at the same time it is important to avoid some of these techniques which can potentially aggravate the problem. As a result, causing the pain to worsen and making mobility more difficult.

A majority of the patients who suffer from this problem have their lumbar spine affected which can lead to severe discomfort. The reason which most of the professionals have attributed towards the lumbar region being more affected than others is that we tend to use the associated spine a lot for carrying out usual day to day activities.

Following are some of the exercises you should avoid


You will often find people performing crunches when they look to attain abs which certainly can be useful since it helps in straightening the abdominal muscles by burning excessive fat. This exercise is done by achieving a straight lying position with knees bent, and with this posture, the back is lifted.

Unable to perform in this certain manner can exert immense pressure onto the lumbar spine. Therefore, if you find yourself suffering from Bulging Disc, then it is pertinent to avoid this exercise in its entirety. Failure to do so can lead to an extreme amount of discomfort and can intensify the pain.

Leg Presses

Another commonly performed exercise by gym freaks, leg presses are carried out by pushing a certain amount of weight with the help of your legs. Usually, people gain more satisfaction when they are able to push larger weights. Though you may be able to build up knee and hip muscles through this exercise, what you might not be aware of the fact is that your lumbar spine is under great pressure.

Regardless, if you have support in the back region when performing. An individual who has a herniated disc will find that frequently carrying out leg presses can be troublesome in the longer run. Pain will tend to get worse and the symptoms may exacerbate to the extent where daily activities cannot be carried out. Hence, you may look for other leg exercises than pushing weights!

Seated Exercise

If you are someone who spends most of his/her time in the gym doing seated cardio like cycling, then your lumbar spine may potentially be at significant risk. Although you may be able to build endurance in your legs and thigh region.

Moreover, if you are inflicted with bulging disc then performing seated exercises are a big NO! What these exercises essentially do is create a rounded back which in turn exacerbates the conditions. You may find the disc to bulge more, the consequence of which is a profound pain.

There have been instances, where it became nearly impossible for people to carry out daily chores due to the sheer discomfort caused. In addition, you may also not be able to perform other seated activities like driving.
With all the unfortunate picture that has been painted so far with the aforementioned discussion, you may still continue to perform certain exercises with some precautions.

It is important to maintain a straight posture and duration should not be more than half n hour. Always grease the paddles, so less pressure is exerted.


Weighted Lateral Bends

Individuals with bulging disc need to avoid doing weighted lateral bends. When performing a lateral bend, the person will stretch slightly on the sides. The whole body weight is shifted onto one side in one instance followed by shifting to the other side.

Good for burning unnecessary fat that has accumulated on the waist region but at the same time putting tremendous pressure on the back and lumbar spine. This will aggravate the pain and lead to a serious amount of discomfort. Dr. Sinawi, a chiropractor at Complete Spine & Joint Center in Detroit, Michigan briefs about certain cases of young people he has witnessed in recent times.

He reports that most of the patients he deals with, are the ones who spend ample amount of time in the gym. Though, in no way, he prescribes against physical exercise, for it is important to maintain a healthy schedule. However, patients who were suffering from intense pain due to bulging disc were involved in carrying out weight lifting activities in an improper manner.

One such activity was weighted lateral bend. Dr. Sinawi also asserts that young people should avoid lateral bends if they want to be safe from spine problems later in life.


Another weight training exercise, where an individual lifts a great amount of weight from a standing position without any support. As the individual bends down to lift the weight, he/she uses his/her back which in turn puts pressure on the lumbar spine.

The consequence of which is a rounded back, similar to that of seated exercise. A rounded back due to deadlifts will cause the person to experience pain and discomfort. The symptoms are aggravated to the extent where day to day work productivity is reduced to nil.

People with bulging disc will find that simple tasks like walking few distances is difficult to carry out and may need external support to execute that activity. Chiropractors strongly advise against deadlifts to prevent severe damage to the spine. In rare circumstances, this exercise can also cause fractures in the spinal region.


Squatting and crunches are two of the most frequently carried out exercise to achieve abs in the abdominal region. When an individual performs a squat, he/she shifts the entire body weight downwards to knee length using the lower back and then pushes upwards again exerting pressure on to the pack.

While you may end up burning a significant amount of calories and strengthen your abdominal muscles due to squatting, you tend to put your spine at a considerable disadvantage. People who suffer from bulging disc will aggravate the symptoms of the condition.

Therefore, to avoid any further complications, as an imperative step squatting should be kept to minimal. Overweight people are more prone to intense pain if they use this exercise as a weight-losing mechanism.


Seated rowing is one of the few exercises that demands strenuous effort and is usually carried out for strengthening the shoulder muscles and biceps. By holding a bar like a handle, the person propels his/her body backward and forward while remaining seated.

Though rowing will help you burn several calories within a short span of time, it is recommended to not perform it if you happen to suffer from bulging disc. Shoulders might be used in the execution process, but the spinal region is prone to strain when the body moves backward. As a result, intensifying the symptoms of the bulging disc condition.

Preacher Curl

This again is a seated weight lifting exercise where the person rests his/her arms against the preacher bench and lifts weight accordingly. The arms are extended, and biceps are allowed to be fully stretched, weights are then lifted up to the top ending position of the preacher bench.

This exercise will help increase bicep mass. In comparison to other activities, the impact may not be that profound. However, when lifting up, if you are unable to retain a straight posture and use your back muscles to lift the weights, then you stand at a risk of aggravating your bulging disc symptoms.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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