Our first instinct when suffering from back pain is to rest up and let the pain naturally subside.

But many experts agree that performing certain exercises can actually help strengthen your muscles, support your spine and relieve that debilitating pain in your back.

Not sure which exercises are good and bad for back pain? We asked the fitness professionals at Fitness First, who have found 7 of the best exercises to help.

Before trying any of these exercises, always remember to consult a fitness professional or doctor who can advise on the best options for you.

[Related story: 7 stretches to relieve joint pain and loosen achy joints]
 

Beat back pain with… aerobic exercise

Start with short sessions and build them up over time. Good forms of aerobic exercise for those suffering from back pain include walking, swimming and cycling.

If you’re in the gym, opt for a bike which has back support, and if you’re swimming avoid any strokes that twist your body.

Beat back pain with… Pilates

Pilates works the deeper muscles in the body helping to strengthen your back. For those who suffer from chronic back pain or who are recovering from surgery and have finished with physiotherapy, Pilates is an excellent way to keep improving your back strength focusing on just a few selected movements and working a little at a time.A little and often with Pilates can make a big difference for someone who suffers with back pain. 

Beat back pain with… wall sits

Start by standing 10 to 12 inches from the wall, then lean back until your back is flat against it. Slowly slide down until your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back into the wall.

Hold for a count of 10, then carefully slide back up the wall. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

[Related story: Relieve back pain with these easy stretches]

Beat back pain with… knee to chest

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor.

Keep your lower back pressed to the floor and hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then lower your knee and repeat with the other leg. Do this 2-4 times for each leg.

Beat back pain with… full body roll-up

Lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead. Inhale with your arms to the sky, exhale and slowly roll up into a curve reaching for your toes. Inhale and start to slowly move back in a curve.

Exhale as you uncurl your body, one vertebra at a time back into the mat. Be sure to keep your feet on the ground as you move slowly. Perform 6-8 roll-ups.

Beat back pain with… the plank

Begin by lying on the floor with your forearms flat on the ground, making sure that your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders. Engage your core and raise your body up off the floor, keeping your forearms on the ground and your body in a straight line from head to feet.

Keep your abdominals engaged and try not to let your hips rise or drop. Hold your forearm plank for 30 seconds to start, trying to progress to a 60 second hold.

Beat back pain with… pelvic tilts

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Your upper body should be relaxed and your chin slightly tucked in. Next flatten your lower back on the floor and contract your stomach muscles.

You do it by tilting your pelvis towards your heels. Hold for a few seconds then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.

Share your remedies for beating back pain in the Comments box below.