When dealing with an aching back, the last thing you feel like doing is a workout, I know. But when it comes to back pain, gentle exercise really is the best medicine. Studies show it can work about as well as physical therapy for injuries, and that a strengthening program for your core may actually help you alleviate minor back pain for good.

Below you will find a super simple routine to help protect your back from pain. You’ll want to work this circuit into any strength-training you’re already doing—repeat the circuit three times, and do it twice a week.

(Important: If you’re dealing with shooting pains or an acute back injury, check with your doctor before you start any exercise routine, including this one.)

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