If you’re worried about developing the painful condition of sciatica, and you haven’t been strength training — it’s time to hit the gym and lift those weights.

It’s yet one more benefit to weight workouts: lowering the risk of ever ending up with a nerve problem.

“Some ways to prevent sciatic pain definitely includes strength training of core muscles to help increase stability,” explains Dr. Jeff Langmaid, DC, founder/owner of The Evidence Based Chiropractor, LLC, in Tampa, FLA, a research-based marketing and practice growth company that serves thousands of chiropractors across the globe.

Dr. Langmaid continues, “It’s also important to incorporate flexibility exercises into your routine.

“Strengthening your core muscles can help support your lumbar spine. Core stability and support can decrease the likelihood of an episode of sciatic pain.

“Strength training and core muscles are extremely important, but don’t forget also to temper that with flexibility.

“Our body functions at its optimal potential when we are able to have proper strength and flexibility.”

Strength Training Recommendations for Sciatica Pain Prevention

“Regarding weightlifting and sciatic pain, I recommend a focus more on repetition rather than excessive load,” says Dr. Langmaid.

This means 25 reps with a medium-weight kettlebell, for example, instead of eight reps with a super heavy giant kettlebell.

“You don’t want to perform max load exercise – rather, perform strength training exercises with light weights and more repetitions.”

Another example is a 15 rep deadlift routine. As with the kettlebell swing, proper form is very important with the deadlift.


Dr. Langmaid continues, “Increasing repetition of strength training exercises goes hand-in-hand with core stability.

“This can help prevent sciatic pain. Strength training with maximum load can increase the likelihood of sciatic injury.”

Among the best strength training exercises for preventing sciatica pain are the following: deadlift, bent-over dumbbell row, seated row, kettlebell swing, corner row (below), pushup, pushup-row and squat.

Shutterstock/Oleksandr Zamuruiev

Though these are classic weight training moves, every one of them strengthens the core. Your sciatic nerve will thank you!

Jeff Langmaid, DC
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.