Working out is a good way to strengthen your body, though one bad move can leave you in severe back pain – and possibly send you to the ER. The fear of getting an injury is what restricts most people from starting exercise. Injuries are part and parcel of workouts but it does not mean you should stop exercising or caring about your physical fitness.
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To minimize the chances of back injuries, the best way is to take precautions while performing different workouts. To make this easier for you, we are going to talk about the things that you need to avoid while doing workouts to avoid lower back pain.
8 Tips to Avoid Lower Back Injuries
1. Stretch out
Make stretching an essential part of your daily workout routine. Stretching has little impact on your body, but it is extremely beneficial in keeping your muscles and body active. Stretches also help the blood circulate properly in your body.
Given the benefits of stretching, perform the following back-friendly stretches 8–10 times per day in the morning:
Press-up: Lie on your stomach in such a position that your hands are on the floor as if you are doing a push-up. Press the upper part of your body upward while keeping the lower part close to the ground.
Back pocket Stretch: Stand up and place both of your hands behind you, as if they were in your back pockets. Look up and extend your back.
2. Begin with the Fundamentals
You cannot deny the importance of your core muscles, especially when you are engaged in weight lifting exercises. Engaging and strengthening your core muscles is the key to building a strong and stable back.
Having a weak core result in back pain when the ligaments and bones bear more weight than they can endure. However, if you have a strong core, it takes the weight from ligaments and bones and distributes it all over the core.
Related Reading: Best Workouts to Help Strengthen Your Core
3. Look for your posture while lifting weights
Showing negligence to proper posture or positioning while lifting weights is one of the biggest reasons for back injuries while working out. Therefore, always keep your spine straight and chin up while lifting weights.
If you are unsure about your posture, don’t hesitate to ask your trainer or someone around who knows about the right posture. Also, try to work out with machines, rather than free weights.
4. Wear proper workout attire
Doing exercise in loose or baggy clothes and wearing torn running shoes can cause real trouble for you. Many injuries are caused due to improper or worn-out shoes without any support. Try wearing proper gym wear, it will not only help you make your posture right but also motivate you to work out more.
5. Rest your back after prolonged bending
The human body has a very intelligent mechanism. It will start giving you signals when it gets tired. Assess those signals and back off.
Of course, you need to push your body to build your stamina. But the key is to push gradually and slowly. Rest for 3-5 minutes after doing a prolonged set of bending exercises. Ignoring to give some rest to your back can lead you to severe injuries, muscle spasms and pain in the lower back.
Related Reading: Rest Days are Important and Why You Should Take Them
6. Eat a Balanced Diet and Hydrate
What you drink or eat is as important as your workout for a perfect body. After the workout, taking a high protein diet is essential to boost your energy and repair broken muscles during the session.
Workouts also cause a lot of sweating that reduces your body’s hydration level. However, drink ample water after working out to recharge your body.
It will be vital to consult with a Sports nutritionist to know when and how much food you need to intake for keeping you healthy and energized.
7. Tighten up your Glutes
Your core is not the only set of muscles that help lock your spine in the right place, glutes are equally important in this area. Before you start to lift some weight, tighten up your glutes so that you are aware of the feeling.
Contracting your glutes will make you able to lock the hips and lower back into place and move together, instead of moving separately.
8. Avoid lifting excessive weight
Although weight lifting is a highly effective form of exercise, it can also bring some serious injuries to your lower back, and other parts of your body. Practicing the wrong technique or trying to lift excessive weight than your physical capacity is always harmful. Remember, your focus should be on repetitions, rather than the amount of weight you are lifting.
Now that you have a plan of action about how you can work out without getting injured, have a safe, enjoyable workout!
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