Back pain is among the common chronic conditions experienced by many people. While working out has been proven to prevent back pain and support healing, exercise can also have negative effects when done incorrectly. So, if you experience back pain during or after working out, you probably are doing something wrong.
Keep in mind that improper performance can have a damaging effect on your general well-being. Therefore, to guarantee your safety and best results, make sure that you check with your doctor before starting any physical training program, especially if you have an existing lower back injury.
Below are some common exercise mistakes that can cause lower back pain and how to avoid them.
Not warming up
Failure to warm up can cause back pain or worsen it. When your muscles are inactive or have not been warmed up, they become inflexible and hard, which will cause them to strain and could result in tears when exposed to any abrupt, massive force.
Therefore, before doing any type of exercise, begin with a warm-up routine if you want to protect your back from injuries. According to the American Heart Association, performing a dynamic warm-up will help increase the plasticity, as well as the temperature of your muscles, eventually preventing injury during your workout routine.
That said, your warm-up regimen must have mobility elements that aim to open the hips, shoulders, and upper back. After that, do some stabilization work to focus on activating your back core muscles, obliques, glutes, and shoulders in a forward and backward motion.
Before any workout, make sure that you do at least five minutes of warm-up.
Starting with heavy weights
Most injuries during weight training occur when a person lifts weights that are too heavy. While you may want to challenge yourself, you should consider starting gradually with small weights and progressing to heavier ones.
Start lifting and be on the lookout for any discomfort. In case of any uneasiness, go below that weight. For example, if you are uncomfortable lifting 30 lb dumbbells, do yourself a favor and switch to the 25 lb dumbbells. And remember that pain is never normal when performing exercises.
So, begin with the basics and always stay under the pain-triggering weight.
Improper techniques when exercising
There are some types of workouts that require your back muscles to complete. For instance squats, deadlifts and other movements will require you to bend your back. So, to make sure that you are doing your workout safely, ensure that you are doing the movement correctly.
If you are unsure of the right technique, fitness coaching will be your best bet. A fitness coach will work with you to ensure that you are doing your exercises right.
Most people don’t experience lower back pain immediately after working out. The pain gets apparent after some time because they put too much pressure on one part for a long time. Note that repetitive movements or concentrating too much on a particular muscle group can create a disparity and lead to slow wearing and tearing of joints and muscles.
Again, working with a personal trainer will help you as the personalized programs will have different workouts that target different muscle groups.
Improper use of gym equipment
You can develop back pain by using gym equipment the wrong way. For example, it can be very easy to hurt your neck and shoulder joints when using pulldowns behind your neck. This is because they put pressure on the joints and leave little room for joints to move. On the other hand, you can develop back pain by over-bending your back when bench pressing weights and doing shoulder presses, and not engaging your muscles for stability.
Ignoring your core muscles
Your core muscles play a significant role when it comes to supporting your spine – the front abdominal muscles and the lateral ones. These muscles have different functions and strengthening them must be a gradual and progressive plan (stability, mobility, stamina, strength, and power moves). That said, failure to build stamina in these muscles can result in back pain as your body will depend on other structures, like spinal discs and ligaments, for support.
Ignoring back training
The thought of training your back can be scary, especially if you have a pre-existing injury and are prone to spasms. And while there are numerous treatments for back pain, most are contentious and have contradictory evidence.
So, it can be very overwhelming and confusing to pick a pain management method. Fortunately, strength training can work miracles.
Weight training is the best way to make your bones and muscles stronger. It’s vital to continue training your back, which plays a significant role in supporting your spine and general stability. What’s more, having stronger back muscles means you are less prone to injuries and are more prepared to manage pain and injuries.
Pushing your body too far
Pain is never okay when working out. So keep in mind that pushing your body to the point where you experience pain can lead to back pain and muscle fatigue. Therefore, it’s essential to listen to your body and give it enough time to heal.
Avoid injuries by doing your workouts at a speed you are comfortable with and avoid unnecessary straining. Besides, every workout routine has a modified version made for people of different fitness levels.
A Personal Trainer Can Help Prevent Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is common during exercise, especially if you have a pre-existing back injury. However, it is possible to avoid injuring your back when working out by setting reasonable fitness goals, starting slow, staying below the pain triggering weight, and working with a personal trainer.
Nathan Demetz is the personal trainer you need. He will do an assessment during your workout to determine if you are compensating and create a workout plan that will help relieve your back pain. Contact him now!
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!