When working out, it’s important to take steps to prevent back injury, otherwise you could be putting your fitness regime on the shelf before you’ve barely even started.
Follow these top tips for an injury free gym session…
It can be tempting to throw yourself into a work out regime all guns blazing, but not pacing yourself is a sure fire way to cause an injury. Don’t try to do everything at once, instead take the advice of a personal trainer and start off with a moderate work out, which you can build on as the weeks progress. Remember to give your body time to recover after a workout too; ideally you should have a day off between sessions so those muscles can rebuild.
Improve your posture
Having an office job can really take its toll on your back. If you sit hunched over a computer all day, chances are the muscles in your upper back are far too tight. This means that when you lift weights at the gym your lower back overcompensates and this ultimately leads to injury.
Fitness expert Justin Price told Men’s Health, the best way to avoid a lower back injury caused by poor posture is to focus on strengthening those upper back muscles and also to always exercise standing up.
Keep a straight back
If you’re undertaking a weight lifting routine, you should remember the number one rule of always keeping your back straight. Whether you’re bending to lift a weight off the floor or squatting with weights balanced on your upper body, focus on maintaining good form to minimise your risk of back injury.
Have a total body work out
According to fitness professionals, focussing your work out on one particular area is a big no-no. Take a balanced approach with your training, remembering that one muscle is connected to another.
David Robson from Bodybuilding.com recommends working on areas that support the spine to create balance. Concentrate on the erector muscles, hamstrings, lower back and abdominals for spinal support.
Stretch it out
One of the key things you can do to reduce your risk of back injury, is to stretch properly before and after a workout. Yoga teacher Jean Koerner recommends the ancient practice to Women’s Health, and said it can specifically ease back pain if practised regularly. Try poses such as the downward dog, the cat-cow sequence and the plank to keep your back flexible.
Lose the gut
Carrying around an excessive amount of stomach fat can have a negative effect on your back, spine specialist Jason Highsmith told Bodybuilding.com. Stomach fat can cause you to lean forward, therefore causing your spine to curve in an abnormal way, plus it overloads the facets and discs. So in addition to hitting the gym, watch those calories too.
Remember, sometimes sustaining an injury isn’t your fault. You can take all the precautions necessary to prevent injury, and yet companies can be guilty of negligence, resulting in an accident. If you need to make a back injury claim then contact some experienced solicitors who’ll help you seek compensation.
How do you avoid back injuries at the gym?
Catherine Halsey is a fitness enthusiast but understands the importance of proper technique and weight when it comes to the gym.