How to Protect Your Back Whilst Weightlifting
Given the complexity of your back’s musculoskeletal structure, it should come as no surprise that it is highly susceptible to injury. As such, it is extremely important to make sure that your back – particularly your lower back – is protected at all times during exercise.
For weightlifters, this is even more important since, although strengthening your back muscles can help prevent injury when done properly, lifting weights incorrectly could cause you some serious physical harm.
With this in mind, this month the Thorne Road Chiropractic team will be offering our readers some tips on how to protect your back whilst weightlifting.
1. Move, move, move
One of the major causes of back pain is quite simply a lack of movement. As a weightlifter, if you spend most of your day rooted to an office chair, this sort of stagnation could cause your back some serious problems. To combat this, try and move around every half an hour.
Ideally, you would get up and walk around, but some simple shoulder rolls or light twisting of your upper body will help to keep things moving.
2. Build your core muscles
One of the key muscle groups that athletes tend to forget about when trying to strengthen their back is the core. Your core muscles are absolutely fundamental when it comes to stabilising your upper body and maintaining good posture, especially whilst lifting.
Consequently, adding exercises which both stabilise and strengthen your core will help to protect your back.
3. Avoid certain exercises
Every weightlifter knows that achieving and maintaining perfect form during your exercises is the key to injury prevention but, alas, we’re all human. When it comes to overhead lifts, even the slightest breakdown in technique can lead to back injury.
In particular, if you allow your lower back to arch during these lifts, you will be putting too much compression on your vertebrae. In this sort of scenario, if the weight you are lifting is too heavy, you could experience vertebrae fractures.
4. Lower weight, higher reps
One problem which can lead straight to back pain, especially with inexperienced lifters, is going too heavy too soon. The reason for this is twofold: 1) when you attempt to lift too much weight during a particular exercise, it may simply be that your musculoskeletal system hasn’t been conditioned sufficiently to bear that load; 2) when you attempt such a lift, your form will almost certainly break down, further increasing the chance of injury.
So, in order to avoid this scenario, try sticking to a lower weight but increasing the number of repetitions. Not only will this stop you overloading your body, it will also allow you to focus on your form, ensuring that you’re ready for when the time comes to increase the weight.
Finally, if you do notice any back pain after you’ve been lifting weights, the last thing that you want to do is ignore it. If the pain is nagging and distinguishable from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), then the best thing you can do is to seek advice from a skilled chiropractor.
If you feel as though your back is suffering due to a particular weightlifting regime, then look no further than Thorne Road Chiropractic Clinic. Based in Doncaster, our unmatched team of skilled chiropractors can identify and relieve numerous musculoskeletal problems through the careful manipulation of your spine. For further information, or to book yourself in, give us a call today.