Lower back pain is a BIG problem. As coaches, we come across a number of common mistakes clients make.
Identifying these common mistakes early, and creating a game plan to avoid them will be key in resolving your lower back pain.
Mistake #1: Not understanding your pain triggers
If you are one of the unfortunate people who are predisposed to back pain, then the LAST thing you should do is walk into a gym and just start move things around with the attitude “exercise is good for me”!
You need a game plan and this should start by understanding your pain triggers.
Get into the habit of writing a “pain journal” or “pain trigger list.” Log how you back feels pre workout, during workout, and post workout.
This will become a guide in understanding what exercises trigger your pain, and will enable you to plan exercise around your triggers, giving you relief and making pain a thing of the past.
And talking of relief….let’s talk drugs. Yes, drugs can be helpful in a short term setting, especially when you can’t sleep or function.
But taking the wrong kind or for too long can makes things worse because it masks your pain, leading you to overwork and injure yourself!
Mistake #2: Bad Posture
Hunched over at your desk? Feel like you walk around stressed with your shoulders up by your ears?
Poor posture may be contributing to your back pain. You may not feel any issues after sitting with poor posture for a few hours, but over time the stress that poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes in your spine.
This, in turn, can provoke back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. In addition, the stress from poor posture can lead to back pain by causing problems with your muscles, discs, and joints.
Mistake #3: What's a warm up?
Not warming up because you don’t have time, or not warming up properly before exercising, is asking for back pain!
If you don’t have time to warm up, you don’t have time to exercise. Warming up should be a crucial part of your exercise routine - it doesn’t need to take hours, and can be done efficiently.
If you can do any one thing to help to reduce lower back pain when working out, nailing your warm up it is.
Mistake #4: Too much sitting
Sitting at your desk? In meetings? At lunch? What about driving to and from work?
If you are like most people, the answer is a resounding “YES” and that all happens before you even get home!
I know you to rest, and that’s okay, but try to be mindful of how much you sit.
Take regular short walks throughout your day. Go with a friend, breathe deeply and go slowly. March on the spot.
If your job requires sitting, get up every hour and march for a minute. Why not have a walking meeting?
Stand up desks are also fantastic for lower back pain.
Mistake #5: Doing the WRONG exercises
If you’re doing the wrong exercises, you could be doing more harm than good. Here are two exercises to avoid:
Sit-ups – You’ve no doubt heard that back trouble comes from a weakened core and that’s true but sit-ups and their variations don’t help.
If you’ve got a disc problem, which is 70% of low back pain sufferers, sit-ups will make things worse.
Hamstring stretching – When your hamstrings are tight, stretching, believe it or not, is not always the best approach.
This is because it can destabilize your low back and make it worse. It is much better to find out why your hamstrings are tight and fix that problem.
At Mint Condition Fitness, we pride ourselves on creating custom programs tailored to your requirements.
If you suffer with lower back pain, our coaches will ensure your program will not only be designed to minimise any risk of back pain during exercising...we will also make sure we are helping to build the core strength and mobility needed to minimize your pain.
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