There are many reasons for starting a workout or fitness program. Most are looking to shed a few pounds and tone up. For me, it was for another reason. Last April, I suffered from a bulged disc while playing “Old Man Basketball”. Playing on a weekly basis, I thought I was in decent shape. Little did I know I was not in as great of shape as I thought I was.
The injury put me down for the count. I could not walk for two days, and the pain was overwhelming. I have had back injuries in the past, and I thought that this would pass and heal with time. However, it did not. Trips to the chiropractor helped, but it was not loosening up the extremely tight muscle in the lower back. It was suggested to me to go to the doctor to get some stronger prescription medication in aiding the relaxation of those muscles.
After a little time on the medication, I was able to feel improvement. I then went to a physical therapist. Both the chiropractor and the physical therapist told me that I have a very weak core.
What? No way I thought to myself. Even though I did not go to the gym and lift weights, my participation in basketball games was plenty to keep the core engaged. With the help of the physical therapist to get some basic exercises lined up to help with the recovery, it was at that point I thought it would be a good idea to start a workout program. I told myself and many others around me that witnessed me going through this, that I never want to experience that kind of pain again.
Bend at the Knees, Don’t Break at the Back
Proper lifting technique is key preventing back injuries. We have all done it. There is an object on the floor and you bend over at the waist to pick it up. You straighten back upright and feel a little twinge in your back. You know better and have been told many times that to lift properly a person must bend their knees and lift with the legs. For some reason we usually ignore this piece of advice.
Keep your chest upright and facing forward rather than pointing toward the object that you are picking up, and the object as close to the body as you can while lifting. This will prevent putting any unneeded stress on any of the back muscles opposed to holding it out like a child that may have just soiled their pants.
No Slouching Off
I work for most of my day at a desk. I notice myself slouching and practicing poor posture. To prevent future injuries, one must be diligent about all aspects of the health of your back. Even at “rest”, you need to pay attention to your back. Good posture while standing and sitting takes practice and being diligent on making the needed changes.
There are many great articles on the correct posture to perform. If you are having issues with your posture, I would suggest doing a little research in this area. The main things to remember are keeping the back upright with the chest out and shoulders back. Knees at a ninety-degree angle if sitting. Never sit in one position for more than 30 minutes. Standing desks are a great investment in correcting posture, and just for the overall health. Most importantly with good posture, comes a look of confidence. Team Duwe Fitness at Home not only wants you reach your fitness goals, but we have the goal of helping every member to achieve added confidence and respect for themselves.
Strong Core, Back Pain No More
There are many exercises that will help in building up any weak muscles in the core. Each of the workouts that are released by Team Duwe Fitness at Home ensures that the whole body is hit. Most of the exercises engage more than one area, but the core is the focus of our program. With having a core that is stronger, you will experience much better balance, aids better posture as we discussed above, and most importantly it is an important tool to combat injury.
There are many exercises for back injury prevention. There are exercises for strengthening the back muscles themselves. Renegade Rows that strengthen the upper back and Supermans for the lower back are both exercises that are incorporated in the Team Duwe Fitness at Home workouts.
Another angle to prevent back injury is to strengthen the core. Glute Raises, or Hip Bridges work several muscle groups such as the lower back and core muscles. This exercise also works the hamstrings, thighs and hips. It also helps to improve the gluteus maximus or in other words, the booty!
The Bird Dog is a great exercise that helps in strengthening stabilizing muscles in the back. It is great for the lower back.
An exercise that works nearly a muscle from head to toe is the Plank. A great exercise that will really engage the core muscles when done correctly. Other benefits that will see from planks with regular use will be better definition of muscles and balance. There are many variations of this exercise to target specific areas of the core make this a go to exercise for Team Duwe Fitness at Home program.
Get Started Today
The above tips are not a limited list. There are many more areas that can be explored when looking to prevent back injuries. Team Duwe Fitness at Home has many more exercises that are used in the workouts as well.
From my own personal experiences with back injuries, I have committed myself to continue to work on my core muscles to greatly reduce my chances of future back injuries. Nothing is fool proof. Freak things can happen. If you are or have suffered from injury, please feel free to use the tips above. Work into them slowly. Listen to your body. The road to injury prevention takes patience and not to rush or over do any of the above exercises. Let us know if you have any questions. You can always email us. If you want to give our workouts a try, you can sign up for a 7 day free trial and see the benefits for yourself.