Have you ever had a great workout, but then at the end of the workout your back just did not feel right?
A lot of times, people will go to the gym, they will feel great at the gym and then after the workout, later that night, the next day, their back will end up bothering them.
Let me show you what you can do about that.
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Exercise Selection – You want to look at your exercise selection. A lot of times, if you are doing a lot of exercises that put high strain on the back, like squats and deadlifts, this can hurt your back. What you want to do is mix in those squatting and deadlift exercises and other leg exercises. Plus sprinkling other things that don’t put as much stress on that low back area, like pressing or pulling exercises.
Look At Your Technique – I know with myself, I might be doing the squat. I think I am doing it awesome and perfect. When I have a second pair of eyes that know what they are doing looking at what I am doing, the story is different. They can see the small little details and the small little mistakes that I am making. I rely on them to give me feedback on how to fix things. We all have little tweaks in our technique that can end up leading to injury and a lot of times it ends up being small techniques flaws, like tucking your pelvis, that end up putting a lot of strain on the back. Get a partner to take a look at what you are doing or get an experienced set of eyes, a personal trainer or a strength coach, to take a look at what you are doing and help you master your technique. It will fend of injury and lead to greater strength gains.
Also check out Pain Free Deadlifting, which will help you if you have back pain from deadlifting.
Prime Up Your Body – Try to prime your body before you workout. A lot of times before going to the gym, you either just woke up or have been sitting for a while and your body is not ready to workout. What you need to do is get your body ready to workout with a warm up. What a traditional warm up does is lubricate the joints. What you need to do is wake up the primary muscles and have those muscles firing through full ranges of motion of the joints. You need to wake up those stabilizing muscles and have them working through full range of motion. You need to wake up your brain and get it used to doing the movement you plan for the workout. Then you need to wake up your nervous system so it is ready for the workout. I call this priming up your body, more than just a warm up. (I talk more about priming up the knees here. I will do a future post on priming up the back.)
Look at What You are Doing Throughout the Day – Were you in positions that put a lot of stress on the back? For example, were you standing for eight hours? Standing is fine for the back but doing more than a half an hour or an hour leads to stress and strain on the back. Did you end up sitting all day? When it comes to the back, sitting for a long period of time ends up putting a lot of stress and strain on the back. Were you in an awkward posture at work? Being in an awkward position for a long period of time throughout the day puts stress on the back. If your back is being stressed throughout the day and then you go to the gym to work out with exercises that put a lot of stress on the back, it is the perfect setting for a back injury. Look at what you are doing throughout the day and decrease the stress on your back.
There you go.
If you are having pain after your workout, look at these four things. Look at your exercise selection, look at your technique, especially the small little details, prime up your body before your workout and then look at what you ended up doing throughout the day.
If you are looking for a program to help you out with your back pain and get you back to pain-free workouts, then check out Fix My Back Pain:
Rick Kaselj, MS