There are a few things you can do to prevent workout injuries – exercising the proper way means that it will be more effective and it also prevents injuries directly after the exercise, whilst also reducing your risk of injury later on. We’ve come up with a few tips to prevent back injury when working out – so make sure you follow these tips next time you head to the gym!
Always warm up!
This one sounds a little obvious, but warming up before exercise helps to loosen up your muscles and joints, getting them ready for the workout ahead. Warming up is especially important before a high intensity workout, as this is when most injuries happen – so be sensible and make warming up a priority in your routine.
Try not to lift from the floor
If you’re lifting weights, keep them on a bench or table – something that you don’t have to bend down to reach. That way, you lessen the risk of straining your back.
Use proper lifting techniques
Many people who work out forget the proper lifting techniques when they’ve been working out for a while – in the same way that people who have been driving for a while can forget proper driving techniques. When lifting weights, make sure you use the proper techniques to reduce back strain – bend your legs at the knee, keeping a balanced stance with your feet shoulder’s width apart. Squat down to lift, keeping your knees bent, and securely grip your weights. Make sure that you keep a straight line from your neck to your back. While you’re lifting the weights, make sure you keep a strong, steady stance and remember to breathe properly all the way through the exercise. Speaking of breathing…
Control your breathing
If you don’t control your breathing and you find yourself breathing erratically, you might be unconsciously tensing muscles or parts of your body that you don’t want to tense. Doing this can cause back injury – and it can cause the exercise to be less effective. Breathe in and out in time with the exercise that you are doing – keeping things slow and steady will help to prevent injury.
Keep the weights close to your body
The closer the weight is to your body, the less force you’ll have to exert when lifting it – therefore, there is less chance that you’ll strain your back muscles. When working out with weights, keep them as close to your body as the exercise allows and you should find it a little easier, too.
You also need to make sure you cool down following exercise. Going straight from intensive exercise to sitting down could cause injuries or soreness – so cool down after exercise by stretching and gradually stepping down the intensity of your exercise. This goes a long way in preventing sore muscles, especially in preserving your back. Above all, be sensible!
About the author: Richard is passionate about health and fitness and writes for various online publications including Pryers Solicitors and MyDish.