Weight Lifting Tips for those with Back Pain
It’s that time of year again. One year is winding down, and people are starting to think of the new year with new plans and new goals. For a lot of people, a new year often brings about health related resolutions.
People are looking to get back into the gym, eat healthier, and just feel better. These are all great and worthwhile goals, but the gym or working out can seem unattainable for people with chronic back pain.
Back pain sufferers don’t need to fear the gym or a good workout routine though. It’s actually a good idea to start a new workout routine, especially one that involves weight lifting.
It can be difficult to start anything new, but it’s that much harder when you are unfamiliar with the process altogether. So, what is weight lifting? People can have very different ideas about what weight lifting is and isn’t, what its purpose is, and how to do it. Things can get complicated quickly.
In its simplest form, weight lifting – sometimes called weight training – is a type of strength training meant to strengthen and grow your muscles. It’s like cardio work to help strengthen your heart. A person who lifts weights is exhausting that muscle group to stimulate more muscle growth.
But weight lifting doesn’t have to mean bodybuilding or even gaining a certain amount of muscle mass. Weight lifting is all about taxing your muscles just enough without damaging the surrounding joints, tendons, or ligaments.
Weight lifting doesn’t have to be for strength or muscle gains at all. In fact, weight lifting has been proven to help improve all different areas of the body and mind. A good weight lifting routine or program has been proven to increase bone strength, help manage body weight, improve mental abilities, and manage different chronic issues and illness – including back pain.
Is Weight Lifting Good for People with Back Pain?
One of the most common questions asked about weight training is, is it okay for people with back pain to weight lift? The answer is a resounding yes!
Weight lifting, done correctly and safely, is a huge benefit to people who suffer from short or long term back pain. The number one cause of back pain is a weakness in surrounding and supporting muscle groups, like the abdominals.
The abdominals, or core muscles, are meant to keep the spine well aligned and protect it from injury. If those muscles are weak or underdeveloped, then they aren’t doing their job correctly and that means back pain. One of the best ways to strengthen the core muscles and better protect the spine is to lift weights.
This also means a person can prevent back pain with a good weight lifting program. Even if you don’t currently feel pain in your back, you can head off a lot of potential issues with a strong core and a well protected spine.
Tips for Weight Lifting
Now, starting a weight lifting journey with a bad back does mean there are some precautions to take. Any weight lifting done improperly can have serious and negative consequences for people with back pain, so it’s important to always lift safely.
Here are a few tips to keep weight lifting safe and beneficial:
#1 – Start Small
Weight lifting isn’t a competition. Remember weight lifting is not bodybuilding so you don’t need to pick up the heaviest weights and show everyone how it’s done. Start small by starting with just your bodyweight.
You carry the weight of your body around every day, so it’s a weight you should know how to carry and manipulate through your everyday life. Once you start gaining some strength you can increase the weight with different types of equipment.
#2 – Use Correct Form Every Time
This might be the most important. Whatever move you do, you must do it properly. Improper form– even one time–can cause more damage to your already aching back. Make sure you know how to do each move before lifting too much weight too quickly. Make use of a personal trainer to help you with your form.
#3 – Be Consistent
Weight lifting isn’t something you do once and everything’s fixed permanently. It is something that has to be worked at and worked at consistently. Set a schedule, find a trainer or a workout buddy, and keep working.
#4 – Listen to Your Body
Rest is not a bad thing. In fact, your body will tell you when it needs a rest day. This doesn’t mean you’ll lose all your progress. Your body will thank you. Continuing to push your body when it needs rest can, again, cause big problems.
Weight lifting is a great option for a lot of people, even those with chronic back pain. It helps many different areas of your body and life, so why not? It’s almost a new year, and it’s time to get serious!
Back Pain: See a Chiropractor in Everett
If your back pain is persistent, it is a good idea to get checked out with a chiropractor. Those in Snohomish County can stop by Everett Spine and Rehab for a consultation. It is certainly better to address any back issues before they get worse!