Strength training- we all know we need it, but after certain injuries or strains, it can be hard to get started. There are several things to remember when while strength training to keep your spine healthy.
Take precaution. If you suffered from a spinal injury or have back pain there are a few things to consider. First, certain types of weightlifting exercises can be stressful on your joints. Doing dead-lifts, a snatch, or squats are a few exercises that you should avoid or modify to fit your needs. If you are starting a new strength training routine, always double check with a physician that what you are going to do is safe. And finally, know your personal limits! Don’t overload with weight if you can’t properly lift it.
That being said, don’t let a former injury rule your life. There are many great ways to strength train safely. Here’s a few tips from Spine-Health.com:
- Use less weight, but do more reps.
- Consider using a training machine as opposed to free weights. A machine may reduce stress on your back.
- Workout with a friend! They can spot you and help you if you start to feel pain.
- Wear a belt for weightlifting. Many spine specialists say that while there is no evidence that a belt protects the back, it does help maintain proper form.
If actual weight training is not for you, why not get your strength using your own body weight? Yoga, Pilates, and PIYO are all great programs that can help increase your strength without putting a lot of strain on your joints. Your body gains strength by holding different poses, no weights are needed for this workout.
Strength training at least three times a week is recommended to maintain and build muscle. The more muscle you have, the better your body can function and the healthier you feel. Always check with a physician before beginning any workout program, and modify any moves that put a particular strain on your body. If you are suffering from an injury or recovering, remember to take it easy. Strength training is a gradual process and is something you will need to do for the rest of your life, building in good habits now will help you in the future.