Sometimes the best way to manage low back pain is to know the risks of keeping active. Our guide below reveals what activities and exercises to avoid, which stretches are safest, and tips that can make any workout safe for long-term back health.
6 Exercises & Activities You Should Avoid
There are many factors that could contribute to your lower back pain when seated. Keep reading to learn the most common ones and what changes you can make to reduce this discomfort.
1. Toe Touches
This common exercise can be a healthy way to work muscles that may otherwise not get enough attention in a mostly seated culture. However, if you have back pain and/or are not very flexible, it may also aggravate symptoms and worsen your back pain. If you're attempting to do standing toe touches, consider sitting down for these instead, or attempt this activity with the help of a trusted friend who can observe your form and spot potential issues before they take hold.
Sometimes sit ups are a good way to strengthen the abdominal core. But there is a large debate over how to do this properly. Unless you have experience with them or have an experienced personal trainer helping you, you run the risk of hurting your hips and placing significant pressure on your spinal discs - and that's never fun!
3. Leg Lifts
While this exercise can be helpful to those who already have strong core muscles, it can cause harm if you’re unprepared for the more extreme physical strain you may experience. Laying on your back and lifting both legs off the ground can put a lot of strain not just on your core, but also your back, shoulders, and neck. This should be accomplished by someone who has already been cycling regularly for at least a few months or has been doing exercises like Pilates or yoga, as well as physical activities like boot camp and cross fit.
4. Running and Jumping
Running and jumping aren't exactly the most comfortable movements. Joggers tend to put a lot of pressure on their ankles, knees, hips and lower back from running and jumping repeatedly. Biking is a much more efficient way of exercising, as it allows one to not only build up endurance, but also tone muscle. All you need are two wheels and some pedals!
5. Golf and Tennis
Active lifestyles are a great thing that most people find fun and fulfilling, but there is one thing that always comes along with being active throughout your daily routine, and it's a pain in the back. It makes sense; your back has to take most of the pressure from you, and by not treating it well enough or properly warming up for your event, excessive movements and bending can cause serious problems. So be sure to ask someone who knows what they're doing when it comes to this stuff, like a doctor for example!
6. Heavy Lifting
When it comes to dealing with your back, there are many things you have to consider. Whether you're at work or at the gym, doing activities that involve heavy lifting while bending over can cause extreme strain on your muscles and even compression on your vertebrae. When carrying something like a bag of groceries, for example, make sure you bend at your knees when this happens. For whatever reason, we hope you avoid lifting heavy objects, and always try to focus on not keeping weighty products up with your shoulders, as often this can lead to long-term trouble regarding your back.
Tips for Avoiding Lower Back Pain During Your Workout
The key to having a healthy back is to be gentle and safe on yourself. To do this, you must incorporate some of these tips into your next workout, unless you are caring for an injury or other condition that might make these tips unnecessary.
Always Warm Up Before Exercises
The key to working out without hurting your back is staying fit. The key to being fit is stretching properly before any workout. Stretching for 10 to 15 minutes warms up the muscles, making them more pliable and less likely to strain or sprain under pressure.
Make Sure Your Form is Correct
The best and most effective way to safeguard your body while exercising is to do it with the guidance of an expert. You should always have a trainer on hand when working out, but few people have the luxury of being able to afford personal trainers all day long. That is why it's essential that those of us without a personal trainer know about some exercise guides that could help keep us from hurting ourselves as we pursue healthier lifestyles.
Focus on Engaging the Core
Working your core muscles by using your own body weight is an effective way to build stability and strength in the r back. This can offer support, as well as prevent future pain or problems due to lack of flexibility.
Take Care of Fatigued Muscles After Your Workout
Follolowewing a hard workout session at the gym, make sure to cool down by doing a gentle series of stretches and/or massages. A cold pack or soothing herbal heating pad can then be used to relieve any lingering soreness, in addition to helping your body realign after a tough trip to the gym.
Don’t Work Through the Pain
When exercising, it's important to push your body beyond its normal limits, but not beyond the point of pain. One way to know if you're overdoing it or doing too much is to accurately recognize and identify the different kinds of pain you might experience while exercising. For example, a sense of warm aches in muscles are common side effects when working out, but feeling a sharp stinging sensation around the lower back area during exercise can be indicative of an underlying problem that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
If you feel this sort of sharp or stinging back pain during exercise, please stop what you're doing for the day and see a doctor about the clinical cause, so that you can begin addressing it appropriately before causing further damage. Exercise is good for your health, but there's no need to take unnecessary risks with any intense workout program, just because there are visible results at this moment!
Gradually Building Back Strength
If you don't know what kind of workout routine you prefer yet, it's best to slow things down to avoid future pain and injury. Consistency is key, so make sure you research exercise techniques before starting a program, and then speak to your doctor about any concerns or questions or for further advice if the pain continues.