Decrease your back pain by reading and applying some of these tips. Dealing with back pain can be extremely difficult. Not only is the pain itself often consistent and nagging, but it can also make it difficult to do everyday activities. Many people turn to pain-relief medication in an attempt to control their back pain which is not always the best solution in the long run.
If you are dealing with back pain, strength training may be a good option for you. Strength training can help improve back pain by strengthening the muscles that support your spine. Stronger muscles can help take some of the pressure off of your spine and reduce the amount of pain you feel. In addition, strength training can also help improve your posture. Good posture helps keep your spine in alignment and takes the pressure off of your back muscles. If you have poor posture, this can actually contribute to back pain! Therefore, improving your posture through strength training can also help relieve back pain.
Start by warming up your body before strength training! Warming up helps prepare your muscles for activity and can help reduce the risk of injury.
Decrease Your Back Pain By Using Some of the 20 Tips Outlined Here
1. Hire A Trainer
It’s worth the money, especially if you’re not comfortable or familiar with strength training. This can help you learn what kind of routine works best for your goals and may even help reduce the risk of injury
2. Always Warm Up
Strength training is a high-effort physical activity. You must warm up by increasing your body temperature and blood flow, by doing some activity that allows you to get your body moving in preparation for weight training. This might include light jumping jacks, air squats, and light push-ups.
3. Dynamic Stretching
In addition to warming up, it is also important to perform short, dynamic stretches—stretching as you are moving—to help the muscle groups you will be working on move more easily. However, stretching too much before strength training is not recommended, as it can impede muscle contraction and the proper breakdown of muscle fibres. A good way to warm up is by performing the specific exercise you plan to do with very light weights.
4. Focus On Technique
Above all, remember that good technique is crucial to your progress and the prevention of injuries. Aim for the right form using the proper amount of weight.
5. Switch Up Your Angles
One important strategy with weight training is to be able to work your muscles at different angles to stimulate muscle growth and balance the development of the muscle. For example, the pectoral muscle (or chest muscle) can be worked on at three different angles using the same weight machine: a bench press. You can work the top part of the muscle with an incline bench (i.e. with the bench set at a 45-degree incline), you can work the more central part of the muscle with a flat bench, and you can work the lower part of the pectoral muscle with a declined bench. These three different exercises will fully challenge the different muscle fibres.
6. Use Tempo
Tempo is another way to challenge your muscles. For example, a “5-2-5” tempo for bicep curl means you curl for the count of five seconds, hold for two seconds, and lower for the count of five again. You will be amazed at how much harder it makes lifting the weight! It’s a great way to challenge your muscles.
7. Add Resistance
Remember that strength training is also called “resistance training” for good reason. If you can complete a set of 25 repetitions, you’re not using enough weight. More weight is needed to create enough resistance for your muscles. For strength training to be beneficial, you need to create micro-tears in your muscles, which will trigger them to self-repair, and in turn, make them grow stronger.
8. Count Repetitions And Sets
Repetitions are the number of times you do a movement with weight, while sets are how many times you do those repetitions. For example, you can do squats for 12 repetitions and three sets, equaling 36 total squats. Sets of 12 repetitions are the most common, but you can do drop-sets by decreasing the number of repetitions with each set while increasing the weight. For example, you could do 12 bicep curls with a 10-pound dumbbell on the first set, 10 bicep curls with a 12-pound dumbbell on the second, and eight bicep curls with a 15-pound dumbbell on the third. By doing drop-sets, you will fully challenge your muscles, and leave them close to exhaustion.
9. Integrate Supersets Or Giant Sets
If you’re in a hurry or want to try something quick and different, do supersets or giant sets. A super-set consists of two exercises alternated twice without rest. For example, when working your chest, you could do a set of bench presses, followed by a set of push-ups, then repeat. For your giant set, which consists of three exercises done three times without rest, you could add sets of dumbbell flies to push-ups and bench presses.
10. Mix It Up With Concentric And Eccentric Exercises
Concentric exercises shorten your muscles while eccentric exercises elongate your muscles. Both are important. It’s important to have a mix of the two types of exercises in your workouts to effectively maximize the challenge to your muscles. It’s recommended that you start with the eccentric exercises to engage the muscle through its entire range and then move on to concentric ones.
11. Use Resistance Bands
These are good to incorporate into your workout. You can use cables instead of dumbbells or barbells since these offer consistent tension throughout the movement and also increase the use of surrounding stabilizing muscles. Check out the items I personally use for stretching.
12. Integrate Unilateral And Bilateral Movements
In a unilateral exercise, you use one side of your body at a time, while in a bilateral exercise you use both sides. Since most people have a dominant side, it’s important to integrate both types to balance your musculature and to effectively use your core muscles.
13. Vary Your Exercises
It’s crucial to alter your workout regularly. Some people do the same things in their workouts for years and wonder why they don’t see the results they want. Muscles adapt quickly, so you need to keep finding new ways of challenging them, even just to maintain your current muscle tone. Adjusting reps, sets, weights, etc., helps you avoid plateaus!
14. Don’t Forget To Breathe
It is best to breathe through your nose as much as you can unless the workload is too intense. Exhale during more demanding concentric muscle movements. By doing so, you will prevent excessive internal pressure that restricts blood flow back to the heart, which could make you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
15. Keep It Short
Your strength training workout shouldn’t exceed one hour. If you strength train for longer than that, you have a greater chance of getting injured, and your muscles will be too tired or depleted to be productive.
16. Don’t Forget To Cool Down
This is very important as it helps your muscular system and cardiovascular system return to a resting state. Five to 10 minutes on a stationary bike, for example, is a good way to cool down. You should do most of your stretching in the cool-down phase and focus particularly on the body parts you have worked on that day.
17. Recuperation Is Key
You need to give your muscles time to recuperate and regenerate. As mentioned earlier, when you train with weights, you create micro-tears in your muscles. When given time to heal, your muscles will repair and grow stronger. If you don’t give your body the time to regenerate, these muscles lose some of the benefits of strength training. Too many people do too much and then get discouraged when they get injured. Sometimes less is more.
18. Keep A Fitness Journal
I know… groan! But a fitness journal or tracking app helps you keep your commitment to fitness and measures your improvement. Keeping track of the weight you use allows you to always be ready. This saves you time and pushes you to the next level. Lots of apps exist that can track all this information for you, which can make tracking convenient and efficient. Additionally, this can serve as an encouragement if you get to a point where you feel like you aren’t making progress, you can check your journal to see the strides you have made.
19. Use Your Body-Weight
No weights? No problem. Never underestimate the capacity of using your body weight as resistance. Whether you are doing 10 push-ups, 30 squats, or a one-minute plank, your body may be more challenging than you think!
20. Have Fun!
Hundreds of great and varied workout examples are out there! The key is to change it up and have fun with them. Add variation to your routine to keep it interesting and ensure you won’t get bored!
If you are dealing with back pain, give strength training a try! Of course always check with your health provider if you are experiencing acute or chronic pain. Strength training can help improve back pain by strengthening the muscles that support your spine. Be sure to focus on exercises that target your back and core muscles, use proper form, and warm up before strength training. These tips will help you get the most benefit from your strength training and reduce back pain!
If you are suffering from back pain don’t ignore your symptoms and consult a chiropractor as they will ensure that your spine is moving optimally as chiropractic care aims to restore, not only proper spinal function and prevent injury, but also can help improve better brain-body communication in addition to back pain relief. Check out last year’s blog on “Do you Suffer from Headaches, Joint Pain or Back Pain? Your Body is Talking – Are you Listening?” for more information on back pain.
Visit us at Santé Chiropractic and Wellness Centre! Santé Chiropractic and Wellness Centre has been serving the community of East Ottawa / Orléans for over 25 years. Call or book your appointment online so we can help your body help itself!