What good does it do you to wreck your body trying to lose weight? I see many people with low back injuries that could be avoided.
You can lessen your risk of low back pain or injury with proper training and good posture. Bad movement patterns over a long period can cause some serious low back pain. In some cases, you may need to consult your doctor.
Low back pain is a major problem for the American population. As many as 75%-80% of adults have experienced significant low back pain. Lack of core stability and strength is the major cause of low back pain.
According to research, here are the Top 5 Causes of Low Back Pain:
1. People with chronic low back pain have inadequate firing of the transversus abdominis, internal oblique, multifidus and deep erector spinae.
2. Training the abdominal area without proper pelvic stabilization increases intradiscal pressure and compressive forces in the lumbar spine.
3. Core training done without proper recruitment of the tranversus abdominis, multifidus and other stabilizers will lead to the development of muscle imbalances and inefficient neuromuscular control of the kinetic chain (human movement system). Brace before doing core exercises (like you’re getting ready to take a punch to the gut).
It is also important to brace before doing exercises like squats and shoulder presses. These two exercises work the core muscles big-time (many times better than other traditional core exercises).
4. People with chronic low back pain have inadequate stabilization endurance. When training the core, the stabilizer muscles (which are primarily slow twitch muscle fibers) are best trained with the “time under tension” method. This method of contraction lasts for 6-20 seconds. This method also improves static and dynamic stabilization.
5. Maintaining the cervical spine in a neutral position during core training improves posture, muscle balance and stabilization. If the head protrudes (forward head) during training, the sternocleidomastoid (anterior neck muscle) is recruited.
This can lead to pelvic instability and anterior rotation of the pelvis. When this happens, the eyes re-align and are not level. This will negatively impact your exercise performance.
Strengthen your core with exercises like planks, side planks, bridges, cobras and back extensions.
Do bodyweight back extensions to protect your spine and build low back muscles.
Back extensions target the erector spinae muscle group surrounding the spine. Your hamstrings also contract strongly during the back extension exercise and assist the erector spinae.
It is important to perform this exercise correctly or you will end up with the very thing you are trying to avoid—-BACK PAIN OR INJURY. The technique error I see most in those doing back extensions is hyperextension of the back. Hyperextension happens when you continue lifting your upper body past the point of a straight line (your back, hips and lower legs should line up).
The pictures above (on the ball and on equipment) shows correct technique. Hyperextension will compress your vertebral discs.
If you already have a specific back injury you are suffering from and are looking for relief, visit the Healthy Back Institute. Since 2001, their team of pain relief experts has helped over 240,000 people in 100 countries from around the world find lasting relief from their pain.
They have given away over one million copies of the new book, The 7-Day Back Pain Cure, by Healthy Back Institute co-founder Jesse Cannone. Get a Free Copy of The 7-Day Back Pain Cure now!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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