Wellbeing & Motivation > Back Pain From Exercise & How to Avoid Back Injury

Back Pain From Exercise & How to Avoid Back Injury

17th Feb 20

Back pain is something that you should never have to experience, especially from exercise. It’s arguably the worst place in your body to sustain an injury because of how dramatically it can affect your whole body. From head to toe, it can cause serious repercussions throughout your life. It’s bad news.

Sadly, there’s no one underlying reason for back pain from exercise either. It can be a range of things. Training can cause injuries from pulled muscles to fractures, breaks and even slipped discs. They can all have chronic, long-term, and even permanent effects. There are some precautions that you really should be taken, though, and we’re here to talk you through them.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

Stretching Properly & Warming Up

woman stretching her back before exercising

Always a fundamental of avoiding back pain and injury for exercise, and in general, is stretching. Your back is one of the most complex and important places to stretch because of its involvement in almost every exercise. If you’re doing back-specific exercises where you’ll be dealing with a lot of weight, warm-ups are always vital.

Even if you perform basic dynamic stretches and a warm-up set for every exercise you’re going to do, you’ll give your body an extra layer of protection that you will thank yourself for in the long run. Hyperextensions, toe touches and trunk rotations are all great places to start out and cover almost the entirety of your back!

For more, take a look at these.

Proper Form

woman lifting barbell and weights

The most important way to avoid back pain from exercise and an injury altogether is to really make sure that, no matter what it is that you’re doing, you’re doing it right. It is VITAL. Your technique can be the difference between serious progress and dire injury. Add weight training to that, like deadlifts and squats, and it’s even riskier. So get it right, and practise without weights until you do.

Keeping your back straight rather than curving it and using your lower back to add extra lift is often the most important thing to remember. That’s the best way to protect your back in heavy compound exercises and isolate the muscles you intend to work properly. In addition, using the wrong equipment or hazardous variations of exercises are also seriously dangerous. Do your homework.

Realistic Weights

man lifting barbell and weights

To ensure you don’t make back pain from exercise any more likely than it has to be, you also need to lift the proper weight. Make sure that you are using a weight suited to your training style and the performance levels that you’re already at. If you try to up your weight dramatically before you’re ready, for whatever reason, you’re at risk. You can actually set yourself further back than before you even started just because of how it will affect your performance and how your body compensates for it without you even trying to. It’s asking for a back injury from bad form and strain.

This is even more relevant to you if you’ve recently taken a break from your training. That’s even more important to remember if you’re just starting out in the first place. Don’t run before you can walk. That’s some of the best training advice you can get. Your body won’t be prepared to handle the weights you were working or working towards, and your risk for injury goes through the roof.

Strength Training

woman preparing to workout using a lat bar on a multigym

Finally, the actual strength of the muscles in your back may well be responsible for your back health. If you strengthen your back properly and in a balanced way, you’ll protect yourself from a back injury during exercise, but from general life too.

Not only do you need this during back-specific exercises, but even when you’re doing other muscle groups. For example, even when working your chest, your back provides a huge deal of support to the rest of your body.

It’s also incredibly important to build up your strength elsewhere too. A strong core and properly prepared muscles like the hamstrings will protect you from putting your back in danger in the first place. Undertraining and training imbalances cause more issues than you probably know. So take care and train properly.

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.