If you like many other avid weight lifters suffer with a sore back then I suggest you continue reading. This is almost the 101 on back aches, what might be causing it and what you can do to fix that. Nobody likes back pain, acute back pain is that much worse again – it can undoubtedly make an otherwise great day a bloody nightmare. With my back injury I have been subjected to such pain I can travel for a maximum of 45-60 minutes in a car before I have to get out, rest and stretch it off. Not good, not much fun either.
However as a result I have been forced to seek professional help which has now put me in a much better place and it has also taught me a lot. Of course, I can share these findings with you.
When I first met my ‘’joint guy’’ he said to me – ‘’I very rarely see builders or anyone who has a labour intensive job. They are always desk jockeys.’’ Interesting, as an uninformed onlooker you might have guessed the opposite. He then went on to say ‘’we are designed to stand up, not sit down for 8 hours and then some. The problem is, when you do and then within 45 minutes you are hoisting weight around in a gym your back is well, more vulnerable.’’
What he was getting at it transpired is as much as we like to think crunches work our core, they don’t. For those who spend most of the day sat down they have several issues –
. Twice the body weight travels through the lower back when sat down
. Our transverse abdominus and pelvic floor aren’t engaged whilst sat down which ultimately help control stability
. Weight training can make you ‘’teach’’ the spinal column to become rigid (during lifts) which when accompanied by no stretching can become a permanent thing, resulting in issues
. There is often a great imbalance in muscle groups in those who ‘’bodybuild’’ – the trap 3 (lower traps) are often out gunned by the upper traps for instance resulting in postural issues often relating to the scapula’s.
. Lumping heavy weights, regardless of good form is going to at some point potentially cause an issue
These are the main areas he highlighted to me. It all made sense, good sense at that. So what can you do?
‘’If I had my way I would make all office workers stand and have desks at chest height so they can stand and work.’’ This was his response to sitting down all day, he even forecasted in 20 years this will be the norm.
In regards to things you can do today he outlined these as key areas –
. Stretch and stretch some more. Get flexible, it will drastically improve lower back pain and probably reduce the chances of sustaining injury
. Learn to hold your shoulders a bit further back. Most people have slightly rounded shoulders, address this
. Use rubber resistance bands to help stimulate the cuffs within the shoulder joint to help reset movement patterns and posture which will ultimately help with back and shoulder pain
. Big muscles don’t mean strong. Make sure your ‘’small’’ supporting muscles i.e. the core is actually strong and engaged frequently
Hopefully there are many insightful points for you to take away from here.