Does Your Back Hurt?
If you have ever hurt your back, it's a quick reminder as to how quickly a sprain, strain or muscular pain can alter your day.
According to a study done by the National Fire Protection Association on firefighters in the Midwest there were 62,085 injuries in 2016. Over 52% of those injuries were sprains, strains and muscular pains.
Check out 3 easy ways to prevent or correct pain in your lower back as a civil servant or everyday athlete below:
1. Ensure proper hip hinge (not just when lifting).
We have all heard the saying “lift with your legs not your back”. Understanding a proper hip hinge and the muscles that surround them can greatly increase career and quality of life longevity. Do get into proper position stand with a proud chest, bend the knees slightly and push the hips back. You may feel a stretch in the hamstrings to confirm proper positioning. While lifting any load the back shouldn’t change position at all.
2. Strengthen the lower back. We have easy access to a lot of bad information with social media; always check the credentials of those you reference. The lower back muscles, spinae erectors, work to extend or maintain extension of the spine. There are a few sure fire exercises to increase strength and endurance of the lower back muscles:
• Reverse Hyper.
• 45 degree hyper.
• Weighted Carries
• 90degree Back Extension
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW TO SEE COACH SEAN PERFORMING SOME SIMPLE EXERCISES TO HELP ALLEVIATE BACK PAIN:
3. Strengthen the anterior core.
Strengthening the abdominal muscles increases efficiency in step 2. The anterior and posterior chain work congruently to protect the spine, the bracing ability creates pressure optimizing the function of the spinae erectors. Three of my favorite core exercises are:
• Banded Plank Holds
• Sit-ups from a Glute Ham Raise (with feet above hips and knees flexed)
• Ab Wheel (keeping the duration higher with short rests)
With proper coaching and implementation these 3 steps will decrease the risk of injury to your back and hips. Movement quality and consistent performance will build dense muscle to protect your back. Don’t become a statistic.
- In Strength
Sean C. Mathis, M.S. CSCS
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