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Should I avoid doing back strengthening exercises if I get back pain?

Should I avoid doing back strengthening exercises if I get back pain?

 

 We when it comes to back strengthening exercises we like to keep to a very simple rule:

 

If it hurts during the exercise, or you pull up worse afterwards then it's best to avoid that exercise.  If you feel better for doing the exercise, great, stick at it.

 

Not all back pain is created equal, some people respond to well to certain exercises, whilst others get immediate pain during or after carrying out quality back exercises. For this reason, we disagree with the notion that certain exercises are good or bad if you have back pain - the ultimate test must be how you, the individual respond to them.

 

The most common cause of persistent, chronic back pain is a weakened posture. Sure the lower back muscles become weak, however so do many other major muscles groups integral to supporting the lower back and its structures, especially when standing and moving in an upright position.

 

The problem with the generalised understanding of how to rectify back pain through a strength program is that focus is either:

  • Targeted purely on the back, neglecting the major postural muscles
  • Purely on the core, neglecting the back and postural muscles
  • Too passive, not attaining adequate stimulus to promote neuromuscular hypertrophy (growth/ gains)
  • Not functional, movements that isolate muscles, as opposed to getting muscles to work together in an everyday functional manner.  

 

The best exercises are functional compound movements that ensure that the weakened muscles assist in the resisted movement.  Even if these movement patterns are carried out just with your own body weight until you build the required strength to balance and push or lift resistance with perfect form.

 

From experience, the majority of back pain sufferers either go too aggressive or too gently with their back exercises. There is the one group that go too heavy with poor form and pull up badly resulting in them quitting the back strengthening program. The other group stay at a gentle pace failing to add resistance that will provide them with the necessary gains to strengthen their body.

 

TIPS for success

 

  1. If the exercise hurts, try to back of the resistance. If it still hurts avoid the exercise altogether.
  2. Stick to compound exercises that target all the muscles groups that support the back.
  3. Stick to functional exercises that have all the muscle groups working together in a synergistic way (just as they do in everyday movements)   
  4. Start with just your own body weight, improve balance so you can carry out the exercises perfectly with weighted resistance.
  5. Progressively add resistance at the rate you feel comfortable.
  6. General rule of thumb, if you can pick up and squat down with a weight equal to your own body weight, then providing you maintain good form, your ability to get through everyday activities without back pain will be greatly enhanced.
 
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Back Pain
Solutions
Clinic

190 Bridge Rd
Richmond
(03) 9909 9905

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