4. Don’t lift heavy objects
“Don’t lift too heavy or you’ll throw your back out.”
Lifting heavy DOES NOT cause back pain. Lifting weights and back pain are usually correlated though, inversely correlated. This means that people who regularly weight train experience less pain than those who do not. As we touched on in the previous post about posture and tissue adaptability, there is a right and wrong way to implement weight training. When lifting, safety should always be the main concern. Learning how to properly hinge at the hips and squat are imperative to being able to perform lifting safely.
Just as there is no perfect posture, there is no perfect form. The only “perfect form” is the form that allows you to feel the most comfortable and confident to perform the task with a load and duration that your tissues can handle. We are each uniquely designed to be able to perform movements even if our techniques are slightly different. We all have anatomical variance such as femur angles, tissue mobility, and joint structure, and we also each have unique experiences with these movements from previous endeavors. All of those things can shape the way we decide to perform a movement. There is not one way to properly deadlift or squat; both movements fall on a spectrum that allows each individual performing the task to pick which variation in which they feel the most comfortable and confident.
After that, gradual exposure should be implemented until full range of motion is achieved and the person feels confident in their ability to perform the task. From there, start at a low repetition range with low weight and then each training session, increase the volume very slightly. This allows us to utilize the general adaptation response theory of accumulating stress. Gradually exposing yourself to more volume of weight training will lead to muscular strength and/or muscular endurance adaptations. More volume can be in the form of more sets and/or repetitions at a specific weight, or more weight at the same set and repetition scheme. One of the most popular ways to gradually expose yourself to more volume is to track and monitor your volume each week and slowly build it up. This means that keeping a journal of your training sessions and the included volume is highly encouraged.
“As for strength training’s effectiveness in treating back pain, a few small studies have shown that it leads to significant results. One study found that a 16-week program of free-weight based exercise resulted in a significant improvement of pain, disability, and quality of life for participants with low back pain. Another study with an 8-week weight training program and a follow-up period of 2 years found that between 50 to 80% of participants reported a decrease in perceived pain intensity and disability for both short- and long-term follow-up.”
Stay strong. Stay recharged.
***No content on this site should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.***