Your workout routine may be enhancing your shape, but hurting your back. Bad exercise form equals pain. If you have been experiencing pain in your low back, neck or any other joints of the body after exercising, it may be due to improper posture and technique. Posture is defined as the position or bearing of your body. If one’s body is not correctly postioned, or abnormal bearing of pressure occurs, an injury may soon follow. Exercise can and should be physically demanding. However, there are ways to avoid creating excessive stress that may be damaging and counter-productive. Here are some helpful tips to make your fitness regimen safe, yet effective, in achieveing your goals.
Common Exercises That Are Performed Incorrectly:
- Lat Pulldown
- Seated Row
- Sit ups
- Exercise Bikes
- Stair Master
Lat Pull Downs: Never pull the bar down behind the neck. This increases strain on the neck, shoulder joints, and lower back which increases pressure to the disc.
Seated Row: When seated, flexing forward with a rounded spine places pressure on the discs as well as straining the muscles and joints.
Sit Ups: Avoid flexing chin to chest. Don’t use hands to lift your body off the floor (i.e. yanking the head forward with your hands). Use abdominal muscles to pull your body up.
Lunges: Never allow the body to lean any direction. Don’t drive the lead knee past the lead ankle/foot. Don’t allow the hip/knee to rotate internally.
Exercise Bike: Don’t slump while sitting on the exercise bike. Never allow the legs to be excessively bent. This can cause too much stress on the knee joint.
Stair Climber: Don’t support the weight of the body by leaning forward on the bars. Maintaining neutral postures reduce spinal loads. Never allow extremely deep movements when stepping, because this can create knee joint pressures.
Keep in mind that exercise is supposed to help promote better health. Exercising incorrectly has the opposite effect and in many cases leads to chronic injuries which need the help of a professional to correct. Have patience with your body and be realistic in achieving your fitness goals. A gradual, safe approach to exercise creates long-lasting, pain-free results and personal gratification.
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