When pursuing a new exercise regimen, it is easy to become overzealous in the name of speedy results. Many people jump right into a new workout routine without an appropriate level of awareness about the risk of injury. The momentum of a weight loss goal can be overwhelming for some, which may cause them to neglect using proper form and neglect seeking the advice of professional trainers. Most advice on how to avoid spinal injury can be found at many websites, such as SpineHealth.com
. Below are listed several of the ways that a person can injure their spine while exercising, as well as some helpful advice for how to counter the injury.
Attempting to Lift Too Much Weight
This is a mistake made by both the amateur lifter and the more seasoned lifter. A person who is new to lifting may not know the appropriate amount of weight that his or her body is able to adequately and safely handle. Perhaps the seasoned lifter becomes overconfident or wants to push to the next level by forcing an extra heavy lift. Lifting too much weight can cause the muscles to spasm or give out, leaving the joints vulnerable to damage. In order to prevent an injury of this magnitude, it is advisable for a person to gradually increase the amount of weight lifted in order to give the muscles proper time to grow and adjust.
Not Using the Muscles in the Core
As a person is completing a set of exercises, it is imperative that they tighten the core muscles. Tightening the core muscles ensures that the natural curvature of the spine is maintained. Not maintaining the natural curvature of the spine results in a significant increase in back and neck injury. A firm core provides the much needed support that a spine needs when concentrating on the muscles of the torso.
Lifting with the Back and not the Legs
Another common mistake that causes many back injuries during workouts is using the back instead of the legs when lifting. Anytime a person needs to pick something up at floor level, it is important for him or her to bend from the legs and not the back. Lifting from the back causes the muscles and ligaments of the back to receive an uneven distribution of stress, which can often result in over-extension or flexion of the back. One way to remedy this when working out is for a person to exercise good posture when lifting. Bending at the knees is the most desirable method for lifting anything from floor to waist level and above.
Exercising Too Quickly
Sudden, jerky movements tend to catch the muscles off guard. This can easily result in straining caused by a muscle group’s inability to adequately respond to the movement being made. An easy fix for this common problem is for a person to take the time to slowly transition from one move to another, and to try to complete a motion as smoothly as possible.
Neglecting to Ask for Help
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes is for a person to neglect to ask for assistance. People who are new to exercising may find it beneficial to seek advice from personal trainers or online resources
. It is very difficult to avoid making a mistake if one does not know what they are or how to avoid them.
With a bit of due diligence and body awareness, spinal injuries from exercising can be significantly reduced.