Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are talking about one exercise topic for two minutes and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now this week, we are talking to those of you who are experiencing some low back pain. You may be a little bit hesitant to lift weights, but there are some very strategic things you can do with your resistance training that may actually help with your low back pain.
**NOTE**: Always get cleared by your physician for exercise before implementing any exercise advice.
1) Include Core Strengthening Exercises
Exercise Tip Number One If You Have Low Back Pain: Make sure to include core strengthening exercises that are well-rounded. Often times, when core exercises are brought up, people automatically think of crunches or planks. Both of these are fine options, but there needs to be more variety added in, as well. Consider adding in exercises that challenge your rotation, your side bend, and your back extension, in addition to the trunk flexion exercises mentioned above.
Action Step: Consider hiring a personal trainer to help you design a good set of core exercises for yourself. A list of highly qualified professionals can be found here.
2) Do Not Neglect Your Lower Body
Exercise Tip Number Two If You Have Low Back Pain: Do not neglect your lower body. Your lower body muscles all help to support your lower back. So, if your lower back is feeling a little bit funky, you may still be able to get some beneficial resistance training in by focusing on your legs.
Action Step: Once you are cleared for regular exercise, aim to get at least one day of lower body weight lifting in each week. Make sure to do a variety of exercises for your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, as well as adding in exercises for your hip flexors, hip adductors, and hip abductors.
3) Be Mindful of Your ROM
Exercise Tip Number Three If You Have Low Back Pain: Be mindful of the range of motion that you use when you weight train. One of the biggest things we see when people have low back pain is they need to limit the range of motion that they are using with their exercises. Before doing an exercise, always check to see how well your body can move without an external influence. This will give you insight into how far you can move during the exercise.
Action Step: Before you do an exercise, check your range of motion. Do the motion that you would during the exercise, but don’t use any weight. This will give you an idea of your maximum allotted motion when you do the exercise with weight.