How to Prevent a Back Injury When Weight Lifting

Posted January 18, 2013 in Fitness Tips, Injuries No Comments »

Deadlift Chick


Nearly everyone who trains, whether bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman, or just a general fitness routine, has at some point suffered from an injury. And whether it’s a minor sprain or a broken bone it can definitely derail your progress towards your fitness goals, leading to weeks or months of recovery in which all of your hard work slowly slips away via loss of both muscle mass, strength, and conditioning.

My Personal Experience

I mean, I once walked into a Gold’s Gym after taking about a month off from training, with the intention to deadlift. I wasn’t planning to hit a 1rm or a PR that day. It was just simple sets of 5 to get back into the rythym. On the second set, at 50% of my previous 1rm, my back spasmed, I dropped the weight, and I was out of the weight room for another solid month.

Every athlete and weightlifter has some version of this sad story.

The Short Term Effects Are Frustrating

This is not only a blow to your physique, but also to your mental state; it’s a major disappointment to have to watch the results of your hard work disintegrate before your very eyes. And while a physical therapist can certainly help you to recover and bounce back from an injury, the road may not be an easy one.

This is especially true when it comes to back injuries incurred through weight lifting. A back injury can not only be extremely painful, but in severe cases you might need surgery to correct the issue. And you may never again return to your former state of fitness following such an injury. So if you’re looking to avoid the possibility of a back injury to begin with, here are just a few tips to help ensure that your weight lifting routine is safe as houses.

How to Stay Safe

Depending on the type of weight lifting you practice, you could be placing quite a bit of strain on your back.

For example, deadlifts put a lot of pressure on the lower back while bench presses can impact your upper back and shoulders. In fact, most exercises that involve lifting or pressing any amount of weight have the potential to lead to back injury if you’re not careful.

Whether you’re dealing with sprains, strains, herniated discs, or something even worse, the pain of these injuries can not only have negative consequences for your workout regimen, but also for your ability to function in everyday life.

The main cause of most such injuries is a failure on the part of the practitioner. While it’s certainly a good idea to use the proper protective equipment when lifting, including a weight belt to protect your spine and chalk to help you to keep your grip on a bar, these products can’t do all of the work for you. If you fail to use proper form and exercise caution when lifting, the tools you use can’t hope to protect you.

In fact, over-reliance on such safety gear has no doubt led many a lifter to go beyond his/her physical capabilities, resulting in injury. So it’s extremely important to pay attention to both proper form and your body’s signals when lifting weights.

Form is of Ultimate Importance

If you’re not sure what the proper form is for certain exercises or you think you may be doing them wrong, it’s in your best interest to set up a session with a personal trainer or ask another professional for some help. Trust the Project Swole tutorials that teach you how to deadlift and more. Believe it or not, I know what I’m talking about.

Even though gyms are filled with mirrors you may not be able to see where you’re making mistakes, and this could not only minimize your results, but also lead to unsafe practices and ultimately, a back injury. Further, you need to listen to your body and know when you’ve had enough.

Pushing your limits is essential to building muscle and achieving peak levels of physical conditioning, but unless you want to end up taking recovery advice from a chiropractor you need to learn to read the signs your body is giving you so that you don’t push yourself over the edge and into a back injury.

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