How Can I Stop My Back From Hurting When I Lift?

Written by Jonathan

I will try and paint your low back pain picture. You sit at your desk all day working, you come home clean your house a bit, play with your kids or maybe you’re lucky enough to get a workout in 😉 and then your low back hurts, but you don’t know why. I can’t say with certainty why your low back hurts because I have never watched you sit, move or workout, but there’s a good chance you are NOT keeping your spine neutral when you sit and move. A neutral spine is important because it puts the load on your lower back muscles not the ligaments and inter-vertebral discs that hold your spine together. To keep a neutral spine you need to practice pushing your hips back to initiate your movement down. This means start by standing straight up as if you are in the military and to push your hips straight back as far as you can. As your hips go straight back keep your back flat, you will start to feel a pull in your hamstrings, when you feel that pull you know you’re doing it right. You should feel this pull almost instantly. When you feel this hamstring pull, continue to keep your back tight and let your upper body move forward as you do it. But always maintain your flat back. Practice this movement without any weight first to make sure you understand how to do it. If you are having trouble let your knees bend softly as you do it and this will help ease the movement. Once you have become use to this movement any time you need to lean forward, pick something up off the floor or even get a drink from the water fountain move this way. This is called ‘Hip Hinging’ doing it all the time will help stop your back from hurting and make this new movement pattern the ‘natural’ way for you to move. Now, when you go to workout or lift a heavy object off the floor this is the first movement that comes naturally to you. If you practice the hip hinge and start doing it right away all the time your legs will be very sore for 3 or 4 days as you adapt because they are not used to taking the load all the time. This means you are on the right track and much less likely to hurt your back, because your legs are in fact now taking the whole load.

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