How can I protect my back when working out?

There are many simple things that can be done to prevent back injuries when working out. Make sure you consistently incorporate core training into your workouts to ensure that you have adequate trunk strength, endurance, and neuromuscular control. Posture, balance, and proprioceptive training are also important for preventing injury. Focus on proper mechanics when performing any activity or heavy lift. Before picking up weight (particularly off of the floor or other low surface) make sure that you are standing close to it to shorten the lever arm. Set your feet shoulder width apart, and squat down by bending your knees to pick up the weight. When picking up weights or other objects, no matter how light, keep your back straight, and do not let it round. If you are unsure of your form with any exercise, consult a personal trainer, athletic trainer, or physical therapist for guidance.

The back is supported by core muscles, including abdominal as well as back muscles. Keeping these muscles strong through strengthening, such as abdominal and back exercises, is important. Paying attention to body mechanics, such as bending at the knees when supporting weight and avoiding twisting or straining under pressure, can also help prevent injuries. Good stretching, cross training and choosing low-impact sports such as swimming may also reduce the risk of injury. For individuals engaging in higher-risk sports, such as weight lifting or contact sports, should consider working with a trained coach or professional who may be able to advise specific exercises, protective equipment and other specific techniques to further prevent back injuries.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.