Proper Back Position and Safety
Do you avoid the gym or heavy lifting out of fear of injury?
Weight lifting and strength training are surprisingly safe activities. In fact, it has one of the lowest rates of injury out of any sport.
Here is some data that shows how safe weight training is:
Statistics from Sports Injury Rates (Hamill 1994)
|Soccer (school age)||6.20|
|UK Cross Country||0.37|
|Weight Training||0.0035 (85,733 hrs)|
|Weight Lifting||0.0017 (168,551 hrs|
Now, do not take this information blindly. Strength and weight training under proper coaching is the key to safety and results. If you train with poor technique and weights that you aren’t able to handle yet, your risk of injury sky rockets.
Back Position and Safety
One of the most important techniques to follow is always maintaining proper back position during your lifts.
There are two little tricks to bring your back in to a safe and secure position.
- Actively pull your shoulders back and down, while lifting the chest, to create thoracic extension.
- Slightly bend the knees and push your butt out, creating a slight arch in your lower back. This is called lumbar extension.
The combination of active thoracic and lumbar extension locks your whole back in to its safest and strongest position. If you move a weight or put yourself in a position that compromises this form, you are doing too much or are not yet flexible enough for that movement.
Another useful technique to use with upper and lower back extension is active abdominal bracing. This movement can be initiated by bracing your stomach as if you are about to be punched there. Do not suck in your stomach, rather you should bear down and make your whole midsection firm.
This technique increases the pressure within your body, creating greater spinal stability and muscle tension. Higher stability and tension provides safer and stronger exercise performance.
Keep It Tight
Keeping your upper back, shoulders, midsection and lower back tight provides the best stability when performing most weight lifting movements.
Making sure to keep proper back position will allow you to stay healthy and training for many years.
As with all exercise and physical activity there is a risk of injury. It is best to perform your training under the supervision of a qualified coach or trainer. If you are looking for proper technique instruction and high quality training, shoot me an email at email@example.com .