Protect Your Back When You Train!

Spinal disks, muscles and nerves are extremely fragile and are subject to injury because of poor exercise mechanics, inadequate physical fitness and poor progression. Coach Randy Wheeler from Fisher High School in Indiana had some advice on how to get strong without hurting your back. Do exercises that stabilize the core (muscles supporting the spine) to improve fitness and prevent injury. Focus on proper technique when doing preventive exercises such as squats, deadlifts, cleans and snatches. The number one rule is to do no harm. For example, doing high-rep traditional sit-ups builds the abs, but eventually causes disk deterioration leading to back pain in the future. Preventive exercises should begin with bodyweight as the resistance, and progress when you feel no pain and you have good technique. Most people have poor technique when they do whole-body lifts such as squats and snatches. Learn to do these exercises correctly so that you don’t hurt yourself. (Strength and Conditioning Journal, 37 (1): 18-23, 2015)

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