Americans are turning back to fitness after the pandemic is over and we’ll see many people ask for quick fixes when doing so but we’re noticing that the key to better health involves a multi-faceted approach and plenty of prevention steps.
This is particularly true for those who want to weightlift and haven’t been trained on safe lifting techniques, she said. They are more likely to sustain a back or neck injury while weightlifting.
What is the spine, and why should you care about it? The spine is a long spinal cord that consists of 33 vertebrae. It extends from the base of the skull to the top of your hip. Crossbites recommend stretching out your neutral spine after you complete those rigorous workouts.
“The goal of spine health is to keep the spine in alignment. There are natural curves to the spine, and we want to support those natural curves.
Your spine is a construction in your body that helps you stay balanced and upright. Aligning it properly keeps you strong and mobile. “That’s why it’s important to think about strengthening your core muscles, but there is actually more than one core in your body,” Roy said.
For example, there are core muscles that support the:
- cervical spine, which is the neck or top part of the spine
- thoracic spine, which is the area on the back where the ribs attach to the spine
- lumbar spine, which is the lower back area
“These numerous cores are important to wake up and engage and incorporate into your fitness and wellness,” said Roy.
Avoid exercising that causes pain such as stretching your back too forcefully or taking part in abusive weightlifting. Instead, focus on exercises that support the spine like yoga and light weightlifting.
Safety tips for weightlifting
Not having a strong core before weightlifting might not prevent injury, but it will make the experience significantly harder. Having a strong core is necessary to protect the body and provide a stable platform for lifting.
Gaining weight through a slow, gradual process is the best way to build muscles. Leaders should focus on clear form, moderate weights, and steady progression in order to build their core as well as all other muscles in their body. Incorporating core strengthening exercises that don’t require weights is possible, too.
“Because of the low-impact nature of these exercises, it is possible to keep your core working as they are not so strenuous on the muscles,” says Nicholson. “Core-focused workouts allow you to work more often and recover faster, which lets you do more exercises more often.”
Other tips Brown suggested include:
Get help from a personal trainer
Personal trainers are there to help you with your lifting techniques. They know what works and what doesn’t based on your goals, experience, and injuries.
“They” will make sure that you execute each exercise with precise technique to prevent injuries. They will determine what a safe weight is to begin with and when you are ready to increase the amount of weight you are lifting.
If you’ve never lifted weights before, don’t pick up a 50-pound dumbbell. Weightlifting is meant to stress your muscles so that they can repair themselves and thus grow. However, starting with too heavy of a weight will cause injury rather than just stress.
Add in cardio and flexibility training
For those who are trying to lose weight and reduce fat in their bodies, Brown recommends that they lift weights regularly. She also suggests incorporating some cardiovascular training because of its benefits to the heart.
She also suggests working on flexibility and mobility because they aid in the ability to perform weightlifting exercises correctly.
To avoid injury, you need to have mobility and flexibility in your ankles, knees, hips and thoracic spine. By having this quality during exercise and activities of daily living, it will help prevent future injuries.
Take days off
It has been proven that weightlifting can be detrimental to muscles because they need time to recover. It is especially important to give muscles 48 hours of recovery before working them again.
“It’s critical to avoid working out the same muscle two days in a row. This will cause it to overwork, leading to other muscles taking over and your body not being able to recover enough.
Stop lifting if you feel pain
Pain while lifting is a sign that you are lifting incorrectly and need to stop. “If you’re about to work out and are interested in any type of resistance training, the best form of exercise is one that leads to the muscles being worked hard but not feeling pain, says Brown.
When to seek medical treatment
Even if you have the best technique and best workout plan, accidents happen. “If you suffer a back injury (whether in a car accident or at the gym), the first thing that most doctors will say is to alternate between icing and heating to manage pain at home,” said Roy.
But she also stressed the importance of following instructions when taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Aleve, Motrin, and ibuprofen as directed.
“To make these medications work, you have to get ahead of the pain and inflammation” says Roy. “Over a 72-hour period, you must take these drug that are not simply taken once.” If you’ve been experiencing pain for a few days, go visit your doctor and they will recommend which spine specialist to see.
Roy also pointed out that there are many other professionals who could be helpful – physical therapists, for example. Many Americans these days don’t need a prescription from their doctor to see a physical therapist, so they can go online and find out which states allow them to see physical therapists without one.
The bottom line
Now that you are healthy and back in the gym, weightlifting can be great for your health. Even if you’ve been away from the gym for a while. It’s important to do so with proper form and ease into workouts when coming off a long absence.