Avoid lower back pain

– Rich Froning, CrossFit® Games Winner 2011-2014, lifting weights in Rehband back brace.

Lower back pain is often a product of a weak core. It’s easy to only focus on great looking abs and forget about your deep core muscles, but neglecting your core could be harmful.

“You have to find the balance between training the core– and the deep trunk muscles. It’s essential for all athletes in order to maintain the stability of the spine and pelvis during workouts”.

This is what our friends at Boxrox magazine have to say about lower back pain:

“A strong core stability is central to reduce lower back pain – but it’s not the only important element”

Even though a strong core stability is central – you can always need the extra help when it gets tough. When competing in CrossFit®, with high rep lifts or maxing out under time pressure, athletes often use a lifting belt for additional support and safety precautions.

“You can only reach your full potential if your back works with you. When using a back brace you increase blood flow and working temp is quicker reached. Blood lactate level is lowered much faster due to warmth and compression, by a back brace.” – Johan Bolin, Product Developer of Rehband products and Physiotherapist, Otto Bock Scandinavia AB.

How to avoid lower back pain:

Avoid the “cat curved” back at work
– At the office you often sit in a static position for hours each day, which stiffens your hip flexors. Tighter hip flexors and limited extension range of motion in that area lead to the painful lower back. Try active- and passive stretching. Hold lunges for 45 seconds, repeat with three sets, each leg. Also stretch your hamstrings, glutes while keeping your back straight (not “cat curved”).

Don’t lift too heavy
– If you are lifting too heavy (weights you are not trained for), your muscles that stabilize your spine can be stretched which causes tiny tears on the tissue. Consequently they get weaker, not supporting your spine correctly, making it less stable and causes pain in the lower back. 

Train your deep core muscles
– The main functions of the deep core muscles is to function as back stability, a strong core is therefore important to help stabilize the spine and pelvis.

Use a lifting belt
– Additional support is a safety precaution for athletes that are pushing limits. A back brace with compression will also increase blood flow and quicker get you up to working temperature.

Only a healthy athlete can be a successful athlete. When the pain or injury do occur, seek the right treatment and treat it as a lesson to be learned. If your muscles do get sore, take care of them with proper rest and recovery.

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