Chiropractic Tips for Weightlifters (and Those Who Aren't)
By Sara Butler
You don’t have to be a professional weightlifter to benefit from it, but no matter your skill level you do need to know the proper way to take care of your back while you are lifting. It’s no secret that weightlifting puts a lot of strain on your body, so it’s important to be extra diligent in the care of your spine when you are lifting. If you don’t do things the right way, you risk doing some major damage to your back that could impact you for the rest of your life. Here are some chiropractic tips you can use to make sure you’re lifting safely and with your back in mind.
Before you begin a new weightlifting routine it’s really important to educate yourself about all the risks associated with it. Back pain can be a common side effect of weightlifting, including things such as:
- Strained ligaments
- Muscle strain
- Lumbar tendon strain
- Lumbar muscle strain
- Spinal misalignment
The last, spinal misalignment, is the one you should be more mindful of because it can cause the type of injury that could follow you around for a long time afterward. Just being aware of the risks associated with this exercise is a great first step in protecting your back.
Engage Your Core
One of the most significant things you can do when lifting weights is to engage your core muscles in order to help take some of the strain off of your back. This also has a very positive side effect of helping you to achieve a better posture both in and out of the weight room.
Just be aware that if you ever get to a point where you aren’t able to engage your core when lifting then it’s time to call it a day.
Keeping your back straight when you lift heavy weight is really important. If you arch your back you risk doing damage to not only the soft tissue of your back but the nerves too. Never twist when you’re lifting either!
Pick the Right Weight
Using the wrong amount of weight is a great way to injure yourself, so know your limits. If you’re trying to tone and build muscle, lifting heavier weights isn’t going to help you reach your goals any faster. A great workout can be done with lighter weights and more repetitions.
Weightlifting is a great way to get in shape, but doing it right is just as important. If you have questions about weightlifting, get the advice of a trainer and if you need help taking care of your back, ask your chiropractor.