Back pain is something that almost everyone has in one way or another. It is really part of being human. In this little article I'm going to cover a few of the reasons your lower back might hurt and what to do about it.
You have a weak lower back.
- There is nothing more painful to a lower back than being weak. Yes - you want a strong lower back. This is crucial asset to a happy and fit life. You need to, however, learn to recognize when it is pain vs soreness - keeping in mind the soreness should only ever be moderate. If you have a particularly weak lower back, it’s going to get very sore at first. You fix this by squatting and deadlifting with proper form and adding 100+lbs to each lift.
Your form is inefficient.
- You can have safe technique, but that doesn’t mean it’s efficient. If you are pulling a dumbbell off the ground far in front of you, or bending over farther than you need to during a kettlebell swing, you’re going to get lots of lower back soreness that isn’t a benefit to you. Ask a coach if you think this might be you - and make sure to take a video yourself so you can see what you are doing.
Your form is dangerous.
- You are engaging in a soft or rounded spinal position throughout exercise causing pain in your lower back. This is not good. What you do if you experience this is to lower the weight, intensity, and focus on mastering form. This is very rarely the case at our gym because we place such an emphasis on technique - but being off just a little can cause pain.
You aren’t bracing properly.
- This is maybe the number 1 reason people get back pain. They do not brace their spine for movement. The spine does not stabilize itself. What you should do is squeeze your abs and butt for the entirety of weightlifting movements. This can be especially hard if you are breathing hard or doing dynamic movements, but is a must no matter what. Improper bracing will put all the responsibility of stabilizing your spine on your spinal erectors (your lower back) and cause them to get really sore.
You have really tight muscles.
- Stretching, smashing, and soft tissue massage can relieve a ton of lower back symptoms. This tightness very often leads to lots of pain. If you have tight muscles to start off with in daily life, and then you add exercise, your back pain could get worse. You counteract this by getting more limber. You can book a 1:1 session with a coach at our gym that specializes in relieving lower back pain due to tightness.
You sit too much.
- This makes everything tight and puts pressure on your lower back. If it doesn’t hurt already, if you add exercise to this you will likely develop some lower back pain. You fix this by getting stronger, more flexible, and sitting less.
You have an injury that needs rest.
- This is almost never the case. As someone that has had debilitating back pain for over a decade, and has helped 100s of people with theirs, resting actually very rarely helps. You need to take the approach that your back pain needs to be actively rehabbed and figured out. Doing nothing will result in… nothing.
We have a long history of helping people out of back pain at our gym. If you struggle with it and need help reach out!
-Connor "Had Back Pain My Whole Life" Green
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