Back pain can really slow you down. It make something as simple as sleeping very difficult, and worst of all, it can prevent you from working out. Not being able to pursue your fitness goals cam be extremely frustrating, especially when every time you try, you make the problem worst. The good news is, there are ways to encourage that back pain to move on.

In our last blog, we talked about signs that your back troubles require the help of a doctor. Symptoms like tingling, numbness, loss of coordination, and trouble walking are all signs that your back issue is structural (having to do with bones and ligaments). If you aren’t suffering those symptoms, it means that your back pain is in your muscles. This is good news! You now have the ability to self-treat, which means saving money and time. However, you have to be smart about it. Before doing anything, you need to understand whether the issue is flexion (curled spine) or extension (arched spine). Make sure you read our last blog for exercises to help you determine that.

In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about strategies for working out. They will help you stay active while giving your back a chance to heal.

Avoid These Exercises

In order to give your back a chance to heal, you need to avoid any hip-hinges that are front-loaded and heavy. This includes deadlifts, barbell rows, full-range crunches and situps, back extensions, leg presses, and low bar back squats. Stay away from these exercises completely until your back has recovered.

So How Do You Keep Progressing?

As you might have noticed, the parameters of your lower body workout have narrowed considerably. That’s okay. You can still push forward by increasing the volume of exercises that don’t hurt you. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • For single-leg exercises: Push as hard as you can. Load up to the point where only four to eight reps are possible. These exercises will be replacing your traditional exercises, so we recommend you work toward getting fifty reps per leg.
  • Split-stance exercises: We recommend you start with eight to 15 sets on each leg, working up to 60 reps on each side. Make sure you finish all the reps for one leg before moving onto the next one instead of alternating legs. This will allow you to keep effective tension going without resetting your spine between every rep.
  • Bilateral exercises: These come after you’ve maxed your legs with the above exercises. Pick two movements that won’t hurt your back and push as hard as you can, maxing out reps and keeping the load light. We recommend you aim for three sets of twenty reps or more in order to truly get the most out of the workout.

Wherever you are in your fitness journey, Houston Gym is here to help you take the next step. Learn more about our world-class facility and stop in to see it for yourself. We look forward to meeting you!