How To Avoid Back Injuries

Read this article and find out how to keep your back in working order when working out!

Mishaps like squatting with too much weight pile-drive your discs, but just sitting also spells trouble: "If you slouch your ligaments compress the spine," says back care expert Professor Stuart McGill. “If you sit upright, your muscles compress the spine." He recommends using a chair with a good lumbar support cushion nestled in your S curve, and raising your seat, monitor, keyboard and desk closer to barstool height to help your spine stay neutral.

Shear forces are disastrous for your back, and you don’t need to be lifting a Grand Piano: Lean forward from your chair to stand up and you generate dangerous sliding pressure on your discs. Instead, pull your shoulders back and chest up and hinge forward at the hips to rise straight up. Your back will stay safely locked in neutral.

Rotating your upper body without rotating your pelvis squeezes gel from your discs. "When you reach, you twist while flexing which doubles the destructive effect," says McGill. Take care with rotational exercises like cable woodchoppers, too. “Twisting torque creates massive load on the discs," says McGill. “Always move your upper and lower body as a single unit.” Imagine you've nailed boards from the bottom of your ribs to the top of your hips so your pelvis and rib cage move as a block.

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