Weight Lifting Activities to Avoid Injury
Athletes who exercise several days per week may engage in HIIT (high intensity interval training), Spinning, Group Fitness, and Pilates classes, in addition to weight lifting as elements of cross-training to reduce injury. However, when it comes to weight lifting, there are a few exercises sports chiropractors recommend for their patients to avoid so injury does not occur.
Dead-lifts (of any kind) can create increased load on the lower back, its muscles, and the discs that sit between each vertebrae in the lower back. Because the movement involves bending at the back, it places the greatest forces and pressures on the discs, and joints of the lower back with each rep. Repetitive movement can lead to greater injury and time away from working out. If you sit or stand for long periods at your job, it is important to note that strengthening the hamstrings is not necessary as they become tight from sitting or standing over time at your job. This can lead to weakening of the lower back and its surrounding tissues leading to injury.
Shoulder press is another exercise that sports chiropractors treat because of poor form. Shoulder press involves individuals who don’t keep his/her back flat against the bench when sitting. When performing this particular exercise, the athlete needs to have great abdominal wall and core strength to support the spine/trunk when lifting in this manner. Otherwise, it can lead to back, shoulder, and neck injuries from overuse and repetitive movement associated with improper form that chiropractors will have to treat.
Finally, sits-ups and/or crunches are exercises one should avoid. With each sit-up and/or crunch performed on the floor, one places a load of 6-8x your own body weight. This performed over time can lead to lower back injuries of the spine, discs, and muscles. Also, this can lead to increased time away from working out due to an injury suffered here.
Sports chiropractors counsel and recommend their patients on rehab exercises that build abdominal wall, core, and gluteal strength, including other exercises to stabilize, and support the surrounding tissues so injury does not happen in the future and the athlete stays healthier. Typically, besides rehab exercises, sports chiropractors address weaknesses in the patient so the athlete can heal faster and stronger by adjusting their spine and using Active Release Techniques, to improve the flexibility and movement of the surrounding muscles. This ensures that the athlete continues to exercise, and stay fit.
Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP
Lincoln Park Chiropractic 2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite 1
Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 248-2790