Lower back pain is one of the most common health issues in modern society. The human body was simply not made to be in the seated position all day in front of a computer screen. This less than optimal, but common mode of living slowly degenerates the discs in your lower back.
Sadly, lower back pain can keep you from doing a wide range of exercises. And this will simply make it more difficult for you to get toned arms. Every fitness program needs a lot of variety in order to be effective. Otherwise, your body will plateau very quickly.
So in this article we will go over some things you can do to manage and reverse lower back pain.
Exercise your stabilizers first
Don’t fall into the trap of doing crunches all day. In many cases, crunches simply make things worse. You see, there are two types of muscles that provide support to your lower back: stabilizers and movers. As the name implies, stabilizers provide more of an anchoring support to the deep structures in your lower back.
While movers simply help your body move in different planes. Crunches are an exercise that mainly targets your movers. But it doesn’t really make sense to work on your movers if your stabilizers aren’t strong first.
So make sure you make your stabilizers as strong as possible first by doing exercises like planks and bird dogs.
Be really careful with your cardiovascular exercise
Many people assume that weight lifting is the most likely type of exercise that leads to back injury, but cardiovascular exercise can be equally damaging.
The tricky thing about cardiovascular exercise is that it causes damage slowly and progressively over time. Whereas with weight lifting the feedback is usually very quick, you know you’ve done something wrong right when it happens.
So it’s really important that you avoid high-impact cardiovascular exercise. Stay away from things like tennis, rowing, running, aerobics, dancing, etc. And opt for safer alternatives like bicycling, swimming, ellipticals, walking, etc.
Once your back is healed, you can slowly incorporate higher impact cardio if you enjoy it.
Reduce abdominal fat
If you are trying to tone your arms this is probably a moot point, but just in case remember that extra body weight places stress on your lower back.
Even worse, if a high percentage of the weight is in the form of abdominal fat your center of gravity can get pulled forward. And this places even more stress on your lower back. So make sure that you are losing body fat in addition to toning your arms with exercises.
Surprisingly, smokers suffer from more lower back pain. This happens for two reasons. First, smoking restricts blood flow to the discs and vertebrae. This prevents them from healing properly and disrupts their proper functioning.
Second, smoking reduces bone density – you literally lose bone mass. This puts you more at risk for osteoporosis which is another contributing factor to back pain.
Don’t use backpacks
Always opt for backpacks or luggage with wheels. A heavy backpack not only puts more stress on your lower back, but it also can make you bend forward unnaturally.
If you absolutely have to use a backpack, here is what you can do:
-Use both straps, don’t use just one strap across your shoulders
-Lighten the load by only carrying essentials
-Make sure it has a padded back
-Put the heaviest items as close as possible to the center of your back
-Always bend from your knees when picking it up
Protect your back by modifying your habits
You can add certain habits to your daily routine that will benefit your lower back. Follow these simple tips for relief:
-While standing for an extended period of time put one foot on a small stool
-Avoid staying in the same position for too long
-Always use your hands to support yourself when bending from the waist
-When sitting make sure your feet touch the floor
-Always use a lumbar support when you are in the seated position
-Don’t vacuum from the bent over position
Lower back pain can be extremely difficult to deal with if you don’t proactively seek solutions. And if you want to get toned arms, you have to do this. You don’t have to suffer!