Thursday 8 December 2016

Siobhan Byrne on... The key to managing back pain

Our fitness guru delves into how strength training can help to reduce pain after a back injury

Siobhan Byrne

Published 25/08/2015 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne
Siobhan Byrne
Alternating superman 1
Alternating superman 2
Close row
Close row 2
Glute bridge
Glute bridge 2

Over the next few weeks I am going to be talking about how strength training may help you to develop your muscles in order to reduce back pain.

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It is fair to say, that one of the main reasons people like strength training is because of how it aesthetically makes them look and how they feel after training. For some people it goes far beyond any aesthetics, for them strength training provides them with an ability to feel strong and help to avoid pain by ensuring good muscle development, which can, in turn, help with taking pressure off joints.

One of the key areas that I see this in, is with people with back injuries. Whether the injury is from a bad accident or general wear and tear, over the years strength training can be the key thing to help you manage your injury and help stop any further deterioration.

It is important to realise that strength training done correctly can only be of benefit to the body. It is important to work the entire body and not focus on one specific area that may have a problem, such as just doing back exercises if you have a bad back. Often back pain can be linked to other issues apart from back issues, such as tightness in the glutes or even bad core strength, to name but a few.

A good balanced body in which the muscles work together, will be strong from the core, working each muscle effectively. Some of the benefits that you can get from a good strength training routine include improving muscle balances, which can cause back pain, strengthening weak muscles to relieve back pain and helping rehabilitate the spine.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

Week one: Strong back

Alternating Superman

1/ Lie face down with your abdomen on a BOSU, with your legs straight and your arms outstretched overhead. Then raise one arm and the opposite leg straight up off the floor.

2/ Lower both leg and arm and repeat with the other arm and leg, keeping your arms and legs straight throughout.

Glute Bridge on BOSU

1/ Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on a BOSU, with your hands at either side of the body.

2/ Then raise the hips, bringing them in a straight line from your knees through the body. Hold, then return to start position.

Close row

1/ Start by lying face down on the ball, holding dumbbells by your sides, with arms straight and palms facing in.

2/ Then simply lift the dumbbells up to your chest, bending your elbows straight back close to your sides, while at the same time squeezing your shoulder blades together.

3/ Return to start position then repeat.

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