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How to Avoid Tweaking Your Back

Have you ever wondered why you’re able to lift heavy at the gym, but when bending over to pick up a small object, you tweak your back? 

Many of us may overlook the way our bodies move when lifting light objects and lose the proper mechanics of bending over, leading to compromise of the low and mid back. When preparing to drop into a squat or deadlifting position, it requires proper bending from the knees and hips while maintaining a neutral spine to bare the force we place through our bodies. We may lose sight of the same mechanics we use in the gym, because we are fatigued and forget the importance of posture after a long day.

What can lead to this tweak when lifting small objects? 

  • Bending the spine forward when picking up an item that is not heavy.
  • Sucking in the stomach while bending over deactivates the stabilizers of the core and low back.
  • Not bending from the knees to lower the center of gravity, placing more pressure on the low/mid back to achieve the goal at hand.

Good news, there is a silver-lining! You can significantly decrease the risk of injury by following these four simple steps: 

  1. For back support, belly breathe low; think of expanding the abdominal cavity like a beach ball.
  2. Place both feet on the ground and bend from the knees and hips, drop the glutes toward the floor to disperse pressure throughout the body.
  3. Hold a neutral spine without a forward lean to utilize all the proper postural muscles together at the same time.
  4. Exhale slowly as you come up from the squatting position (think breathing through a straw) to maintain the belly pressure until the goal is achieved.

Content provided by Dr. Parker Grundman

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Integrated Health Solutions

Integrated Health Solutions