A Must-learn technique for protecting your back


Many of you have probably heard enough about having a correct posture to protect your back. While that is important, there is another technique that is equally important but is always being missed. Studies have pointed out that when people with lower back pain do any movement, such as lifting a heavy object, there is a delay in response in the core muscle activation as compared to a healthy back. This delayed response leads to a decrease in the stability of the lower back during spine movements, which makes them prone to injury. These core muscles refer to all the muscles that support the spine, including the abdominal muscles, back muscles, muscles between vertebrae, and more. But the good news is that we can activate our core muscles consciously and change that phenomenon with simple exercises.


The secret to protecting your lower back is to know how to contract your core muscles slightly and keep your lower back straight before doing any movement!


How to contract the core muscles?

Imagine your abs are about to get punched, we usually contract the core a little bit hoping to reduce the force of the punch, and that is what we need to practice before each move. You do not need to contract too tight, because studies have shown that we only need 10% of the contraction to increase the stability of the lower back, and thus provide protection.


Now that you know the secret tip for providing support to your spine, it's time to apply it! Here are some exercises we can do to practice.


1. Lifting Technique

- First use the secret tip: Contract the core muscles

- Squat: Bend your knees and hips to get closer to the object. When practicing this step, you can place your hands on your lower back to feel your spine and make sure your lower back is not bent.

- Lift: Engage the hip and leg muscles to lift up while contracting the core muscles slightly

- *You don't have to use heavy objects when you are practicing, you may use a table or bench to press up to practice

- Do 2 sets of 10 reps per day.


Reminder:

- Squat down next to an object instead of bending at the waist to lift

- Keep objects close to the body to reduce the force used by the body


2. Technique for picking up things on the ground

- Place one hand on the wall or table/stool near the item to be picked up for support

- First use the secret tip: Contract the core muscles

- Lean down at hip joint: Stand on one leg, bend your knee slightly, and slowly bend forward from your hip. Extend your other leg back and lean your chest toward the floor. When practicing this step, you can place your hands on your lower back to feel your spine and make sure your lower back is not bent.

- Pick up the item: Pick up the object and return back to the upright position

- Do 2 sets of 10 reps per day.

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