Stay safe from harm
Keep yourself moving AND be injury-free WITH
Everyone suffers physical injuries (perhaps from exercise) and lower back pain (maybe from lifting) from time to time, even the celebs (sometimes from stunts on set). There’s nothing worse than getting an injury as it’s not only a huge inconvenience that slows you down, but the pain from an injury causes a lot of stress to the body, making you feel lethargic and irritated. The thing to pay attention to is not only what to do if you get an injury, but more importantly how can you prevent them from happening in the first place.
Good posture in our everyday movements is the biggest factor to focus on to avoid injuries of any kind, and especially lower back pain; it’s about how you sit at your desk, in the car and even on the couch. Staying active, with a good range of mobility through muscles and joints, is another major part of avoiding back pain. Most importantly, keeping your weight in check is a great way to avoid injuries, as being overweight can slow us down and decrease our mobility. I recommend a training focus on all the elements of bodyweight strength, core strength and balance, with a good amount of flexibility.
For flexibility and ease of movement, let’s look at a few stretches and mobility exercises that will help keep you moving well and injury-free. A must-do exercise for runners and cyclers is foam rolling for the ITB (iliotibial band), which runs down the sides of the legs from the hip joint to the knee, and also the quadriceps in the front of your legs.
OK, let’s roll!
Lie on your side with the foam roller at the knee and roll your leg up it as you drag your body along the floor until the roller reaches your hips, then return to the starting position. You can rotate your body forward or back to target different parts of the leg. Complete five rolls on
each side before changing. Repeat three times on each side and aim to do this exercise three times a week. Another useful exercise to prevent tight hips, which often cause lower back pain, is to release the hip flexors, a group of muscles that run from the inner thigh to the lower spine, which responds best to an activation-and-release technique. While in a kneeling position with one leg in front of the other, and both knees at 90°, squeeze your gluteal (bum) muscles for five seconds as you push forward slightly, but focusing more on the opposing muscle activation rather than the push forward. Release and repeat three time before changing sides.