When I was in the gym this afternoon, I saw a fellow gym member lifting a very heavy dumbbell from the floor using a wrong technique. Before I was fast enough to advise him not to pull that weight up, he has already done so. Fortunately, nothing bad took place.
I pay much attention to avoid getting back injury. Why? After you have ever hurt your back, it becomes more vulnerable to future injury. So, it should be best avoided at all costs.
Contrary to believe, most back injuries are not caused by what you pick up or how heavy you lift, but how you do it. The wrong technique I was referring is to lift a heavy thing by forward bending and then lift with your back. You may get your muscle or ligament strain. Worse, spinal disc may be injured too when it is being squeezed by the vertebrae above. Vertebrae are the bones that make up the spine, or backbone.
What is the correct form then? To pick something heavy up:
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart to provide wide base of support.
- Squat close to the object. Bend your hips and knees.
- Keep your back straight.
- Grab the object with good grip force.
- Then, stand and lift the object. Your thighs and butt muscles should do the lifting, not your back.
- Never twist your body while lifting.
- Use slow and smooth movement.
The other common mistake I often see in office is picking up a pen off the floor. Many tend to underestimate the need to be careful when lifting a light object. They bend over to the side and pick the pen while staying seated with feet planted on the floor. For unlucky folks with weak back, the twist may harm their back. Back muscle may not be that flexible after sitting for hours at desk. So, to be on the safe side, stand up from your chair, and squat down to pick that pen up.
Last but not least, for motorcyclist, picking up a motorcycle using improper form may cause back injury too. It is always good to get help. Do not try to be macho and do it yourself. If you are alone and your bike is too heavy, then you can use the method as shown in the below diagram.
Once again, do not try to lift by bending forward or twisting your body. Do not arch your back while lifting. Take care of your back!
Category: Weight Training
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