While lifting weights is one of the safest and most effective exercise programs to perform, there are a number of ways that people make mistakes and put their backs at greater risk of injury. For very active people who work out with weights more than a couple days a week, there is an increased risk of creating high compressive forces on the spine which may lead to a permanent flattening of the discs between the vertebrae of the spine. As well, lifting with poor form can cause increased stress on various joints and create conditions under which disc herniation and other damage may occur.
Professional powerlifters, in fact, may end up losing inches of their total height over their careers. This is due to the heavyweights that they lift in squatting and deadlifting that create huge compression of the spinal column. After a decade or more of competing, they may be several inches shorter than when they began. What happens is that, over time and after so many repetitions, the jelly-like discs between the vertebrae get flattered and flatter. The result is less space between each vertebra and a higher risk of injury. It is no wonder so many professional lifters end their careers with back injuries. Spinal Stenosis is one of the most common spine problems weightlifter faces. If you are Looking the best doctor to perform your Spinal Stenosis treatment in New Jersey then you should check this out. You can communicate with some of the best doctors and medical institutions in the New Jersey area.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies that the average person can employ to help prevent such severe flattening of their discs when lifting weights for exercise or for work. These two strategies involve not lifting heavy weights every day or week and performing some exercises on one leg instead of two. Including both of these ideas into a well-designed training program can help preserve the health of the back and prevent long-term flattening of the discs in the spinal column.
First, it is not important to lift heavy every day that someone is at the gym. In fact, using lighter weights but lifting them at maximal speed may recruit just as many muscle fibers as one slow, heavy lift. This means that the muscles can be worked just as hard with significantly lighter weights, and there is really no reason to lift as much as one can every single day in the gym. Also, specific de-load weeks should be included in a training program in order to reduce the compressive loads on the spine and allow for a short period of rest and recovery of the muscles and connective tissues.
Second, it seems that the back is the weak link in many heavy lifts. While the legs and hips may be able to lift significantly more weight, the forces on the spine will be the first to cause injury to the back. But take the load off the back and keep it on the legs and significant gains can be made. The easiest way to do this is to lift weights with one leg at a time. Single-leg squats and lunges, for instance, may be used to work the legs and lower body just as hard while sparing the lower back and discs. This can lead to greater strength gains and less risk of injury.