While exercising and being active can be great for your physical health, it can also cause some pain in areas that you’d rather not have pain issues with, especially in your neck and back. When you experience pain in your neck or back, even the most basic of movements can hurt. And, if you’re not careful with pain management, you could even end up dependent on pain medication to relieve the pain you’re feeling. But luckily, there are things you can do to ensure that you protect these essential parts of your body even when doing physical work. To show you how, here are three tips for keeping your neck and back safe while exercising.
Use The Ideal Posture
Keeping proper posture is one great way to ensure that your neck and back aren’t being twisted or contorted in a way that’s unnatural for them. However, it’s often difficult for someone to know when they’re using correct posture because it can at times feel awkward, especially if you’re not used to it. PhysioDetective.com shares that the best posture to have when working out should include your spine being neutral with your head and pelvis aligned. Your shoulders, hips, and pelvis should be square, and you should avoid movement that put a lot of stress or tension on either your back or your neck. And before you do any harder movements, be sure to stretch well and warm up first.
Be Careful With Ab Workouts
Although having a strong core can work wonders for protecting your back and neck from injury, many of the exercises that people do to work out their core end up being damaging for the neck and back in the first place. Knowing this, it’s important to be careful when doing ab workouts. Max Roman Dilthey, a contributor to LiveStrong.com, shares that some of the best ab exercises you can do for back and neck safety are stationary workouts. These include things like planks, side planks, and bird dogs. These exercises keep your body supported enough that your neck and spine shouldn’t be strained or moved too far out of perfect posture in order to complete them.
Get Your Hamstrings Warm
According to Stephanie Burke, a contributor to Spine-Health.com, one area of the body that has a tremendous impact on your core but is often overlooked when thinking about this section of the body is the hamstring. When your hamstrings are tight, they can put increased pressure on your pelvis and lower back, putting you at risk for injuring these parts of your body. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to stretch your hamstrings before and after working out as well as any other time you feel that your hips or lower back are getting tight or uncomfortable.
If you’re concerned about how to best protect your neck and back while exercising, use the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.