Exercises That Might Be Bad For Your Back

Back pain is making a lot of people feel sore these days. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 50% of working Americans state they have back pain symptoms every year. Additionally, back pain is the cause for over 264 million lost work days annually. If you're reading this, chances are you're familiar with back pain, as experts also claim that 4 out of 5 people will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime.

While you may not be able to avoid back pain completely, there are ways to lower your risk. According to Everyday Health, taking care of your spine and making adjustments to some of your behaviors can be key to improving back health. For instance, learning how to lift heavy items correctly so you don't twist the wrong way tops the list. Staying physically active is also important. "Whether you make regular visits to the gym, walk, bike, swim, or play with your kids, staying active and keeping your body moving helps maintain a healthy spine," Anne Coffey, a chiropractor with Lustig Healing Arts in Lodi, New Jersey, tells Everyday Health.

Yet while "visits to the gym" and other exercise regimens can be good methods for maintaining a healthy back, you should also be aware that there are some exercises that could harm you.

Avoid these exercises to minimize back pain

There are many exercises that can strengthen your back, but if you do them incorrectly, or while you have back pain, you could be setting your back up for a big setback.

The plank pose is well-known for the benefits it has on your core and for protecting your back from overuse, but LiveStrong warns that if you have bad form, there's a chance you could do some serious harm to yourself. So when doing a plank pose, make sure your hips remain straight and don't round your upper back. Your back should be flat and your spine should be in a neutral position because the further away your spine is from a neutral position, the more prone it is to injury.

If you're a fan of squats, make sure your shoulders don't hunch forward and you aren't rounding your back. When doing lunges, keep your abdominals tight and your knees in line with your middle toe to maintain that neutral spine position. Experts at Active have a suggestion for when you do sit-ups. Rather than going from a flat position to sitting upright, they suggest doing half-crunches. This still gives your abs a good workout, while reducing the strain on your back.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy back, it's a balance. Exercise is important, but you must also be mindful about choosing safe and beneficial exercises. Knowing the correct form, remembering to stretch, and giving your back adequate time to rest and rejuvenate can all help reduce the chances of developing lower back pain.