I would like to list here a few things that
are important to keep your back healthy for training.
by Enrico Contolini
been a runner for such a long time, I know that a lot of us donít spend too
much time worrying about stretching and strengthening exercises for our
lower back. Are you one of the few? I was not for a long time, and then when
I turned 30 and studied to become a Personal Trainer I figured out that, if
I wanted to keep running for many years to come, I should start to take
better care of myself, even if that meant running 10 minutes less and
stretching 10 minutes more, when I only have 30 minutes for my lunch break.
So I would like to list here a few things that are important to keep your
back healthy, which will result in you being able to run longer and happier.
I am not claiming to have invented any of the following. They are a
collection of tips I have learnt or read and that I try to apply in my daily
routine. Finally, please do not use the tips below instead of going to your
doctor. Always consult your physician for professional advice on any
problems you may be experiencing in your back.
Stretch and strengthen your
lower back and abdomen with stretching exercise
and strengthening exercises.
Try to run on soft surfaces and
to limit cement runs as much as possible. Your body
will thank you for that.
Bend your knees when you have to
pick up something from the floor.
Wear good supporting shoes when
Wear shoes indoor, especially on
hard floors (including in your house). Try to avoid
walking bear feet.
Sleep on your back or on your
side. Try to avoid sleeping on your belly. If you sleep
on your side, use a pillow between your knees. Sleep on a good, firm
you bike, make sure you get fit by a knowledgeable bike store to assure you
riding the correct size bike and in a fashion that does not put unnecessary
strain on your lower back.
Sit properly. Straight back,
weight on both your butt muscles, both feet on the floor. Having your
chair slightly bent forward may help with this. Also, if you have a big
wallet in your pants pocket and sit on it all day, move it somewhere else.
elevating one of your butt muscles and as a consequence your back is not
seated, try not to overlap your legs. This will unbalance your butt muscles
unnecessarily stretching one more than the other.
Listen to your back. If it
complains, give it a day-break and/or visit your doctor.
these tips help keep you running without problems for many years. If you
have some other good tips to add to the list above, let me know.
I am also
attaching below an article that appeared in this month Ace Personal Trainer
newsletter. It deals with Sciatica, which is another back problem. I thought
the timing was great.
happy and safe 2004
information in this article is provided freely with the only goal of educating
athletes accessing the beginnertriathlete.com website. The article/workouts
above are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only
examples of workouts that I and/or other athletes have completed in the past.
Enrico Contolini will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or
death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.
Please, always remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise
Triathlete and ACE Certified