The easiest way to injure your spine while in the gym is to exercise without the proper technique.  So, if you are like the millions who hit the gym as part of your weekly routine, you should that know the 5 of the most common ways to injure your back in the gym.  

1. Lifting with a narrow base: Starting your lift is perhaps the most important part of the lift itself. When lifting a high weight, one will not be able to shuffle their feet to gain a better position under the bar. If that base is too narrow to start with, then there is a huge risk for injury. An easy way to avoid this is to be sure that your feet are spread shoulder width apart before you address the weight. Lifting weights is in no way a race, so be comfortable before you lift anything. Also, it is essential to have a spotter to help you in case you get into a jam. If you get into a predicament, you will be glad they were there.

2. Lifting too quickly: When you can get into a groove while lifting you start to lift faster and faster. This may seem like the macho thing to do, and the momentum will help you get that extra rep in the air. However, lifting too quickly is detrimental to two things. The first is that you are sacrificing the proper form that you want while lifting. Not using the proper form will lead to injuries and it really doesn’t help your fitness in the long run. The second thing is that lifting quickly puts unnecessary pressure on your body. Moving too quickly will risk injury to your back and joints.

3. Bending ones back forward: When lifting any type of weight you should not be bending your back forward at any time. While doing popular back-stressing exercises such as dead-lifts, squats, hang cleans and others you will feel the urge to bend your back forward to pick up the bar. STOP. This is one of the worst things to do to your back. Puff out your chest and keep your back as straight as possible while you do the reps. Be sure to have somebody watch your form to ensure it is perfect. These types of exercises can be very beneficial when done properly, but they have a high risk for injury.

4. Not warming up properly:It is always important to stretch and get the blood pumping a little bit before a workout. As a kid you may have been able to walk into the gym and straight to the bench or squat rack. Those days are over, so be sure to get a stretch in before you do anything. If you have the time, hop on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes to get active and your back muscles will be ready to go.

5. Lifting through a previous injury:When you do happen to feel a tweak in your back it is important to stop immediately. Ignoring it would put you at risk for a more serious back injury which could require a major surgery. Recovering from back surgery is a long road, and it is a long time that you will not be able to work out. Not to mention it puts your work and family life at risk. It is important that when you suffer any time of back injury to see a doctor immediately for treatment.


The spine specialists at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery treat conditions of the cervical and lumbar spine using both non-surgical and surgical modalities.  New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery is led by Dr. Dante Implicito and Dr. John Koerner and has offices in Glen Rock and Maywood, NJ. Both physicians have extensive training and experience in the utilization of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques as well as non-surgical techniques.

While here at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery, all steps in your treatment will be clearly reviewed with you by our outstanding and expert team.  Our goal is to ensure your return to the healthy and active lifestyle you enjoyed in the quickest and most effective way possible.  Each patient is an individual and must be treated like an individual.  Our doctors emphasize a personalized and individualized treatment plan for all of their patients that aim to ensure that each patient is educated and informed when it comes to their procedure.

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