We regularly see athletes come into our Spennetta Family Care Chiropractic Clinic with back pain after they have lifted weights at the gym.

As an obvious first tip, your risk of injury is much greater when lifting heavy weights. When doing squats or dead lifts it’s a good idea to divide the weight that you are capable of lifting by 3. For example, if you can lift 100lb weights, cut back to 30 lbs. Then do the squats but use only one leg. This will not be an easy task! Another good way to mix up your routine is to exercise more of the full body by doing one legged squats along with 15lb barbells doing overhead presses: squat and press, squat and press.

You can also use the same technique for dead lifts.

If you usually dead lift about 60lbs, try one-legged dead lifts with 15lb weights. These are very challenging sets so you may need to stop often to keep balanced. After a couple weeks your body will start to master this task, and at this point you can even roll a mat under your foot to provide a slightly unstable surface. You would be surprised at how switching weights and surfaces exerts little muscles that you normally do not work, and what a great workout it gives you.

Here is another weight lifting tip to eliminate back pain.

Pay very specific attention to how you include abs during your set. As a reminder, make sure they are engaging with each and every movement. If you run through your set and do not practice good form, you could harm yourself. If the weight is so heavy that it exhausts your form, lighten up on the weight or decrease the number of reps in your set. If you do n’t use good form, you don’t target the muscles you intend to work anyhow, so stopping early is a good choice.

For more advice or questions about your injuries, call Spennetta Family Chiropractic Care Clinic in Madison at 608-273-2225 today to speak with Dr. Spennetta.