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Back pain and back injuries are one of the most common health issues that we face as adults.
IN this Q&A we asked a sports rehabilitation personal trainer from Dubai to provide some tips of how to recover from, and even prevent many common back related problems.
Question: My Doctor has advised that I take gentle exercise to recover from a back injury I received at work. As a personal trainer in Dubai what kind of exercise techniques should I do to recover stronger and quicker?
Starting off with light movements in the pool, just very slight rotation and other movements that you would struggle to do outside of the water , as well as doing light kicking in different planes making sure not to aggravate the area and you should not feel any pain if you do then restrict and stay clear of that movement you want to only get fresh blood into the area without making it any more severe.
This will also assist in getting any toxins out of those muscles damaged and will aid in faster recovery.
I would also suggest light massage again just to stimulate the area nothing to intense just again for circulation and blood flow.
Outside of the pool lying on your stomach arms and legs extended, you are going to rest your head on one arm and the other arm is going to be fully extended you are going to raise your opposite arm and opposite leg simultaneously 15x and then switch sides and repeat.
The next one you going to do is exactly the same positioning except this set you are going to raise the same arm and same leg you should not feel any discomfort or pain! Repeat each 15 x 3sets
Question: Many people who are generally ‘fit’ seem to still suffer with back issues; can you shed some light on some of the reasons why this happens – do they ‘over-train’ or exercise using bad methods?
In Dubai, a lot of people really focus on the frontal plane of the body doing a lot of crunches and so on not focusing on opposing muscles or other muscles that are assisting in that same movement hence you are only as strong as your weakest muscles, your body has limits and if certain areas are weaker than others this will affect overall gains.
Another problem is our daily lifestyle and how much time we actually spend vertical compared to being seated.
We are in a seated pretty much most of the day.
We wake up, sit have breakfast then jump in the car drive to work seated, then get to work sit the entire day and so it has become habit to slouch because of this sedentary lifestyle.
Our muscles have become lazy and then they are not able to support your vigorous exercise routine so we go to the gym and in turn spend half the time there doing seated exercises.
A personal trainer in Dubai who specialises in posture and correct form can of course help to correct these wrong lifestyle and training habits.
Question: Back injuries and back strain are often cause by bad posture. Are there any effective and lasting exercise and fitness methods which really help to prevent these problems? I.e. changes to lifestyle and habits?
Yes a lot of my personal training and rehab clients in the UAE have opted for a standing desk for example or even sitting on a resistance ball while at the office standing up and just walking around for few minutes while you on a call or something like that.
All it is really is also lack of movement in different planes staying in certain positions for extended periods of time.
Strengthening your core will definitely assist with eliminating these problems and as well as the back they work together.
Question: Bodyweight exercises can help to strengthen the muscles, are there any bodyweight exercises that you would endorse to provide strength to the back/spine to prevent injury?
Definitely all the planks front plank side and reverse plank very important as well as same arms same leg and opposite as mentioned in question 1.
Another great bodyweight exercise is lying on your back with the legs bent at the knees and feet flush on the ground.
In this position elevating the hips and contracting your glutes will provide a great workout.
Question: Due to an ever increasing sedentary lifestyle bad posture and back related problems are on the rise – as a rehabilitation personal trainer what tips would you provide to your personal trainer clients in Dubai to ‘prevent’ these problems?
My best advice would be to get acquainted with the TRX suspension trainer because of the fact that the entire workout is continuously isolating your core and stabilising muscles which assist in postural dynamics.
The whole workout is done in a standing position which as mentioned in the answers above is very beneficial to the muscles of the back.
Another tip is to just be aware of when you sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time or driving long distances etc, take a break and get yourself moving.
You should also try engaging your core muscles whenever possible.
There are plenty of ways you can prevent having back issues. Many of these require small but significant amounts of daily exercise and not sitting for too long in a single position. When training you can prevent back problems by making sure you train correctly – focus on your form.
If you have an injury or are getting back on your feet after illness a PT in your local area can make the recovery time quicker and most importantly safer.