Back pain is the most common diagnosis seen in the sports physical therapy and injury rehabilitation settings (pretty common with runners too!). People with cranky lower backs often have to manage the total volume of activity being performed over a given period of time.
Notably, it is essential to be mindful of the number of exercises being performed that involve a great deal of axial loading. Axial loading involves weight bearing directly downward onto the spine.
Drills that contain a lot of axial loading typically have the weight supported on the shoulders (ex. barbell squats).
While (for those of us with back pain) it is important to keep the volume of axial loading within reason, reducing the number of exercises that can be performed present limitations for those of us that want to make gains in the gym.
The trap bar squat is an awesome drill that works the legs and when performed correctly, leaves the back feeling fresh!
1) Assemble a trap bar so that a box is in the center of the bar
2) Stand on the box and inside of the trap bar
3) Exhale to bring the ribs down in the front and feel the abs
4) Inhale as you squat low enough to reach the bar by pushing the knees forward-this is not a deadlift!
5) Reset your abs if necessary, tack the slack out of the bar and stand tall as you exhale
Please contact us to learn more about how you can make improvements in the gym while keeping your lower back healthy!