5 sports that help strengthen the back and prevent injuries

Ignasi Catala

Ignasi Catala

  • Neurosurgeon and Deputy Director of the Clavel Institute

Sport helps us stay fit both mentally and physically because, in addition to keeping us active, it strengthens our body’s muscles and prevents injuries. To take care of the spine, the fundamental axis of our body, it is highly recommended to do sports, but not all of them are valid, there are some that it is best to avoid.

In general, we must avoid those sports that require lifting weight or produce high-speed impacts at the bone levelmuscle or joint such as jumping, running, playing soccer, motocross or snowboarding.

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without prior heating, tennis or golf are also not recommended by subjecting the discs to great stress due to axial rotation. With regard to bodybuilding exercises, necessary to maintain and tone muscles, they can be harmful if they are not done correctly, so it is important for us to do them with the help of a trainer.

If we have a spine pathology, it is necessary to consult a doctor so that he or she can recommend the most appropriate exercises.

It is also necessary to get used to maintaining good postural hygiene and warming up and stretching before and even after finishing any sporting activity.

Among the most recommended sports to strengthen the spine are:

1) Stretching exercises

Stretching and muscle massage are essential for the success of the exercise.
Stretching and muscle massage are essential for the success of the exercise.

Stretching exercises serve to improve muscle elasticity. It is important to do them in a controlled way and guided by a specialist. We must frame them in such a way that let’s work all muscle groups, without forgetting any of them. Stretching also serves to release tension and prepare us to perform other types of exercise or play sports.

2) Walk

walking is one of the easiest exercises to practice and yet the most beneficial for our back. Doing it on a flat surface frequently strengthens the lower body, helps improve circulation in the legs and tones the gluteal muscles. It is important to be constant and do it regularly and, as long as our body allows it, for 45 minutes straight. If we have an injury, the doctor will tell us how and how long we should do it. Even after spinal surgery, one of the indications we give to the patient is the need to walk from day one.

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3) Swimming

In summer open-air swimming competitions increase.
In summer open-air swimming competitions increase.

Swimming is one of the most complete exercises to strengthen our back, as well as the arms and buttocks. It is highly recommended due to its low impact as it improves back muscle toneIt helps to relax and reduce pain.

In case of suffering from any pathology, it is important to choose the style that best suits our needs. The recommended styles in any pathology of the spine would be backstroke and freestyle, the latter, in case of cervical pathology, should be done with an aquatic mask or tube to avoid rotation of the cervicals. The same thing happens with aerobic exercises in the water since having to overcome the resistance of the water strengthens us and prevents many injuries.

4) Pilates

The exercises that are practiced in Pilates serve to strengthen the muscles of the back and thus protect our spine, but, in addition, all muscle groups are worked, including the abdomen, which provides extra support for our back. It is effective in reducing back pain and helps maintain bone density.

5) Yoga

The position of the arch improves blood flow to and from the uterus
The position of the arch improves blood flow to and from the uterus
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Relaxation and breathing techniques that are practiced in yoga help improve mood in case of suffering from chronic back pain. There are different types of Yoga, so if you have any pathology it is better to do some variety of slow rhythm. As in the previous cases, the important thing is that whatever variety we choose, we practice it consistently.

In addition to practicing any of these sports that help us strengthen our backs, it is important to maintain good postural hygiene to prevent back injuries.

We must remember that for the health of our spine and for our health in general it will always be better to carry out any type of exercise at medium intensity, than not to carry out any physical activity, since practicing a sedentary lifestyle will inevitably lead to health problems.

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