The UK’s COVID-19 lockdowns have forced many changes in our day-to-day lives. For many people, one of the most significant changes have been the restrictions on attending gyms, swimming pools, and sporting clubs.
These restrictions have forced UK residents to look for new ways of keeping fit. Instead of going to a gym or participating in team sports, it has become common for people to workout at home for the first time in years.
Unfortunately, this has led to an increase in back-related injuries as there are several risks associated with home exercise. We have seen dozens of patients visiting our chiropractic clinic in recent months with exercise injuries which have occurred in the home.
In this post, our Ealing chiropractor explains why home workouts can lead to back injuries. He’ll also share several tips for avoiding back injuries and making the most of your home workouts.
Why Are Home Exercise Injuries So Common?
There are several reasons why injuries are common during at-home exercise sessions:
- Poor form
When you exercise with a personal trainer, coach, or other athletes, they will help you maintain good form during each exercise. Without their guidance, an injury is more likely.
- Failing to warm up sufficiently
People working at home often take a more casual approach to their workouts. They may sometimes reduce the duration of their warm-ups or start skipping warm-ups altogether, which increases the risk of injury dramatically.
- Exercising at a high intensity
For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic was the first opportunity they have had to exercise in many years. Unfortunately, people in this situation often jump in at the deep end and start exercising at a high intensity, increasing injury risk.
- Not using the appropriate equipment
The equipment you have around your home may not be as safe or appropriate to use as the gear at your local gym, leading to injury.
6 Simple Steps To Avoiding Home Workout Injuries
Here are some tips which will help you avoid injury and an unexpected trip to a chiropractor in Ealing.
#1 Start With Short Low Intensity Workouts
If you haven’t exercised for a while, the best approach to home workouts will be to start small. Your initial workouts should involve at least 5-10 minutes of stretching to warm up, followed by a 10-20 minute low/moderate intensity workout.
Starting small will help you fit a workout into your daily routine and make it easier to develop an exercise habit. It will also reduce the risk of a back injury from over-exertion.
The NHS website has a fantastic collection of 10-minute home exercises which can help you stay safe and incorporate more movement into your day.
#2 Always Warm Up
Warming up helps your body prepare for exercise. It increases your body temperature, lubricates your joints and helps your muscles get ready for a workout. It’s particularly important for protecting the back, as it contains a complex array of joints and muscles. Check out these Youtube videos which showcase short warmup routines. You can also ask our chiropractors for warmup tips during your next visit to our chiropractic clinic.
#3 Use A Variety Of Exercises
To fully maximise your physical fitness and health, you should use a combination of exercises which strengthen muscles, improve flexibility/balance, and boost cardiovascular health.
You will also become more resilient against injury as you entire body will have additional musculature and improved flexibility. Having better balance will also reduce the likelihood of a fall injury occurring.
Use a combination of exercises including yoga, weight lifting, bike riding, body weight exercises, walking, swimming, and pilates. You will be amazed by what a combination of workout types can do to your body.
#4 Do Your Research
Seek out advice before embarking on your home workout fitness regime. Have a chat with a doctor or chiropractor to learn if your planned workouts are suitable for the condition of your back and your general fitness.
#5 Use The Right Gear
Make your home workouts safer and more productive by investing in the right gear. Buy some supportive shoes and athletic wear for your home workouts. Consider updating your workout equipment as well, so it is safe and easier to use.
#6Pay Attention To Your Body
It’s perfectly normal to experience some soreness after a workout. There is even a term for it — Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). However, if you are experiencing moderate-to-severe pain or your pain doesn’t go away after a couple of days, you may have injured yourself. Visit a chiropractor or doctor for a consultation.
Visiting our chiropractic clinic in Ealing
Exercising at home is convenient, fun, and effective — as long as you take care of yourself. If you find you are suffering pain or discomfort after exercising, our experienced team of chiropractors at our The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that are due to problems with joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves, especially related to the spine.
To book an appointment with one of our team, call our clinic on 020 8900 9004