It isn’t just the elderly who should be cautious about lifting something too heavy. Anybody at any age is susceptible to injuries. This includes bodybuilders, sports enthusiasts and athletes. You are more susceptible to back injuries if you are lifting weights that are too heavy. Even though the back generally bears much of your body’s core weight, one wrong move can have you lying in bed for days or weeks if you are not careful. This can create a host of other problems for you later on, and prevent you from doing everyday activities. What happens when you lift something too heavy? Here’s why you should be careful:
Bodybuilders increase their weights over time to increase their muscle size using a technique called progressive overload. This is a normal practice, but sometimes it can take a toll on the body and the excess weight can cause muscular injuries by damaging the connective tissues surrounding the muscles. There are muscular tears at a microscopic level every time one lifts weights. As their microscopic tears heal, the muscle builds. However, if there is too much of an excess weight they tend to take a longer time to heal and repair. This can also cause tendinitis and hurt the back if not done carefully or under the supervision of a proper trainer.
Spinal injuries are a common occurrence for those who lift heavy weights. The spinal cord gets stressed if someone lifts a weight heavier than what they usually lift. The nerves surrounding the spinal cord get pinched, and discs get herniated. Taking on such dangerous loads can cause other back-related problems as well.
Research has shown lifting too heavy of weights not only result in back injuries, but also cause cardiovascular problems later on in life. This is because it can result in the enlargement and/or tearing of the aorta—the main artery of the heart. Although only a third of people suffer from this, it is not worth taking the risk. Lifting heavy objects increases the blood pressure, and stresses the nerves and arteries in the heart. It is best to stay under a safe weight range or at least get checked from time to time for any heart conditions.
Protect Your Back
- Whenever you are lifting something very heavy, make sure to have extra help around. Have somebody else lift the object with you so the weight is shared.
- Lift weights according to your body size and health.
- If you are a bodybuilder, then always make sure you work at your own pace and not by competing with others at the gym. Know your body and its requirements first, then proceed with caution. Always work under a coach.
- Maintain normal curvature and straight posture of your back to avoid any back pain. This will ensure your back doesn’t give out if you are lifting weights beyond your lifting capacity.