I echo what everyone else has said. I threw my back out a couple years ago and just started running seriously since January starting with the C25K program. My back has always been a concern of mine. I started at about 320-330, so I know your concerns.
- Get properly fitted for shoes at a local running store. Amazing how important this is.
- Gait...the crossing your arms in front of you does have an impact. Try running with your thumbs pointed away from you and it might help until you've trained yourself.
- Strength Training. Try doing 50-100 crunches on your running days (or in between). I've found pushups help. Planks. Lunges. The SP group Mighty Hundreds have some good programs. If your gym has a rope pull machine (you sit on it...not the ropes you slap around) that's a good one too.
- Lower Back Stretches. There are a couple of yoga moves I try. Lay on your stomach and push yourself up as if you were going to do a pushup, but only lift your upper body, keep your pelvis on the mat...gives a good stretch of your lower back. Hold that for 15-30secs and then slowly shift your butt back to rest on your heels, and stretch your hands out as far forward on the mat as you can...another good stretch for 15-30 secs.
These all help your lower back. I've also found if you're working the treadmill, doing some power walking on moderate inclines (3-12) for 15-20 minute periods can also help strengthen the lower back while also giving your legs a good workout.
And the one that may not be as obvious, and is probably more common-sense than anything, though us big-bellied guys all do it...get shorts that fit properly. Wearing them BELOW the belly will cause additional unnecessary strain on your lower back because the paunch is bouncing up and down. Wearing shorts properly around where your belly button is relieves a LOT of that strain. I never wanted to admit the size I was, but when I started wearing tailored suits properly I immediately noticed an improvement on how my lower back felt, so if you're one of the guys who was like I was and wear pants below your belly, suck it up and buy ones that fit right! :)
Unfortunately nothing can help the back pain caused by the crushing disappointment of being a Jets fan. ;) ;)
Good luck! Once the pain (good pain!) goes away after a couple weeks, you'll fall in love with running!
you should go to a real running store and get fitted. they will check how your feet land and suggest the models that are right for you. it will make a big difference. you only have 1 pair of feet and a runner only needs good shoes. the right shoes could also help with your back
I second Seabreeze's suggestion of run/walk intervals. Jeff Galloway (google him) promotes using this method for even very experienced runners. It has helped keep me running--I have chronic lower back and hip problems--when they flare, I run intervals. It works every time. Also, try some yoga--downward dog pose is a basic, simple pose and is great for stretching your back and hamstrings. Tight hamstrings also cause back pain, so try gently stretching your hamstrings every day.
Good luck. As you get stronger the running will get easier and more fun.
"It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides." George Sand ______ Janice Eastern Standard Time https://www.fitbit.com/user/2H3PX3
I do tend to run with my arms crossing my chest or gut....I will be more aware of this next time I run and see if this helps...and I do plan on doing the other suggestions as well...thanks all much appreciated!
Very good advice, Doris. Good alignment comes from well-balanced muscles. It's all connected.
D, are you, by chance, crossing your arms in front of you while you run? If you don't keep them swinging straight back and forth it can cause big lower back pain (ask me how I know - lol!). It takes practice, but relax your upper body, tighten your core (ie; suck in gut) and let your arms swing forward and back from the shoulder. Try not to let your hands come up too far or cross in front of your chest - no "Rocky Running." I hope the back feels better soon.
Del, you must strengthen your core. You should do strength exercises and/or cross-train as well as run. Some do them on the same day as running, others do them on the days they don't run. If your core is stronger, your back shouldn't hurt and you will find that you feel stronger:)
So I am an overweight runner newbie who started running 3 weeks ago. I run 1 mile three times a week. When I run my lower back (Waist to mid back) always tightens up and cramps...it really effects how long I can go....any suggestions as to why and how I can improve this? Or is this one of those things that will go away when i'm not so overweight and outta shape?
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