Running is typically viewed as one of the better forms of training available to those looking to get in shape. It’s well rounded, convenient, cheap, and often times even considered relaxing in comparison to some other exercises. In addition, people often see it as one of the safest and most injury-free activities that a person can do. After all, it’s just running, so your feet are the only things that could possibly get hurt, right? Well, recent studies show that this pain actually has more to do with our abs and upper body. As a cardio exercise that gets the whole body involved, back pain boils down to our center: our deep core muscles.
How it Happens
Instead of lower extremities, research has pointed towards weak and neglected deep core muscles as the root of back pain stemming from running. How this occurs is when running, instead of our deep core muscles taking the bulk of the work, our bodies rely solely on our abs. This leads to increased stress on the wrong area, which results in back injury and pain. Fatigue sets in faster with our abs than it does with our core muscles, leading to increased problems.
How to Prevent it
As one would expect, avoiding this type of problem comes down to strengthening the deep core muscles. However, traditional workouts like sit ups or crunches don’t go so far as to target our core, but rather just the surface level of our abs. In light of these studies, trainers have suggested plank type movements to further develop the core, especially on uneven ground. In turn, doing so will not only decrease the chance of injury, but also make you a better runner overall.
Why Running Can Lead to Back Pain & Tips to Prevent It