Can Push Up Cause Back Pain?

Back pain can keep you from routinely following your workouts, but you should understand that not exercising at all is only going to make matters worse. All physical therapists, trainers, and doctors believe that you will be able to speed up recovery if you exercise. The important thing is to know which exercise to do and what should be the intensity. Many people ask, "Can push up cause back pain?" Pushups certainly help strengthen your pectoral muscles, arms, and the entire upper-body, but failing to maintain a correct form would not only cause back pain but make it serious too.

Can Push Up Cause Back Pain?

Yes, it can. When performed poorly, pushups can put serious pressure on your lower back and increase your risk of injuring yourself. There are small bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles located in your lower back area, so it is easy to hurt it by performing a movement incorrectly. Pushups are extremely effective for your upper-body strength, but you need to learn how to do it correctly. Here are some of the reasons why pushups may cause back pain:

1.    Improper Form

Pushes may not look that complicated, but you need to pay attention to several things. It is not all about lowering your body and cranking out reps, but you need to pay serious attention to the right alignment of your spine. In the starting position, your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders down to your heels. While in this position, be sure to contract your quadriceps and abs. You should maintain this rigidity in the body while lowering yourself. Avoid touching the floor with your chest and push yourself back up when your chest is very close to the floor. Failing to keep your body in a straight line or not bracing yourself correctly would lead to injury and back pain.

2.    Weak Abs

Again, you have to keep your abs engaged throughout the movement. Can push up cause back pain? If you have weak abs, you may end up developing back pain after performing pushups. Therefore, it is a good idea to try some separate moves to strengthen your abs. Strong abs will keep your spine stable and help you perform additional reps while doing your pushups. Some effective exercises include side crunches, leg raises, dead bugs, and sit-ups.

3.    Obesity

It is natural to develop back pain when you are overweight or obese. In a pushup position, your heavy stomach will put a serious strain on your lower back, which in turn can lead to back pain. To resolve the issue, consider losing your stomach fat first. For this, you need to include cardio in your routine. If you already have back pain, it may help to use a recumbent bike first. By losing weight, you will be able to treat your back pain and be in a better position to perform pushups more efficiently.

5 Ways You Are Doing Push-Ups Wrong

Can push up cause back pain? Yes, it can if you are performing it incorrectly. An incorrect form can also hurt your shoulders. Here are some indicators that you are doing push-ups wrong.

1.    You Flare Your Elbows Out

While performing the pushups, ask someone to stand in front of you and see if you flare your elbows out while lowering your body. If that is the case, you should fix it immediately because it puts serious pressure on your rotator cuff and increases the risk of shoulder injuries. The best approach is to keep your elbows close to your body. By tucking your elbows in towards your body, you will be able to use your traps, lats, triceps, chests, and biceps better. This will improve your overall performance and prevent injuries.

2.    You Let Your Hips Drop

If your hips, upper back, and head are not in a straight line during the movement, you are not doing it correctly. Letting your hips sag will keep you from doing maximum reps and even put so much pressure on your lower back. Be sure to engage your back and squeeze your glutes while performing the movement. This will help keep your body in a straight line.

3.    You Let Gravity Take Control

You need to be in control of your body throughout the movement. If you let your body drop to the floor, it means you rely on gravity while performing the movement. You have to control your body on your way down – think as if you are doing a row while lowering your body. This will help engage your upper back making your pushups more effective.

4.    You Do Not Stretch Your Wrists

A common push up mistake is to forget about stretching your wrists in between sets. Not stretching your wrists often would lead to wrist pain. Put your hands on the floor with your palm facing you. Let your fingers point towards your toes. Now give your wrist a serious stretch for a few seconds.

5.    You Overdo Knee Pushups

It is true that knee pushups and incline pushups are the easier versions of pushups, but it often becomes difficult to make the transition to the real pushups if you pay so much attention to knee pushups only. The reason is that you can perform a pushup while being flat on the floor when you strengthen certain chest muscles. You hit your chest differently when doing knee pushups or incline pushups. Therefore, you should start doing the full pushups even if you could do a couple in the beginning. Also, you may benefit more by trying bear pushups in the start. 

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