Firefighters- Do this Exercise to Reduce Back Injuries

Back injuries suck. While not 100% avoidable, there are some things that you can do to prevent them.

A lot of injuries of firefighters, EMTs and medics occur due to excessive torque on the back while twisting.  Moving patients to a cot, advancing heavy firehose, and carrying equipment all involve some twisting that can wreak havoc on your back. 

Working out consistently and taking care of your body can reduce your chances of back injury.  Especially if you are training correctly.  While all back injuries are not avoidable here are some great exercises that you (as a first responder) should incorporate into your workouts.   

The Side Plank- a great core exercise...

The side plank is a great exercise to help build core strength and stability through the transverse plane.  As stated above, a lot of back injuries occur due to twisting while carrying a heavy load.  The side plank works to develop the muscles needed to efficiently twist.   Start to integrate this great plan variation into your workouts.  Start with holding the position for 15 to 30 seconds a side and work up to 3 sets. 

The plank will increase core efficiency allowing the body to have greater control and stability. I cannot emphasize this enough, all fire rescue athletes should include some version of the plank in their workout program. Use multiple positions: plank, side plank, and bridge.


The Prone Plank (one of the best core exercises)

Try these other variations...

Stability ball plank- a great core challenge
Are you planking?  Try it today.
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Aaron Zamzow

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