Weightlifting has the potential to be quite a damaging pastime for people with scoliosis, but it can also be beneficial in the correct circumstances. If approached carefully, weight-based exercise may help to improve muscle balance and reduce the visibility of one’s spinal curvature.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few things to bear in mind if you have scoliosis and you plan to start lifting weights.
Weightlifting might be painful – don’t push yourself too hard!
Would-be weightlifters with scoliosis need to be mindful of their condition at all times. Start with small weights and simple exercises to gauge what’s comfortable and what isn’t. Work with a comfortable weight for the first few weeks, and then step up your weight a little bit and see how you feel.
Don’t do anything that causes you pain – you should avoid certain back-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats or lunges unless you are certain you can handle them. Bending and straightening your back while carrying weight is likely to cause injury. Speak to your GP to discuss what weightlifting exercises are appropriate for your condition; you could also enlist the help of a personal trainer to guide you while you’re lifting.
Focus on exercises that stretch your back muscles instead of compressing them.
Here are some weightlifting exercises you may wish to try if you have scoliosis:
- Pull-down cable exercises
- Seated exercises
Stretching and strengthening the muscles on the concave side of your spinal curve can gradually help to improve mobility and reduce pain. That’s because the muscles on the convex side usually do most of the work for you back – these are muscles that have been trying to keep your back upright since you developed scoliosis.
The concave muscles, however, are often shorter and atrophied (weaker), so working on these muscles can help to correct your scoliosis curve.
How can Scoliosis SOS help?
If you have scoliosis and you’re interested in pursuing weightlifting or another physically-demanding leisure activity, we recommend coming to our clinic for a consultation to establish how severe your condition is. Our consultants will be able to offer advice about the best types of exercise for you and what you can work towards in the future.
Our 4-week ScolioGold treatment courses are ideal if you want to work towards being able to lift weights (or to carry on weightlifting, if this was a hobby you enjoyed before you were diagnosed). Click the button below to get in touch and book your initial consultation.