Bending, bending and bending

Standing bend forward with straight knees is more stressful for the lower back than with bent knees. True? Usually not true! When calculating the load on the low back, it does not make much difference. However, there is a difference if the (low) back itself comes into a bending position. What happens then is that the back muscles extend. And an extended muscle can exert less force.

Then it will have to work harder. (Try it: with a stretched elbow, the biceps (upper arm muscle at the front) can exert less force than when the elbow is half bent). Or other structures take over the load like the bands from the back. We do not know for sure if these bands are strong enough to be able to do it repeatedly, or if there are minor damage that can eventually cause back problems.

In addition to the deformation of the back, something else is noticeable when bending over whether it is more stressful and that is the distance from the object to be lifted to the back. The further that load is placed on the back, the more difficult it is for the back (force = mass x distance). Large objects thus give more problems than the little ones.

There are a number of techniques to bend or lift without rounding the low back. For this the hips and sometimes the knees will have to be switched on more.

1- Bending

A familiar way in the fitness room is to squat: deep bending in hips and knees with the knees apart. That requires a lot of effort from the thigh muscles (quadriceps). This is less suitable for people with knee problems such as wear.

2- Bending

People who have a good sense of balance can benefit from the following technique: stand on one leg and stretch the other leg as far back as possible. That has two advantages: the back leg gives a counterweight to the body that bends over and that leg keeps the low back in stretched position.

3- Bending

A very practical and safe way of stooping is as follows. Stand with a slight spread of the feet for stability. Then bring the pelvis backwards as if you were pushing something back with the butHips and knees are bent. What is happening now is that the back remains stretched while the body bends forward.