How To Hurt Your Back: Top Ten Ways

There are many ways to get back pain ... and there are plenty of ways to really hurt you back.

I’m going to go over all the ways you can severely injure your back. Trust me — after years of football, extreme sports, bodybuilding, weight lifting, and fatherhood, I’ve practically discovered them all!

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Note: This is satire! Please consult a doctor and do not do any of these on purpose because you will hurt your back. Most of these have happened to me at one point in my life, so I’m just sharing things to avoid and what I’ve learned.

1. Squat too much too early

Men and women all know the power of the weightlifting routine that is squatting. Squats are an impactful full-body exercise — they can really wreck your lower back if you aren’t careful and pile on the weights too quickly. If you slowly increase the weight over weeks to ensure that your tendons, core muscles, and knees keep up, you won’t have the splendid opportunity to hurt yourself.

2. Wear smooth leather shoes to a metal show

When I was younger, I bought some nice leather boots with a smooth sole made out of leather. I wore them to a metal show (Iced Earth + Symphony X).

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Photo by Desi Mendoza on Unsplash

I went into the mosh pit, which was slick with beer and water from the show. Needless to say, I ended up “ice skating” all over the place, and falling at least 10 times, really hard! This was quite possibly the most exciting way to injure my arms, shoulders, and lower back.

3. Let your hips get imbalanced

By allowing your muscles to get worked out in different intensities, you can cause your balance to favor one side over the other, leading to unevenness — great for hurting your back. Definitely avoid any hip flexor or plank workouts.

4. Round your back when deadlifting

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Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

This is the best way to destroy your lower back. Sitting properly with an arched back and straight legs might lead to better power and safety when deadlifting, so be careful! Unfortunately for me, I was trained to do lift the correct way with an arched back, but I see people do this at the gym sometimes — so jealous!

5. Sleeping on your stomach

We can’t all be back sleepers, so why not just sleep on your stomach? Bonus: it hurts your neck too! While it is possible to train to sleep on your back, I wouldn’t bother.

For additional back pain, sleep on a mattress that doesn’t match your body composition. If your mattress is too soft or too hard, it will damage your back, and give you morning soreness.

6. Gaming in a static wooden chair for 8 hours

I once did this while on an Overwatch binge.

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Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

I threw out my back the next day. I think this is an easy way to cause trauma. If you have an ergonomic chair, just go ahead and give it away.

7. Don’t stretch before or after workouts

If you want to some soreness in your lower back, just skip stretching and go straight into Power Cleans. Especially avoid dynamic stretching, as this properly warms up your back.

8. Wear flat shoes, walk around all day at Disneyland

Forego common sense and wear shoes that look cool but don’t provide proper heel support or cushion. Humans have been walking on concrete and asphalt for thousands of years, so our feet are accustomed to extremely hard and static rock surfaces. Tennis shoes are a 20th-century invention.

9. Don’t do yoga

Ever since I started doing yoga, my back pain has gone away. This extra flexibility and dynamic stretching in my routine have considerably decreased my back pain.

10. Sit in your office chair for hours

Whatever you do, don’t take any breaks, and avoid good posture or correct monitor or chair position. Slouch or sit diagonally. Extra bonus if you avoid water: Drinking a proper amount of water will keep you hydrated and flexible, while also forcing you to get up and walk around just to use the restroom.

Father, Husband, Engineer, CTO at Libretto, 15+ yrs of software engineering —

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