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  • Lower back exercises?

    Instead of going into the long back story, I'll just say that I've suffered back pain for the last 13 years or so due to a fractured vertebrae and two bulging discs. It seems like once every couple of years I suffer a pretty bad "flare-up" that puts me down for almost a week or more (the worst was two years ago and I was out of work for a month).

    I need some suggestions for good lower back strengthening exercises that I can do at home. Would taking up Pilates be a good option?

  • #2
    With medical clearance, work on the entire posterior chain. Start with grok/asian/indigenous peoples squat 10 minutes a day. See mobiliitywod.com. Then start squatting and deadlifting with weights. Works for me.
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    • #3
      Back when I hurt it really bad, the neurosurgeon that I saw told me to do Pilates. That was pretty much all I got out of that visit, but that whole thing is another story. I gave up my weigh set several years ago after I kept hurting myself (my back) with even light deadlifts. I do, however, have a few kettlebells and I plan on rebuilding my sandbag(s) in the very near future. I always seemed to do better with "functional" workouts than I did with barbells.

      I'm checking out mobilityWOD right now. Thanks for the link.

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      • #4
        deadlift

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        • #5
          Yoga, pilates...there's also that one exercise, can't remember what it's called. Basically lie on your stomach, a dumbbell in each hand, and then lift your legs, head, chest, and arms up off the floor. We do it in yoga but without the weights. Maybe called supermans or something?
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          • #6
            Back extension - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            these stretch your spine while working rather than compressing it like sq,dl etc so worth a try

            can be done from the hips with straight back(isometric for back)
            or with hips supported and spine flexing dynamically

            experiment carefully, see if either help

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            • #7
              I got Esther Gokhale's book, 8 steps to a pain free back, to help me work on my posture and learning how to use my back/hips in the way they were meant to be used in nature. It has helped tremendously, and continues to be useful.

              In addition to eventually working towards strengthening your entire posterior chain, you should also stretch it regularly. Tightness in the hips/hamstrings can lead to lower back discomfort.

              Whatever exercise you choose to do, be sure you do it slowly and carefully at first. Proper form, higher reps. Until you develop the neuromuscular coordination and core stability to move properly without pain, you shouldn't be doing any heavy movements.

              Cheers!
              Last edited by TheFitFatKid; 10-03-2011, 05:20 PM.
              www.TheFitFatKid.com

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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions. When I do back extensions on the floor they feel really good. I just added that book to my Amazon wish list. It got really good reviews.

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                • #9
                  like you, I have a herniated disk. Exercise makes all the difference! I do a combination of pilates and kettlebells and have no back discomfort issues. when I say discomfort I mean no pain, no stiffness, nothing. in my experience the pilates keeps you from hurting, and the kettlebells keep it feeling good.
                  in my experience the best advice you can get is to hire a good trainer! there are very small little things you can do in both types of exercises that can make or break their effectiveness. Also, some of those exercises, if done wrong can injure you. When I first started having bck pain I tried learnign ercises from books and online and I really didnt make great progress untill I saw a PT who had pilates training. then years later when I started kettlebells I started by books and videos but was amazed at the difference a few sessions with a certified trainer made in how it affected my body. If you try to learn how to do some of the exercises jsut by pictures and video you run a high risk of doing them incorrectly and at best not gettign fulll benifit, and at worst injurign yourself.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dan208 View Post
                    Back when I hurt it really bad, the neurosurgeon that I saw told me to do Pilates. That was pretty much all I got out of that visit, but that whole thing is another story. I gave up my weigh set several years ago after I kept hurting myself (my back) with even light deadlifts. I do, however, have a few kettlebells and I plan on rebuilding my sandbag(s) in the very near future. I always seemed to do better with "functional" workouts than I did with barbells.

                    I'm checking out mobilityWOD right now. Thanks for the link.
                    I would have thought that barbells would be safer than kettlebells or sandbags: kettlebells exercises are rather dynamic by nature and you can make the fatal mistake more easily (I assume you dont use barbell for Oly). Also sandbags, you might put strain in an unforeseen way to a (sudden!) shift in shape
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                    • #11
                      I would start with planks to kickstart your core getting worked.
                      Then move to squats and slowly up the weight and see how you do (remember keep your form core tight and locked sholders back)
                      Then hit the deadlifts

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Thor Falk View Post
                        I would have thought that barbells would be safer than kettlebells or sandbags: kettlebells exercises are rather dynamic by nature and you can make the fatal mistake more easily (I assume you dont use barbell for Oly). Also sandbags, you might put strain in an unforeseen way to a (sudden!) shift in shape
                        That would make sense, but things with me have always seemed to be ass-backwards.

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