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3 best exercises to strengthen back muscles (to prevent back injury)

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  • #16
    squats and RDLs/kettlebell swings.

    of course if you screw up the from on any of those, you can really mess up your lower back. so be careful!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by OnlyBodyWeight View Post
      Planks?
      Crunches?
      Squats?

      What say you?
      For injury prevention- Planks are OK, crunches are junk and there are better exercises than squats.

      The king of back exercises is the bridge- it works the back through a full RoM building flexibility (the back is meant to be flexible after all) as well as strength. Ideally balance it with some plow position work or an L-sit progression as recommended in Convict Conditioning.

      The back should also be able to twist so some kind of seated twist also as recommended in CC.

      Thing like squats and DL may help strengthen the back muscles but the back and spine is meant to be much more than just a rigid column of muscle.

      Al Kavadlo must have one of the back bridges around so check out his website

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      • #18
        Originally posted by sandstone View Post
        For injury prevention- Planks are OK, crunches are junk and there are better exercises than squats.

        The king of back exercises is the bridge- it works the back through a full RoM building flexibility (the back is meant to be flexible after all) as well as strength. Ideally balance it with some plow position work or an L-sit progression as recommended in Convict Conditioning.

        The back should also be able to twist so some kind of seated twist also as recommended in CC.

        Thing like squats and DL may help strengthen the back muscles but the back and spine is meant to be much more than just a rigid column of muscle.

        Al Kavadlo must have one of the back bridges around so check out his website
        Very true. Don't forget, though, that the entire abdominal complex is there to help protect the spine also, not just the spinal erectors. When it comes to injury prevention they are both equally important in my book.
        Josh Vernier, CPT

        My Journal

        Evolution Revolution Fitness

        "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

        -Ayn Rand

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        • #19
          Deads,
          Good mornings,
          Squats
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          • #20
            Deadlifts....I know 4 people who have trashed their back doing "wrong"

            So, I will try the following:
            Hanging Leg Raises
            Planks (3 mins. at a time)
            Kettlebells

            Is this the bridge you guys are talking about? How many reps/sets?
            http://www.ehow.com/video_6380304_do...-exercise.html
            Last edited by OnlyBodyWeight; 06-24-2012, 08:02 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by OnlyBodyWeight View Post
              Is this the bridge you guys are talking about? How many reps/sets?
              Video: How to Do a Bridge Exercise | eHow.com
              Not quite, that's a hip bridge. This is the bridge we're talking about, courtesy of Al Kavadlo.
              Josh Vernier, CPT

              My Journal

              Evolution Revolution Fitness

              "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

              -Ayn Rand

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              • #22
                Squats, dead lifts and pull ups. A strong back resist injury.
                Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by OnlyBodyWeight View Post
                  I know 4 people who have trashed their back doing it "wrong"

                  So, I will try the following:
                  Hanging Leg Raises
                  Planks (3 mins. at a time)
                  Kettlebells

                  Is this the bridge you guys are talking about? How many reps/sets?
                  Video: How to Do a Bridge Exercise | eHow.com
                  I couldn't get the video to play but a bridge progression starts with something like a shoulder/ hip bridge moves to a head bridge then onto a full bridge. This can take months or even years to progress through. It is not about sets or reps but about quality of movement and increasing slowly over time. As I say Convict Conditioning has a great section about it.

                  Another point you need to think about as well is are you interested in back health or just strength through technique? By that I mean that both planks and KB swings utilize the technique of intra abdominal pressurization. This is fine for increasing numbers in the gym but has some problems in real life. Because you are using a conscious technique to help stabilize the spine what happens when something unexpected happens?If you get tackled, punched or slip on ice you just cannot pressurize effectively. Compare this to fighter who exhales on impact- they need to use structure to stabilize the spine not abdominal pressure.

                  Dead lifts, squats, Kb swings are all great exercises when the spine is strong and healthy but they may not be the best options for injury prevention or rehab.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by sandstone View Post
                    Dead lifts, squats, Kb swings are all great exercises when the spine is strong and healthy but they may not be the best options for injury prevention or rehab.
                    So, which exercises do you like for back injury prevention?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by EvRevFit View Post
                      Did you mean this?

                      Back Bridge Tutorial
                      Back Bridge Tutorial - YouTube

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                      • #26
                        The straight bridge is challenging, but I don't see how a full bridge would help build the back.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by sandstone View Post
                          I couldn't get the video to play but a bridge progression starts with something like a shoulder/ hip bridge moves to a head bridge then onto a full bridge. This can take months or even years to progress through. It is not about sets or reps but about quality of movement and increasing slowly over time. As I say Convict Conditioning has a great section about it.

                          Another point you need to think about as well is are you interested in back health or just strength through technique? By that I mean that both planks and KB swings utilize the technique of intra abdominal pressurization. This is fine for increasing numbers in the gym but has some problems in real life. Because you are using a conscious technique to help stabilize the spine what happens when something unexpected happens?If you get tackled, punched or slip on ice you just cannot pressurize effectively. Compare this to fighter who exhales on impact- they need to use structure to stabilize the spine not abdominal pressure.

                          Dead lifts, squats, Kb swings are all great exercises when the spine is strong and healthy but they may not be the best options for injury prevention or rehab.

                          You are using the false assumption that the only benefit of these exercises is technique and the training of the nervous system. You are omitting the fact that the proper use of these exercises results in superior strengthening of the muscle fibers by the greater loads experiences well as with proper diet and recovery greater amounts of the muscle tissue that supports the spine in the anatomically correct position. Back bridges are great rehab to strengthen the back after N injury but eventually the progressions either become too dangerous for a damaged spine or to challenging for most people to complete. Progressive resistance allows people to develop back strength and muscle mass without putting themselves in dangerous positions(the circus trick full back bridge for example).

                          I am a big fan for body motion strength exercises buttheback bridge progressions do not work for all types of anthrometry.
                          Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bryanccfshr View Post
                            You are using the false assumption that the only benefit of these exercises is technique and the training of the nervous system. You are omitting the fact that the proper use of these exercises results in superior strengthening of the muscle fibers by the greater loads experiences well as with proper diet and recovery greater amounts of the muscle tissue that supports the spine in the anatomically correct position. Back bridges are great rehab to strengthen the back after N injury but eventually the progressions either become too dangerous for a damaged spine or to challenging for most people to complete. Progressive resistance allows eople to develop back strength and muscle mass without putting themselves in dangerous positions(the circus trick full back bridge for example).

                            I am a big fan for body motion strength exercises buttheback bridge progressions do not work for all types of anthrometry.
                            I totally agree that exercises like squats and dead lifts can build huge amounts of muscle and strength, but the back needs to be supple as well as strong- it should have good forward flexion, backward extension, bend side to side and twist. If the back does not function properly to start with all the dead lifting in the world won't cure it.

                            If you see a 16 year old girl touching her feet to her head I would agree that's a trick and excessive but the classis bridge has been one of the most important poses yoga for 2,000 years. Maybe to master the full bridge is not necessary for most people but some kind of extension would certainly help a lot of back pain sufferers. Pavel talks about how Russian weightlifters would lie stomach facing down on the floor propped on their elbows reading a book after a session to balance the forward flexion experienced during training
                            Last edited by sandstone; 06-24-2012, 09:39 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Al Kavadlo – We're Working Out! Back Bridges

                              Here's the link to Al Kavadlos post on bridging.

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                              • #30
                                Talking about generic 'injuries' in threads on this forum is a little counter productive in my opinion. There is no one size fits all solution here. Unless we're discussing a specific injury in a certain individual then a lot of this is just plain confusing for people.

                                As someone who works in rehab (and there are others here I know), it's important that we differentiate between general guidelines and specific recommendations.
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