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Best Compound Exercises with Low Back Injury?

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  • Best Compound Exercises with Low Back Injury?

    The sciatica I have been dealing with for months has finally started to subside. I injured my lower back about five years ago which resulted in a bulging disc which I then reinjured late last year just before I started PB.

    After lots of Alleve, PT, and losing weight, I'm nearly 100% pain free in my lower back/right leg. I joke that one of the reasons that I lost weight is because I haven't sat down for six months - it has honestly been much easier to stand and move around.

    I started lifting weights again and want to incorporate some compound movements like squats and overhead presses, but don't want to injure my back again. I was going to start with the Smith machines at my gym and go light, but would be grateful for any suggestions on exercises to help strengthen my back/core and still be safe.

    Thanks all
    "These amps go to 11..." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

    SW: 225
    CW: 177
    GW: 170
    M/43/6'

  • #2
    Deadlift would be a better starting point. If you can get your deadlift up to a respectable level without pain then I would think about adding in the squat if thats your real goal.

    Otherwise this is a good program http://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Red.../dp/1609611004.

    Info here: http://foundationtraining.com/
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-28-2013, 01:25 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by LerxstFan View Post
      I was going to start with the Smith machines at my gym and go light
      I'd vote against that for sure. Like Neckhammer said, deadlifts. Start light, tons of reps.
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #4
        hey, i think this is totally individualistic (like for me deadlifts would not be on my list, and squats would), but i really want to caution against overhead pressing just yet. it is so easy to hyperextend on these, it's not even funny. if you're going to do them with any kind of history of back issues, you literally have to focus on flexing your abs/keeping your core tight the entire time. that gets tough when you're devoting 75%+ of your mental energy to pushing with your arms and shoulder girdle, and getting under the weight...

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        • #5
          Hey

          I'm interested in this post - I have 25+ year history of sciatica, but for me it's not disc damage related.

          I'm hyper mobile, so my muscles have got way too tight over my lifetime to keep me together, and my ligaments - well are just shite!!

          I've had the added joy of an SI joint trauma (cause unknown) and it's just subsiding now after almost a month, so looking to start heavy lifting. I'd be more inclined to do squats against a wall instead of a deadlift as my form wouldn't be good enough, and I pull muscles in my back all the time as they're too tight even when resting.....

          Good Luck, and so pleased you're getting relief now....!!

          PG!
          Primal - June 3rd 2013
          Starting Weight - 150lbs
          Current Weight - 150lbs
          Goal Weight - 130lbs
          (Female / 5'4")

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          • #6
            The smith machine is more likely to hurt your back than doing barbell squats. Just start light and make sure to use good form. Form is everything. I hurt my back deadlifting but it wasn't from picking it up, it was when putting it down. Gotta have good form for that, too.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Thanks all for the responses. I want to do this as safely as possible, so I will definitely start light and focus on strict form. I'm also trying to loosen up my hamstrings, since they have been underused and become tigher since my back injury, so I'm doing high reps and light weight.

              From my PT, I learned to think about my core and squeezing those muscles whenever I'm lifting anything. Even picking up my 6 year old daughter is now accomplished by me going to one knee and using my legs to lift her up. I never thought much about my body mechanics until I hurt my back. Though I'm 42, I don't want to be hampered or slowed down at this point in the game - too soon for me and my kids.

              One other question - I see a lot of guys at my gym wearing belts when lifting heavy. I have never worn a belt when lifting, what do folks think of the value of wearing one?

              Thanks again.
              "These amps go to 11..." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

              SW: 225
              CW: 177
              GW: 170
              M/43/6'

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LerxstFan View Post
                One other question - I see a lot of guys at my gym wearing belts when lifting heavy. I have never worn a belt when lifting, what do folks think of the value of wearing one?
                Read this: Benefits and Proper Use of Weightlifting Belts

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                • #9
                  I mean in the end jakey is correct that this is quite individual and depends on a proper diagnosis of why you had sciatica and back issues in the first place.

                  Disc related sciatica requires extension work the majority of the time. The majority fall in this category and would do well with the foundation exercise routine followed by slow and deliberate reintroduction of the lifts we all do.... special attention paid to any indication that symptoms are exacerbated and either avoiding that movement or modifying it as necessary.

                  Facet related usually does better with flexion work though and there is piriformis syndrome which has specific stretches and other work. In the end your gonna have to run the N=1 gambit, but even more carefully than the average bear.
                  Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-28-2013, 07:22 PM.

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