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Stretching/warmup tips for lower back

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  • Stretching/warmup tips for lower back

    When I bent over to start dead lifting yesterday I felt some pain on my lower left side of my back. Thankfully it is diminished today though not gone. Any tips on how to avoid or rehab this? Hanging from a pull-up bar momentarily alleviates it.

  • #2
    If you lay on your back and pull your knees to your chest you can stretch the lower back a little. Feels pretty good. Another one I like to do are scorpions and I can't remember what it's called but it's the same as scorpions only you do it laying face-up instead of face down. I found both these two latter ones pop a spot in my back that is the same spot the chiropracter pops so I figure it's like getting free DIY chiropractic.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #3
      On one side means that you are likely have mis-matched strength on the sides of your body. You are also likely pulling with your back, not your legs. Drop the weight on DL, and make sure you are lifting with hams and glute. Roll the bar all the way along your body basically. Do not let bum wave in the air when you start the lift. Do not finish the set, when you start feeling the back strain/lose form. Set the bar down between reps and reset/refocus. Deadlifting is not a race, and the # of reps you need is very low.

      Ferris in his 4 hour body has fantastic chapter on both rehabbing and evening out the strength on 2 sides of the body. Very much worth checking out of the library.

      Anf, yeah, sbikes suggested good stretches. I also find that hamstring stretches alleviate low back discomfort as well as moving knees to the side in a twist after you brought knees to your tummy. Also anything that provides extension rather than flexing my back for me. Stretching out toes to fingertips above head and arching, rolling on the floor, cat-cow, and trying to find your best position to get comfortable stretch in the area.
      Last edited by Leida; 07-25-2013, 08:45 AM.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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      • #4
        In addition to the above, I like doing some nice light kettlebell swings and rowing machine work as my warmup on deadlift/squat days.

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        • #5
          Make sure your "bending over" starts with a hip hinge.

          I'm gonna bet this is a big part of your problem.

          If you don't know how to hip hinge the foundation training book/program (cheap on kindle) is built almost entirely around strengthening and retraining this primal movement. Do the program for 6 weeks then come back to the deadlift.

          Foundation Training : Home
          Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-25-2013, 09:53 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
            When I bent over to start dead lifting yesterday I felt some pain on my lower left side of my back. ...Any tips on how to avoid or rehab this?.
            Well, how can anyone help you avoid something if they don't know what you're doing? You have to provide more detail.

            How do you deadlift? Was your form off? At what point in the lift did this happen? Can you post a video of yourself deadlifting?

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            • #7
              In addition to the above, I like doing some nice light kettlebell swings and rowing machine work as my warmup on deadlift/squat days.
              +1 on the rower.

              I find that squats on the bosu half-ball is a great pre squat/deadlift move as well.
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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              • #8
                If you are getting a pain on one side of your back, it is possible that you have strained one of the back muscles which have then gone into a protective spasm. If it is very close to your spine, I would guess it is the errector spinae. if it is a bit further out, more towards your side, then Quadratus lumborum. As you say it has diminished today, it probalby isn't anything serious, but I would be careful with any lifts to not irritate it further.

                As far as stretching goes, make sure you stretch after a workout as well as before....

                I have a webpage with back stretches if it is any help. It also has a load of tips on how to stretch properly.
                Last edited by Salixisme; 07-25-2013, 01:45 PM.
                Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

                Dr. Seuss

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                • #9
                  youtube: Founders stretch.

                  Works wonders.

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                  • #10
                    I like to do standing leg swings to the front and sides. Good dynamic stretch.

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                    • #11
                      I watched/read this DL warm up series from Lift Big Eat Big: Lift Big Eat Big

                      Some of the stretches others have mentioned are repeated here, overall I think this would be a solid warm up routine (give or take one or two).

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                      • #12
                        The one thing I would caution though with dynamic stretches is that they can lead to injury if you are not careful and are not using proper form... and from the fact that the OP has said that he suffered pain sounds like there is an injured muscle there...

                        Pain is our body's warning sign that something is wrong.

                        A static stretch is probably better than a dynamic one at this stage because the last thing he needs is to re-injure an already injured muscle.
                        Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

                        Dr. Seuss

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                        • #13
                          I spend 5-10mins warming up before my lift days. I like the following dynamic warmup

                          3 rounds of 20 hindu squats, 20 mountain climbers, 5 push ups. Then do deep ATG supported hanging 3rd world squats, 3rd world squats pressing out on inside of knees etc. I also deload between sets by hanging from pull up bar.

                          Hindu squats are a great dynamic warm up the back and hips feels a bit stiff the first couple then warms into it and releases tension. I find the MCers warm up hip flexours, start slow and build pace

                          Another short warmup one is
                          50 chi gong arm swings (washing machine)
                          50 hundu squats
                          50 DH KB swings (pick a lighter weight than you normally work with)
                          50 KB halos
                          50 KB around the worlds

                          I also do this Hip opener type warm up sometimes as well (BW only)
                          1) 10 Hindu press ups
                          2) 10 Tee Squats
                          3) 10 windmills left 10 right
                          4) 10 alt leg dragon lunges
                          5) 10 back hyper extensions or swimmers
                          6) 10 rollups
                          7) 10 bird dogs alt knee to elbow
                          8) 10 scorpions
                          9) 10 single leg hip bridges.
                          "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                            Make sure your "bending over" starts with a hip hinge.

                            I'm gonna bet this is a big part of your problem.

                            If you don't know how to hip hinge the foundation training book/program (cheap on kindle) is built almost entirely around strengthening and retraining this primal movement. Do the program for 6 weeks then come back to the deadlift.

                            Foundation Training : Home
                            +1
                            Try the 12-minute workout...work your way into it. I'd also suggest reading Gokhale's book. Between the two of them they helped me understand how to improve my posture through both habit (walking, standing, sitting) and training.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!

                              @Salixisme: I think it must have been the Quadratus Lumborum because that stretch leaning against the wall really nailed it. It's feeling better after some stretching and 2 days extra rest.

                              I will do a form check video ASAP. I watched some deadlift videos such as:
                              Free Video: How To Deadlift With Proper Form | StrongLifts StrongLifts
                              I think I might have been leaning too far forward. I noticed he leans back as he tightens up just before the lift.


                              Another relevant video:
                              Starting Strength: Video
                              I think I need to work on that lower back control as well. I might be one of those physical idiots Mark talks about.

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