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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:25 pm 
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The flags on the forum posts seem to occasionally get set to "no new message" without me reading them. Sorry to be slow.

Back's not too bad. Still a bit stiff, and occasionally a little sore. I'm feeling my way in terms of what to stretch and what to leave alone. I think I'm still a week away from trying any back-specific lifts, and I've now had a week of total rest from lifting. I'm going to lift this afternoon, all upper-body targeted, and we'll see how it feels after that.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:25 pm 
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Hi! I'm planning my rehab routine. I'm hoping that several of you will give me some input?

At KPj's suggestion I'm intending to include cable pull-throughs, Pallof presses and GHRs. The GHRs I have some doubts about. Seems like they could put some strain on the low back. I guess I'll just try and see.

Planks in the past have been limited by shoulder endurance, not by core endurance, especially side planks. They'd be a good exercise to use, though.

I'm thinking of including step-ups and/or lunges (maybe both would be overkill) as squat substitutes. Maybe do some knee extensions and ham curls to try to keep the legs up, or do you think those would be superfluous (please say they're superflous, as I don't like them very much)?

I'll keep doing bench press, chins, DB rows. Overhead presses have bothered my back in the past. I've done them pretty successfully seated and one-armed. I'm thinking about some form of external shoulder rotations.

After 2 or 3 weeks, I want to add in cautious body-weight squats and light DLs, probably once a week. Should I start with variations of these? Front squats? RDLs? Rack pulls? (I'd have to jury-rig a way do do these, as our rack does not have readily-movable hooks!) Others?

Anything else you'd add? Suggestions about order, volume? Not long before I hurt my back I had laid out a program that had me doing squats, DLs and GMs each on a different day every third workout. All my other lifts were every other workout. I work out 3 days per week. I wonder if doing big lifts every workout contributed to my overuse. Maybe I should do a push/pull-upper back/legs-lower back sort of split.

Lately my chins is where I'm making progress, so I've been doing them first every workout.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:24 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Hi! I'm planning my rehab routine. I'm hoping that several of you will give me some input?

At KPj's suggestion I'm intending to include cable pull-throughs, Pallof presses and GHRs. The GHRs I have some doubts about. Seems like they could put some strain on the low back. I guess I'll just try and see.


Be cautious with them. It hits your glutes, hams, and lower back - these muscles are normally trained 'together', quite difficult to train them separately. In fact, I would advise leaving them out for the first week or so and see how everything else goes. The pull throughs will also use your lower back but you have much more control over the load used, instead of jumping straight into bodyweight. Pull throughs give you the chance to really emphasise your glutes, though.

Jungledoc wrote:
Planks in the past have been limited by shoulder endurance, not by core endurance, especially side planks. They'd be a good exercise to use, though.


As much as all these isometrics will start to sicken you (if they don't already), you might want to give the push up iso hold a shot, get that shoulder endurance up. Start with 3 sets of 25seconds, you can work up to holding yourself just above the ground, sets of 45 seconds, and even elevating your feet. Great exercise for shoulder health and still involves the core a lot. The good thing about isometrics is that they require little maintenance once you become good at them...

Jungledoc wrote:
I'm thinking of including step-ups and/or lunges (maybe both would be overkill) as squat substitutes. Maybe do some knee extensions and ham curls to try to keep the legs up, or do you think those would be superfluous (please say they're superflous, as I don't like them very much)?


Well, you could call me biased, but i hate them. 2 lunge variations won't be over kill, especially at first. Good lunge form requires good posture, too, so they will 'help the cause' in terms of getting a solid well functioning core (which will protect your lower back). Step ups, step downs, reverse lunges and the 'static' front lunge are good places to start.... Step downs aren't very intense, though. I actually throw them in between exercises in an upper body day so that I can leave my lower body days for intense stuff. Lunges are great for balancing out leg and hip strength and function, which is more reason to do more of them.


Jungledoc wrote:
I'm thinking about some form of external shoulder rotations.

After 2 or 3 weeks, I want to add in cautious body-weight squats and light DLs, probably once a week. Should I start with variations of these? Front squats? RDLs? Rack pulls? (I'd have to jury-rig a way do do these, as our rack does not have readily-movable hooks!) Others?


I would prefer you started with a restricted ROM in DL's, such as rack pulls. My gym doesn't have moveable pins, but I can elevate myself on an aerobic step which brings the bar to around knee cap height. If I can't do that, I just get 2 steps and sit the bar on them. The beauty of the DL is that even with a restricted ROM you still train the same muscles, as opposed to the squat where, the more you restrict ROM, the more you take the posterior chain out of it...

In my experience with back pain, you can always find a 'pain free' ROM in the DL. If you want to be REALLY cautious, you could add a tempo. I wouldn't actually count, just lift slow, and feel your way through the exercise,completely focusing on form... Personally, when I started DL's, I started with rack pulls from above knees, due to very poor flexibility. I lifted with roughly a 4 second tempo, just to make sure I got it right. I also held lock out for 2-3 seconds, to emphasise the glutes (I had 'glute amnesia').

In terms of volume, I would just take it easy at first - feel it out. As you know, your lower back is involved in everything you do (even breathing, if you breath into your stomach and not your chest). I think you only realise the extent of this when it's injured... The thing is, the lower back has great potential for strength and even training volume that it can cope with, in comparison to other muscles. When your in pain though, nothing seems further from the truth.

In other words, just play it by ear - be cautious. Start with quite low volume. Personally, I would be reluctant to load you up on squats and DL's until you were competent with the isometrics and a few sets of pull throughs didn't have any lasting effects. So, in my opinion, isometrics, pull throughs and Rack pulls would be plenty to start.

If your going to squat, the front squat is another safe bet. The position on the front of the shoulders means you use less weight, so less load on the spine. It also requires decent upper back stability and core strength for the same reason, so another great 'postural' exercise. All you need to do is check your depth - see how far you can go down before your back rounds / hips tuck under your torso. Then, place a box or step just above this point, and then 'touch and go' to the box... Another great thing about this exercise is that bad form normally means 'drop bar'- it's a lot more difficult to screw up than a back squat...

KPj


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:43 am 
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KPj wrote:
The good thing about isometrics is that they require little maintenance once you become good at them...


From what I've gathered asking about gynmastics, once you get good at a more basic isometric gynmastic hold (and a plank is one, just very basic), you don't need to keep doing them. Just try to move on up.

I asked on Performance Menu's forums.


And here's a good article on two gymnastic progressions.
http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/229/


Actually, our boy Anshan in the Phils might benefit from that, too - can't get enough weights? Find a bar and work on front levers and a mat and work on planche pushups. If you can do them, you're plenty strong...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:08 am 
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Interesting article on body weight. Ill read in more detail later. It's funny that they use a little kid for all the pictures. Makes me feel like a wuss! I don't think I'll be adding the planche for a while.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:08 am 
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Here's what I'm thinking for now.

3 days per week, all basically whole-body.

Chins 5 sets, last to failure

Bench (I'll keep this here for a couple of weeks, and then start alternating with rack pulls, and then later rotating those with squat variations). Rotating speed bench, (9x3, 60%; med (5-7x60%,70%,80%); heavy (3x75%,80%85%).

DB one-arm rows--3x5, last to failure

Pull-throughs
3x8?
starting 5 plates (don't know what that is in pounds; 4 was pretty easy when I tried a few)

Step-ups
3x12, starting BW
I'll alternate these with lunges

Pallof Press
3x8? starting 5 plates

PU iso holds
1 x 20 sec full extension
1 x 20 sec mid extension
1 x 20 sec just off floor

Side planks
3x30 sec each side

Static stretching: quads, IT bands, shoulders (ext, tr ext, ex rot).

I think that will keep me in the gym long enough. Suggestions?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:23 am 
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That looks like a good program. What height of box are you using for step ups? I have 12", 18" and 24" at my gym and each is like a different exercise as the focus changes from quads to hams as th height goes up. Of course you have to weight the low ones to make them challenging.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:45 am 
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I think that looks good. Looks straight to the point and I would expect you to feel like you could add more for a better training effect in a reasonably short amount of time - a couple of weeks or so, because there isn't anything there that will make things worse.

You CAN go heavy on pull throughs, but I would advise keeping it in the 12-15rep range. Right now, it's just conditioning / endurance your going for... It should still be challenging, just in a higher rep range.

With pallof press, you would never really go heavy rep range, always 12-15, or doing it as an isometric. It's easier to start in the 12-15 rep range. This should also be challenging, but really, your training the 'function' - your teaching your core to resist rotation. By doing it frequently and becoming good at it, that 'function' will carry over to everything else... Then it's just a case of keeping on top of it - throwing in it in every couple of months or so.

Obviously, there's a lot of holds and conditioning type exercises in one session. If your sanity can handle that, then great. If not, I would advise adding in rack pulls straight away, as a first exercise, and rotating all the iso holds and pallof press. There's always more than one way to skin a cat so i'm not saying either is better. With my own knee rehab recently, all my lower body days consisted of at first was an extended warm up (15-20 minutes)and pistols. I could of got away with doing more single leg stuff, But i just wanted to focus completely on the problem at hand...

KPj


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:17 pm 
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stuward wrote:
That looks like a good program. What height of box are you using for step ups? I have 12", 18" and 24" at my gym and each is like a different exercise as the focus changes from quads to hams as th height goes up. Of course you have to weight the low ones to make them challenging.


I finished building my new box yesterday! Well, it still needs some sanding. It is 14" x 16" x 18", so I have those options. I'll use the 14" for squatting (that puts me a bit below parallel), and start with that for step-ups.

We had a chair that was about 15" high. I destroyed that Saturday when I tried to demonstrate to my workout partner that I could do box jumps onto it!


Last edited by Jungledoc on Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:27 pm 
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KPj wrote:
I think that looks good. Looks straight to the point and I would expect you to feel like you could add more for a better training effect in a reasonably short amount of time - a couple of weeks or so, because there isn't anything there that will make things worse.

You CAN go heavy on pull throughs, but I would advise keeping it in the 12-15rep range. Right now, it's just conditioning / endurance your going for... It should still be challenging, just in a higher rep range.


OK. I'll take the reps up. Do you think about 3 sets is about right?

Quote:
Obviously, there's a lot of holds and conditioning type exercises in one session. If your sanity can handle that, then great. If not, I would advise adding in rack pulls straight away, as a first exercise, and rotating all the iso holds and pallof press.


I'm going to hold off on the rack pulls for a little while. I'm just nervous, as DLs triggered a more minor episode of back pain a week or so before the current one occured.

This afternoon I'm going to start doing this, feeling my way as to whether the weights feel right, etc.

Thanks again for the help.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:13 pm 
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Looks good, but I think you'll want to go lighter on the speed benches, based on this:

http://www.ontariostrongman.ca/Resource ... ngpt1.html

Scroll down to
Sunday: Bench press training

You'll see it's all 50% at 8 x 3 for bench speed work. Trust me, it's plenty of work if you are pushing fast.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:33 pm 
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What I'm using is about 57%, to be precise. I just found the weight that feels good by trial and error. At 50% I feel like I'm jerking my arms out. I have trouble lifting fast and still decelerating at the end of the ROM. At 60% it's just a little too slow by the 4th or 5th set. So I have been splitting the difference, and it currently feels "just right."


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:58 am 
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Feedback from your own workouts is the best way to judge. Stick with what's working for you!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:45 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
OK. I'll take the reps up. Do you think about 3 sets is about right?


Yes, 3 sets will be fine :smile:

Hope it works out well for you.

KPj


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:03 am 
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Well, after a week (actually, 2 work-outs, blame the work) I think this is going well. After working out, I have felt tired, like I'd been working a bit hard, but not sore. Back's been pretty good, mostly just stiff.

I've been re-reading and looking for new material on glute and ham activation. Someone (I can't remember who) posted this link http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/noglutes.html a few days ago. It says the same things that I've read, and that KPj and others have said, but presented in a pretty comprehensive way. It references this site http://www.easyvigour.net.nz/fitness/h_ ... xintro.htm which at first seemed a little odd to me, but it contains useful stuff.

At the author's suggestion, I started going around feeling my glutes as I did things (I tried to be discrete:lol:). I'm amazed how much I can do with the gutes being totally flacid! Not doing a blame thing! I was shocked. It's like if they were amputated, I could do pretty much everythig I do now! The article includes references to three exercises.
http://www.easyvigour.net.nz/fitness/h_Monkey.htm
http://www.easyvigour.net.nz/fitness/h_ ... _Squat.htm
http://www.easyvigour.net.nz/fitness/h_Sat_Nght_Fvr.htm
They looked so easy and "non-exerciseish" that at first I discounted them. I tried them anyway, and was quite surprised to find that my back felt better than it has for weeks! I'll be doing these as part of my stretching.

I'm also trying to learn to consciously engage my glutes. I think there is a lot of wasted potential there! This morning walking up the mountain I checked, and found that they were actually contracting as I walked. They are more tired now than the rest of my body.

I'll be keeping the routine the same this week. I'll be building 6 small boxes that I can stack to put the bar on for limited ROM DLs. Then I'll have them to adjust bar height as my wife has promised to start doing free weights when we get back from taking our son to college in the US! She even says that she'll accept coaching and instruction from ME of all people! Then I'll use the boxes and add the limited ROM pulls, and in a couple of weeks I'll add front squats.

Thanks again for the input. Any comments are welcome.


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