Looking for lower back advice

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Khronos8
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Looking for lower back advice

Post by Khronos8 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:01 pm

I have recently been having some issues with my lower back and it's really starting to cramp my style. I love to squat, deadlift, and power clean. I laid off those for a few weeks to see if my lower back would recover (thinking it was an overuse or overtraining effect). Rather than moderating it seems to be getting worse.

Now, I'm not coming here to ask you guys to fix it, (although if somebody has some advice I'll certainly listen, well... maybe not Oscar) but was hoping somebody had some ideas how to train middle back without those lifts?

I typically try to train motions, not muscle groups, but in this case I dont want my erector spinae to go down hill (in the strength department) while I try to fix my lower back.

Any ideas?


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stuward
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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by stuward » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:10 pm

Lower back pain is often caused by weak glutes. You may also want to look at your flexibility in the upper back.

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:27 pm

All I try to do is help
And I'm a whipping boy for you too.

chest supported rows?
Db rows ?
seated cable rows?

those seem to obvious for someone of your experience, so, maybe I'm wrong.
But tht's just me, trying to help

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Khronos8 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:42 pm

Oscar,

Thanks, I was just kidding (and I know you have the sense of humor to take it).

Those are all good horizontal pulling motions that get the upper back, rear shoulders, and lats. The erector spinae are the thick muscles in the middle of your lower back, running up from the top of the hips to about mid-back, along either side of the spine. They are principally used in vertical pulling motions and to brace your core during loaded pushing motions.

Stu,

Any way to tell where the weakness is? I know I need more upper thoracic spine flexability, actually the lower back pain started shortly after I started working on that (!!??!) to address some shoulder issues (which it seemed to help with). If it is a glute thing... what do you suggest?

I currently do the following for legs (calves/quad/ham/glute): Bulgarian split squat, glute ham raise, single leg romanian dead lift, bench bridges (both weighted and not), reverse lunge to single straight leg deadlift.

I dont have any problem with the light deadlifts I do as part of my complex, by the time I'm done I have hardly any pain. The complex includes DL, Rom DL, hang clean, front and back squat and lunges. I just cant DL or squat heavy without significant pain both during the lift and throughout recovery.

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stuward
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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by stuward » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:03 pm

Bret Contreras writes lots on the subject and Mike Robertson just wrote a new article on squats. They should help. Also look for articles on Core Stability.


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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Paperclip » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:42 pm

You've been already doing glute ham raise but perhaps you can also try weighted hyperextension.

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:32 pm

Khronos8 wrote:Oscar,

Thanks, I was just kidding (and I know you have the sense of humor to take it).

Those are all good horizontal pulling motions that get the upper back, rear shoulders, and lats. The erector spinae are the thick muscles in the middle of your lower back, running up from the top of the hips to about mid-back, along either side of the spine. They are principally used in vertical pulling motions and to brace your core during loaded pushing motions.
good points
And I see the error of my choices and reading comprehension

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stuward
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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by stuward » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:50 am

These are the articles I was referring too earlier:
http://bretcontreras.com/2011/10/sittin ... the-spine/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/squat/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Both talked about box squats as a means of strengthening glutes and taking the stress of the back. The Robertson article is very long and the part you want is at the very end.

For fun, here's Mark Rippetoe's rant about "core stability", not quite the same thing as Bret and Mike mean. http://startingstrength.com/articles/co ... ppetoe.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You asked how you can tell if you glutes are weak or not. Bret had a test where he did single leg deadlifts. It isolated the glutes. If your 1 legged deadlift was less than half your conventional deadlift, you're using your lower back to compensate for weak glutes.

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:12 am

stuward wrote: Bret had a test where he did single leg deadlifts. It isolated the glutes. If your 1 legged deadlift was less than half your conventional deadlift, you're using your lower back to compensate for weak glutes.
so, like everybody?

:scratch:

(ass-suming here)

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by stuward » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:13 am

Everybody except for those without low back pain.

I'm not going to look up the article but I beleive he supported the free leg so that you didn't have to fight for balance, allowing you to lift up to the limit as imposed by your glutes. If your glutes were strong enough, you could do half your deadlift. Bret could, I couldn't. However he had a core exercise that I was as strong as he was, so I know my back is carrying the load in the deadlift because my glutes are weak.

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:04 am

makes some more sense with the supported leg.
Also, taking into consideration the learning curve for that move
I guess I was thinking, I'll never Db press 1/2 my Bench Press, at least not both arms

I'm a Brett C fan

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Khronos8 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:28 am

Stu,

Thanks for the links! I have a direction to go now, and hope. I'll update to let you know if it was effective for me (crossing my fingers).

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Christianiron.com » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:40 am

De-compressing the spine might help.. it has for me when I started having low back pain. An inversion unit is a beautiful thing, as is a reverse hyper unit. Short of availability of either of these, just hanging from a chin bar helps

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by Khronos8 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:28 am

Little update here.

Been doing the glute strengthening exercises Contreras prescribes and...

3 weeks later... my lower back is doing much better! Not completely 100% yet, but doing much better. I was able to DL (very light) this weekend! No residual pain the day after either!

Have added quadriped hip extensions/pendulum quadriped hip extensions, and "fire-hydrants" to my warm up, bench hip thrusts and 45 degree back extensions to my workouts. Seems to be doing the job.

Mad props to Stuward for pointing me in the right direction. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

looking back I cant believe how long I put up with the pain, especially when the answer was out there. I wont wait so long to ask about stuff here in the future.

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Re: Looking for lower back advice

Post by stuward » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:17 am

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.


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