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16

Try rolling over onto your stomach and doing a "superman". You can hold tension in the position, or do reps similar to doing "reverse situps". ref site Also, you might think about doing slow squats or wall sits where you focus on contracting both your abs and lower back. Tense up so as to make the line between anus and belly-button as short as possible ...


12

You don't need to just strengthen your lower back. You are having lower back spasms and difficulties but it's not because your lower back is weak. It's because of systemic issue directly related to your sedentary lifestyle. As such no 'band-aid' solution will help, instead you need a comprehensive overhaul. What you probably suffer from Muscle ...


10

Between this post and the prior one asking for 5x5 squat help, I strongly recommend seeing a qualified personal trainer and also your Dr. for a physical prior to any more exercising. Based on your posts, you're overweight, out of shape and do not have a background in weightlifting, this is a combination that could get you SERIOUSLY injured. Stop, get a ...


7

From yoga: spinal flexion and cat-cow. Very simple exercises and quite effective. The Cat-Cow looks like this: ref site


6

Its hard to find adequate diagrams to illustrate this, but I'll explain as best I can. For the average person, the teaching to not "lift with the back" is good advice Someone who isn't used to lifting what the average person would consider heavy loads (lets say a 20kg box), bending at the waist to lift causes a rounding spine. Combined with weak hamstrings ...


5

A couple exercises helped me with lower back weakness. In my warm-ups and morning workouts, I did these: Cat-cows from yoga, to get blood flowing in the lower back and to get used to firing those muscles. I did a set of 10 immediately after my warm-up. Round-backed deadlifts with very, very low weight, performed slowly with a distinct pause at the top and ...


5

You might want to shorten your running distance, but increase your speed. Long jogging sessions can cause wear & tear on the body. And especially if you're not giving your body enough rest in between this could be making your back worse. I used to run 3 miles every day, and although my endurance was great, I was living with pain every day. Much later ...


5

Swimming is probably going to be the best active recovery for you. Back injuries do happen, and they aren't to be trifled with. Depending on the severity of the injury, it might take as little as a couple days to heal or it might take a whole week or two. Either way, you don't want to overstress your back during recovery. When you get back in the gym: ...


5

Avoid compound exercises until you heal Compound exercises are exercises that utilize a wide range of muscles such as running, dead lifting, sports, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. Basically, exercises that use a wide range of muscles almost always utilize your core. Not only do you want to avoid using your back but also your abs until the damage is healed. The ...


5

Take a look at this article on the "Third World Squat". It will help you identify what the problem areas are from sitting all day. The problem we see is this: Lack of strength in the posterior chain. You aren't using these muscles while sitting in a chair. Lack of flexibility in the hip flexors, calves, hamstrings Too much flexibility in the glutius ...


5

Hyperkyphosis - hunched back-, due to muscle imbalance, is normally caused by weak mid back muscles (rhomboids, part of traps, levator scap, etc.) and tight pectoral muscles. This is common in high school age wrestling athletes for example. Seated rows, shoulder shrugs, rotator-cuff exercises; while paired with pectoral stretches can help correct this. If ...


5

Thanks for providing the information about your workout. I agree with @Informaficker that the best way to deal with a back problem is to seek professional expertise. Lots of people have back pain and lots have advice about what worked for them. However, all back pain is not alike and there are many contributing factors, so treat your condition as unique. ...


5

The key to lifting injury free is to keep the intensity manageable and the form correct. The big 4 lifts: squat, bench, deadlift, and overhead press are excellent staples that give you a lot of benefit for the work you do. However, if you are starting out you may want to work up to them. The posterior chain is important, and one of the first things we ...


4

Planks! As long as you have proper form they are very good at building strength for your core without having to do crunches.


4

Some people believe that concentric ab work is unnecessary. Abs, by Mark Rippetoe outlines the common reasoning and alternatives to concentic ab work. Here's some summary and excerpts. The primary role of the abs is isometric stabilization. "Since the basic nature of correct ab function is isometric, the exercises in which the abs perform this function ...


3

Most likely your back doesn't hurt because it's weak, it hurts because it is overused. Why is it overused? In a lot of chronic cases (which seems to be your case as well), our back - which main function is stability - has to cover for joints that are not doing their job. The joints I speak of are the one below (our hips) and the one above (thoracic ...


3

4 exercises I was given by an osteopath when I had fairly chronic muscular lower back pain were all leg related: Lie on your back, hold each leg to the ceiling in turn and hold for 30 seconds Pull a knee towards your face and hold for 30 seconds, for each leg Stretch each leg against a chair seat,while standing up, as if doing a warm up for running. Hold ...


3

Medical Clearance: I'm assuming that your surgeon has given you the ok for weight training. Given that you have had back surgery and have previously injured yourself using weights, you may want to check with your physical therapist for an evaluation of any muscle weaknesses or limitations of motion that you may have so that you can address these before ...


3

It sounds like the problem with your (standing) overhead press is either form or maximal isometric strength in the core. Changing to an exercise that removes both of these factors and doesn't improve them does not seem like a productive way to increase your overhead press. Without a lot more details on your training history (sets, reps, loads, frequency), ...


3

To answer your question best, you need to understand why you are doing overhead press. If you are doing Starting Strength or Strong Lifts, it's best to leave it in there and keep working on it--in those programs it's used for both core work and shoulder work. If your goal is simply to have stronger shoulders, then there's no reason to remain standing. If ...


2

I'd also recommend doing a high rep sets of Good Mornings with no weight for extra lower back work around the house. Good mornings hit both the lower back and glutes/hamstrings. Everything back in that region of your body is connected very tightly so good glutes/hamstrings are just as important to lower back strength and stability as your lower back ...


2

Whole body exercises like deadlifts and squats - with good form! (Swimming is good, but it takes a while to see the effects.)


2

Now that I'm thinking about this I realized I have a solution. But it is pretty makeshift, but it might work for someone. I have a stable stool that I can raise to 25". If I hook my legs under a counter or very heavy table (it needs to be very steady), and place my hips on the stool I can do back raises with a makeshift Roman Chair. Kind of like this. ...


2

Check out Neanderthal No More - The complete guide to fixing your caveman posture! by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. It's available on T-Nation and cited all over the web. It deals directly with your (and my) issue. The 4 part T-Nation version has lots of Q&A from readers. @Grohlier gives a very succinct summary of this article which has tons of ...


2

The fact your back is stiff and painful in the morning suggests inflammation as this builds as we sleep for a number of reasons. Combined with the fact you find extension of the back releaving and have most probably been compressing your lower back when weight training, I would suggest it is most likely an annular strain or tear of your intervertebral disc. ...


2

A good way to know if your back is in the right place is to sit up right, pushing the chest out and tightening the abs even in the seated position. This will create a small arch in your lower back releasing some of the tension, but the abs will serve as a stabilizer for the stance. In essence this give you a 90 degree upright position and a chair with a ...


2

The sit and reach test is part of a general health assessment battery of tests. The basic method is to sit on the floor, legs flat, with feet against a box or other vertical stop. A measuring stick or device is used to see how far a person can reach towards (or past) their toes. It's used as a measure of general health when included in a full assessment. ...


2

No. What's preventing you from doing the standing form correctly is not your shoulder strength. Increasing your shoulder strength in the seated version will actually make it more difficult to do the standing version properly, because your shoulders will be able to support even more than your core is able to brace. (Edit: I'm removing my advice to simply ...


2

There really is no need to use a bench for any of this. The "hanging" part of the back raise can be handled by dead lifts, good mornings, those type of exercise where you raise to an upright position against resistance. The only part of the exercise you describe that isn't worked can be worked satisfactorily simply by laying on your stomach, and raising ...



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