Lower Back Pain and Core Strength

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by rtfm, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. rtfm

    rtfm White Belt

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    I'm tall, 6' 5" and if I walk around all day I get an ache in my lower back other than that my lower back is fine. I've just finished reading the chapter on lower back pain from Science and Practice of Strength Training "Zatsiorsky & Kraemer". The bit where they describe the pain receding when raising your knees was the perfect description of my pain when I have it so I'm pretty sure my core is as weak as water. I highly recommend this book, I seen it recommended by several individuals here so I got it, worth every penny.

    So I need to start working on my core.

    I've been looking at core strength exercises that I could do and there are plenty. I have a barbell and various plates with no bench or rack. I have a large garden, 60' long x 30' wide (that's large where I live). The discs have grips so side bends are quite easy and I have 25kg plates to do these with. Would the farmers walk work my core that well. When I do it with the two 25kg plates I typically feel it on the shoulders, arms and grip but after a fair distance.

    I've had a look on Ross's site and I like the idea of hammering the shit out of a tire with a sledge hammer or doing medicine ball slams. As an all round core exercise are either of these better than the other, should they be supplemented with crunchies etc? Would you even recommend them? If you recommend the hammer or medicine ball slams what weight do you use? I've no way to get a massive tire to the house so would a smaller tire do?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. rckvl

    rckvl Blue Belt

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    It would probably help to let people know what strength training you are already doing, if any.
     
  3. MarcusAurelius

    MarcusAurelius Green Belt

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    If you want to tackle that back pain, I'd really suggest working on strengthening your lower back - your entire posterior chain for that matter. Kettlebell swings and snatches are an excellent way to do this. Start light, but once you've become comfortable and strong enough, move up in weight as soon as possible. For example, I started with a 35 pounder like most. Once I could hit 20+ reps of snatches on each arm, I bought a 53 pounder. Once I broke 20 with that, I picked up up 70 pounder. Mike Mahler has an excellent article on this philosophy.

    Unleash the Power of Heavy Kettlebell Training - by Mike Mahler
     
  4. rtfm

    rtfm White Belt

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    After several years of doing very little I'm trying to get back into training. At the moment I'm doing complexes and working on reducing the rest interval. I'm currently using the one popularized by Randy Couture with a couple of modifications ie I'm not doing lunges I'm doing step ups and I'm not pressing the bar after the squat. I generally like complexes and circuit training.

    I've also started rowing again, I have a concept2 rower, it's my preferred instrument of torture, my knees got screwed in the Navy from running on shit surfaces with even shitier footwear so I avoid anything high impact (on my knees).

    I'm too heavy at 123kg so I'm trying to drop the weight. I dropped from 122kg to 108kg in 3 months last year but that was a short lived experiment ie I'm back at 123kg. This time my aim is to drop the same weight over 6-8 months but rather than go all out I want to form some habits around training that can be kept up after I've lost the weight.

    I like to vary my routine, fast gains via the same thing for a year wouldn't work for me, I'd lose interest. This forum appears to be a bit more hardcore than what I'd be prepared to put up with ie some people on here are prepared to do SS for 2 or more years. I always try to vary what I do. I don't have the laser focus required to do half of what the people on here are doing hence why I'd never be a competitor in almost any sport.

    This forum also seems to be much more geared toward the strength aspect as opposed to the conditioning aspect of training and it's conditioning/endurance that I'm interested in. I want to be stronger of course but it's not my sole aim. Should there be a separate conditioning/endurance forum? That would certainly interest me because it's what I've typically trained for.

    Most of my training has been spent on ships where you would have to vary your routine depending on what speed the ship was doing and that could change while squatting so you didn't squat heavy, most people did circuits, cycling or rowing because it was safer so I never met any really heavy lifters. Most of the people I met wanted to walk large distances with 60lbs on their back, me included, that was what made you strong. Of course it's different horses for different courses.

    Note when I say strong as in walking 100 miles with 60lbs on your back I don't mean brute strength. I know they're different, I'm just trying to relate the different mentalities.
     
  5. Bennayboi

    Bennayboi Yellow Belt

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    You dont have to be on a farm to do farmers walks you know.

    For core strength, exercises such as planks, hanging leg raises, weighted variations of sit-ups and landmines are good. Also as marcus said you could have a weak lower back. Id start adding pure strength training to your routine, not necessarily for strength but to combat weakness and predisposition to injury. Deadlifts will strengthen your lower back a lot. Add bench press, pullups, rows, and some sort of squat and youre good to go.
     
  6. FyouKantCme

    FyouKantCme Guest

  7. rtfm

    rtfm White Belt

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    I know. I can do the farmers walk I was just wondering if it was a good core exercise compared to whatever other option I have with limited equipment.

    I don't have a bench so bench press is out of the question. I haven't got a decent pull up bar, the bar I use is about chest height (I'm shit at pullups at the moment so they're assisted ie I have my feet on the ground), The bar is also very narrow and sharp, I've wrapped some tubing around it but it still hurts like hell.

    I'm not adverse to deadlifts, in fact that's one exercise I'm equipped to do although it was the deadlift that gave me an inguinal hernia two years ago (too much weight too fast was the problem, my own fault).

    Again I got a hernia because my core was not up to the task. I may have been adding weight too fast but would more core work have helped or even stopped the hernia. Part of me thinks that a few months heavy core work would do me no harm before I go back to deadlifts etc. At my weight I found it very easy to go from not touching a barbell for 5 years to pulling 300lbs withing two weeks quite easily. My body however told me something quite different. Same with the press, 140lbs is quite easy very soon but other parts of my body just give up. (I'm still not sure if it was the press or deadlift that gave me the hernia, I know I noticed it on the deadlift first)

    I know I was going to fast and it's my own fault so now I'm going softly softly ie I have pains in my lower back, a recognized book recommends I strengthen my core so I ask what people would recommend on this forum. Deadlifts taken slowly are certainly one thing I'd consider as are squats.

    Kettelebells: Stand behind me satan, I don't need kettlebells! I'll try the swings with the discs if it's good for core strength :)
     
  8. rtfm

    rtfm White Belt

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    I thought there where rules about posting pornographic material on this forum?
     
  9. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    First, set yourself some specific goals. Like a particular time you'd like to complete 1000m on the CII, a particular time for a complex, and a particular weight you'd like to squat. You should set goals in terms of weight loss as well. If you don't meet those goals, ask yourself what could you have done differently? and do you need to set more moderate goals?

    Variety can be important, however you also need continuity...that is you can't just jump from one routine to another. So things related specifically to your goals would be constants, and other work could vary. For example, get a main lift done following 5/3/1, then you'd do other work, like a barbell complex, a medley of strongman/conditioning type work, rowing, and/or core work, etc. Each day is different, and you can adjust and change assistance, and conditioning, unless a particular element was very important to reaching your goals (I.e. if one of the goals you set involves rowing, you'd be foolish not to row regularly, although how you structure each rowing workout could vary).

    Also, work on improving hip mobility, and glute activation. Read these two articles:
    7 Dynamic Stretches to Improve Your Hip Mobility | StrongLifts.com
    How to Optimize Posterior Chain Power: Glute Activation | StrongLifts.com
     
  10. rtfm

    rtfm White Belt

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    I
     
  11. J Turner

    J Turner Guest

    Looks like you have already learnt alot from the posters here, good.

    Just so you know though, I wouldn't reccomend sledgehammering a tire if you already have back problems. Get those sorted first before you do that. If you really put your back into it (pun not intentional) you will quickly find it's extremely demanding.

    I know people who have issues with thier back or other important areas who literally cannot do those kind of workouts without causing themselves injury or severe discomfort, it's a whole different ball game to simple heavy lifting.

    Just thought I'd mention that before you did anything silly, lol :icon_chee

    (FYI, once you sort out your problems, it's an awesome workout - especially for fighters - the core and upperbody movements are perfect for building grappling/striking strength ... plus it's a very good stress release! oftentimes as well, if you are sly you can svavenge the materials needed from junkyards for free, just ask before you take anything :p)
     
  12. Justice 4 All

    Justice 4 All Brown Belt

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    I have the same problem.

    I'm 6'4 and my lower back gets fatigued relatively fast as well. I didn't read everything that preceded this post so sorry if I'm off the mark, or your issue has been addressed already.

    I believe the most common issues associated with lower back pain are posture and muscle imbalances. With the later you just need to make sure you strength the weak aspects of the core, but with posture issues it can simply be flexibility problems (and bad habits).

    Lordosis (which is what I believe to be my issue) is quite a frequent problem with people that spend long periods of time seated and/or have weight issues.

    [​IMG]

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    If you believe your pain stems from poor posture, here are some types on correcting a lordotic curve: Lordosis: Why it Causes Lower Back Pain & How to Fix it | StrongLifts.com
     

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