ways to train PC workout loading lower back.

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by LZD, May 14, 2014.

  1. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Hi guys. I squat high-bar, suffer from significant lower back fatigue recently, and want a powerful posterior chain for performance and hypertrophy.

    Any ideas for exercises that do not load the lower back too much but trash the glutes and hamstrings?

    Any anecdotal advice or personal success?


    Running TM upper/lower for reference.


    Thanks,.
     
  2. Babba

    Babba Purple Belt

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    nordic hamstring.
     
  3. Flash_Monsta

    Flash_Monsta Black Belt

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    I'll prolly get flamed for this, but machines will target your hams and glutes without direct pressure on your lower back. As for them being useful in a 'performance' pov, probs not so much, but at least for the time being it'll help ease your back.
     
  4. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    GHR, reverse hypers, barbell thrusts.
     
  5. Squat More

    Squat More Blue Belt

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    Ukranian Stallions and parallel box squats.
     
  6. ripskater

    ripskater Guest

    backwards medicine ball throws. Its light weight but is an explosive exercise for the PC.
     
  7. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Just Google'd "Ukranian Stallions" and found them in a Chris Duffin (KabukiWarrior) video. Other than the band around the waist, aren't they just a more complicated way of doing RDLs?
     
  8. Squat More

    Squat More Blue Belt

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    Kind of, yes BUT they are not the exact same movement as a RDL since you're not taking a bar out of a rack, but are using a kettlebell, also standing on elevated boxes or benches increases the ROM so you get more glute and hamstring stretch while allowing you to get less shearing force on the spine (at least in my experience) by being able to keep the kettlebell more in between your legs as opposed to in front of you like you would with a barbell. And the band along with these factors just makes them really fucking good for the glutes and hamstrings while not wasting the lower back.

    I am someone who's had major lower back problems caused by training through and not trying to correct anterior pelvic tilt and other serious mobility issues in the past. I am not perfect as far as posture goes today but I am a hell of a lot better. The use of wide stance parallel box squats as an assistance movement for my posterior chain and the Duffin named stallions have done quite a bit of good for me in training my weak points of the glutes and hamstrings (remember, training through APT over time will = a lot of quad dominance).
     
  9. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    The first thing I thought was that his hands aren't getting below his ankles so he's not getting any more ROM than he would with a barbell on the ground. However having the weight between his legs instead of in front would definitely make it easier on the lower back and that's reason enough to do them.
     
  10. jrams

    jrams Black Belt

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    How do those not load the lower back? When I think of not loading the back I think of tracking exercises like hanging leg raises, not compressive loading.
     
  11. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Why is your lower back fatigued? Have you injured your lower back?
     
  12. Squat More

    Squat More Blue Belt

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    How does ANY exercise involving the hamstrings and glutes not load the lower back to some degree? Even hyper and reverse hypers, GHR etc load the lower back and add some shear (except reversehypers) to some extent to the spine.

    In my experience as someone with lumbar spine issues (just check my history on this forum: blown out lower back, anterior pelvic tilt, SI joint issues, thoracic spine issues that at one point caused blackouts) a properly performed box squat or ukranian stallion hit my hamstrings, glutes, and hips without causing lower back fatigue or strain better than ANY other movement or variation of a movement I have ever used, and I have tried many.

    I also plan on purchasing a reverse hyperextension machine this summer.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  13. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    I'd think long and hard about that purchase. I go to a powerlifting gym, and the reverse hyper sees much more use as a table. I'm not saying reverse hypers aren't a good exercise, but there are a lot of good exercises that might be more worthwhile, and that don't require buying a special piece of equipment.
     
  14. Squat More

    Squat More Blue Belt

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    I have thought about it for some time actually. I made my own similar machine out of plywood and 2x4's a few years ago, one that slid onto the safety pins of my power rack and use it from time to time as a way of getting traction on my lower back when it feels really tight.

    I have a few reasons for wanting to get my own.

    #1 - I got to try an actual legit, non "home made" reverse hyper in Winnipeg and it felt amazing and unlike most any exercise I'd ever done before, felt a shit ton better than the home made version I have.

    #2 - My chiropractor, who is in his late 50's, maybe early 60's used to train / powerlift / powerbuild, but never competed in any actual meet, he was just a farmboy who went to school and had been into the weights since he was in his mid teens. Long story short, he knows his shit, he is the one who suggested I try sumo deadlifting because of my limb and torso length and the issues trying to pull conventional was causing me. Well this guy had never heard of the reverse hyper or Louie Simmons, but has books on Paul Anderson, Doug Hepburn, Kaz and the like in his office - he likes the old school power houses and simple training methods. I only get to see him when something is seriously wrong, as it is a 3 hour drive to the town he is in and a 3 hour drive back, sometimes longer in the winter. Well, after I explained to him what the reverse hyper was (because to him the name "reverse hyperextension" sounded ridiculous because the reverse of hyperextension is flexion ) he decided to google it himself. Well the next time I saw him (maybe 5 months time) he told me he'd read up on it and gotten one for himself, then thanked me for the suggestion of looking into it. Now, if a reverse hyper is good enough for my chiropractor and he likes it for his back, who can say I am wrong to want to get one?

    #3 - my mother and father have back issues, it is something they could also use, the same with my girlfriend who was in a vehicle accident in high school and would benefit from being able to train her posterior chain and lower back without any shearing force on her spine.

    In the end, don't worry about my finances - it wouldn't put me in any great financial debt to get a reverse hyper. You're talking to a guy who's spent a good $1500 on two, large heavy globe dumbbells with 2 3/8" handles on them, they are inching towards lockout. The reverse hyper would cost me less than that.
     
  15. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    Thoracic: any flexion/extension movement. You can experiment with loading schemes so as to decrease tension on the lower back. A little while back I filmed a few of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6oPC4Y-lK8

    Glutes: Any hip-hinge movement; more than likely the ones that do not create distance between the hips and the midline are less likely to create shearing force on the lumbar (that's just my supposition, anyway). Hip-hinges in which the torso starts or finishes on a horizontal or semi-horizontal plane would be a good place to start. Hip Thrusts, glute bridges, glute-ham raises, back extensions.

    Unilateral variations can sometimes offer better glute activation. Anteroposteriorly loaded movements can also be kinder on the lower back (someone suggested Duffin's stallions as one example). Here is more info from Bret Contreras, along with a lot of exercise variations: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/advanced_glute_training

    Hamstrings: Again, hip-hinge movements. Glute-ham raises are a good one (hamstrings activate much more than glutes on these). Exercises that move the hips away from the midline can sometimes be harder with an iffy lower back (i.e. standing goodmornings).

    Just my thoughts. If you're squatting high bar and suffering from significant lower-back fatigue, then you're either not squatting high bar with the desirable torso angle, or you might have a significant weakness in the chain. I'd emphasize doing a lot of your compound movements with a more vertical torso, which means high-bar squats, front squats, and sumo deadlifts; these will keep the lumbar from becoming too heavily taxed. A lot of the time, lower-body work capacity is limited by lumbar fatigue more than any other muscle group.
     
  16. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    Which is too bad, in my opinion, because the reverse hyper seems like a great prehab/rehab tool, provided you understand its place in your training. I don't have a good explanation for why that's the case besides the fact that there's a ton of anecdotal evidence out there to suggest that this is the case. I've heard of very few, if any people actually saying the reverse hyper exacerbating their lower-back condition, whereas it's almost always seen as tolerable--and oftentimes seen as relieving discomfort. It probably wouldn't be my first purchase either, but if I were dealing with a lower-back issue, I'd consider it a pretty low-risk, high-reward venture.
     
  17. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    Also, if I were buying a reverse hyper, I'd just call up the local powerlifting gym--every one I've ever been to uses theirs as a table too, lol.
     
  18. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Thank-you for the replies everyone, yours were especially detailed, Keosawa.

    I tweaked my back very mildly during soccer. I felt a small but sharp pain in my lower back as I tried to kick the ball across my body toward goal from an angle. After that event no pain whatsoever, either playing, walking, bending.

    I had forgotten about it completely until 2 days later when I had lower back fatigue when lifting. The only reason I remembered was that I had logged it!

    I deloaded that week (Volume Day: 3 x 5 at a lower weight rather than 5 x 5 at a higher weight, skipped RDLs. Intensity Day: Hit 5 reps on Squat at ~15% lower than my 5rm and skipped deadlifting altogether).

    I'm unsure if my programming has accumulated this fatigue, perhaps resulting in the minor tweak during soccer, or if it is the other way around.
     
  19. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Thanks Keo. I just spent a bit of time on your youtube channel. Good stuff. I think I will take a form check video. I have been GMing the weights at times during my squatting.
     
  20. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Some other exercises I have considered incorporating are:

    Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

    Pullthroughs (either band or cable)

    Stability ball leg curls (too lame?)
     

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