Safest lower back exercise?

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Captain Amazing, Feb 16, 2006.

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  1. Captain Amazing

    Captain Amazing OT Supporter

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    I have a bad lower back. What is the safest lower back exercise I can do so I do not injure myself again?
     
  2. Ceaze

    Ceaze https://hearthis.at/DoYouEvenUplift Moderator

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    birddog
     
  3. Ceaze

    Ceaze https://hearthis.at/DoYouEvenUplift Moderator

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    To begin, start on all fours with the hands under the shoulders and knees underneath the hips. Brace the stomach like you're about to be punched and squeeze the glute that you're about to move.

    With the glute tight, think about "pushing" your leg straight back with the heel leading. Hold at the extended position, and then return to the starting position with the leg hovering above the ground (not resting on it). Make sure you keep the active glute and stomach tight throughout; this will keep the hips square and steady, thus maintaining the focus on the glutes. Also, you should be looking at the floor with the chin tucked the entire time.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If you’ve mastered the first birddog, the second one will add some difficulty as you take your points of balance on the floor from three to two. The starting position is the same as before and you'll tense your body in the same fashion. However, as you push your leg away, also lift your opposite arm and raise it in front of you. The goal is to keep everything tight and the hips steady throughout. Make sure to use your muscles and not momentum to complete the reps!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now, if you’ve done these exercises for a while, I’m sure you'll realize that one side is stronger or more "free-flowing" than the other. We've seen the same thing in both a clinical and athletic settings. Most people have a dominant hand, and this dominant hand leads to one muscle sling or serape being stronger and more dominant in comparison to the other. A serape is basically a functional line that allows fluent and efficient movement between muscle pairs (think of the one lat and the contralateral gluteus maximus, erector spinae, and hamstrings working together in the sprinting motion, and you'll get the idea).

    Therefore, if you're right-handed, your serape between your right lat and left glute will be stronger and more easily recruited than the opposite, especially if you have a background in a unilateral sport such as baseball or tennis. One would think that daily functions would utilize both serapes evenly, as you take the same number of steps on each side when you walk or compete in running-based athletics. However, when you always reach for something with your dominant side, or use a mouse on one side at your computer all the time, things can be thrown out of whack. For this reason, you may need to perform extra reps on the weaker side to restore muscle balance and function.
     
  4. Jeff Merr

    Jeff Merr Elite Member

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    All lower back exercises are safe, use correct form. I had torn muscle tissue in my lower back a few years ago, after a shitload of money spent on chiro and physical therapy, i found that what worked the best in repairing my back was light Good Mornings/DL's/Hyper's. Just use caution and be strict on your form.
     
  5. Ceaze

    Ceaze https://hearthis.at/DoYouEvenUplift Moderator

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    Also, do fast paced walking (with arm swing) daily and make sure you're stretching your hip flexors. Glute activation exercises will probably help as well.
     
  6. Captain Amazing

    Captain Amazing OT Supporter

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  7. Ceaze

    Ceaze https://hearthis.at/DoYouEvenUplift Moderator

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    Excerpts from Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance by Stuart McGill

    Note: by leg extensions it doesn't mean the leg extension machine, it means the birddog without lifting the arm.
     
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