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Pick a Part, Any Part - Starting to weightlight, but with which part?

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Old 03-14-2009, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default Pick a Part, Any Part - Starting to weightlight, but with which part?

Being that I have lower back issues, I would like to drop some weight first and then work on my abs and lower back.

In the time being, I am wanting to start on my arms and chest and upper back.

What exercises has anyone found that works for them?

Any advice would be awesome.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:54 AM   #2
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What kind of lower back issues do you have? I'm hesitant to make any suggestions without knowing.

In general, I'd work on ALL parts. If you can, start with body weight or ball squats agains a wall- that would support your back. Planks or modified planks, modified pushups, ball crunches.... But again, without knowing what your back issues are, These are just general suggestions.

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:34 AM   #3
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I agree with Mel. There are many causes of lower back pain and exercise recommendations are different for the different causes. For instance, some common causes of lower back pain are poor thoracic spine mobility which causes excess movement of the lumbar spine and weak hip extensors (glutes and hamstrings) that forces the lower back to do the bulk of the work during hip extension. Many people, especially those who sit and work on the computer all day get the double whammy of both poor t-spine mobility and tight hip flexors (which lead to weak hip extensors). Then again, of course, it could be structural. Those are just a few of the possibilities. Have you had your lower back condition diagnosed? That would be step 1.

Also, picking a body part to start off with is the wrong way to approach beginning a resistance training program. The muscles of the body need to be working in balance or the imbalances will lead to dysfunction and eventually pain and/or injury. Therefore a program needs to be either balanced or purposefully imbalanced (to address existing and diagnosed imbalances). Working one body part or one movement pattern and excluding the others is detrimental to the body.

Assuming you are sure it is not structural (and please do not proceed until you are sure it is not structural), a couple of suggestions I like are pull-throughs and Stability ball hip extensions with a leg curl. Both these options will strengthen hip extension, work the lower body (working big muscles burn more calories), challenge stability, and do not directly load the spine. I would also add some bird dogs, bridges, t-spine rotation/extensions, some foam roller t-spine extensions, and other thoracic spine and hip mobility drills into your warmup and also do them as active rest between your work sets.

Last edited by Depalma : 03-14-2009 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Thank you both. That is totally wise for you both to ask - I should have thought about that!

I am about 80-90% recovered from herniated disc and pinched nerve. Nobody ever told me the disc things takes so long to recover from; and luckily, I know when to stop doing something to keep from furthering or recreating another injury. My disc wasn't bad enough to operate (THANK GOD). It took a lot of time, gentle stretching exercises, mild walking and meds (I stopped taking the meds though and just lived with the pain - I was tried of feeling drugged and inoperable).

To compound it, from what I am inferring from DePalma, I am your typical M-F, business hours office jockey, so that may not help! I found sitting on the balance ball in lieu of my office chair actually helped me from being in pain, having a stiff back, but I didn't notice this until AFTER the back trouble hit hard. I always guessed that part of it was my weight, the chair/the way I sat in it, and possibly years of doing lifting and stuff I shouldn't have been.



I think anybody who has sciatica or had a herniated disc pain could handle childbirth. However, this is coming from a chick who has never had children. Although, I can't imagine how bad it must feel if somebody's at the where they need surgery. Ow. Ow. Ow.

I'll be gentle whenever it comes to the exercises that pull on the lower back for now. I need to check with the doctor, because I forgot to ask - but I think if I lost some general weight first, the exercises for the lower back may be easier. Gawd! The things you forget in a day.

Mel, DePalma - you both are awesome.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:19 PM   #5
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My sister had the same thing, but hers was the result of slipping on some icy steps, hit the step, actually broke a couple of bones plus a herniated disc. She's had a long, slow, painful recovery, as well, but like you, couldn't handle the meds and still live her life. She's found some relief doing yoga tapes at home. Maybe something to think about, as yoga and/or bodyweight exercises can be strength training, especially when starting out, and you can make adjustments for your current level of fitness and the back injury. Good luck with your recovery!
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsk8r View Post
My sister had the same thing, but hers was the result of slipping on some icy steps, hit the step, actually broke a couple of bones plus a herniated disc. She's had a long, slow, painful recovery, as well, but like you, couldn't handle the meds and still live her life. She's found some relief doing yoga tapes at home. Maybe something to think about, as yoga and/or bodyweight exercises can be strength training, especially when starting out, and you can make adjustments for your current level of fitness and the back injury. Good luck with your recovery!
OW. Your poor sister. I hope she's getting on the up and up.
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