Originally Posted by elipson
I don't agree 100% with that. I have been stretching my back lying backwards on one of those huge inflated excercise ball things and do crunches on it's nice giving bouncy surface so I avoid pressur on my tailbone I also go far back and get a good stretch out of it.
Not sure if I described this well..
I agree with you on this one - situps I am not a huge fan of -I have seen a large number of people I have seen who end up strain their necks/lower back through bad technique. Also they tend to use the hip flexors as much as the abs. I much prefer crunchies but keep your back straight or you will end up with problems.
Originally Posted by Goju - Joe
I have suffered from lower back issues in the past and I have found that after doing a set of crunchies I tend to do a set of dorsal raises - since then no problems.
I would advise the OP to get some some professional advice on what core exercises would be best bearing in mind the injury stated.
Bicycle crunches. You'll use just about every core muscle, and won't strain your back and neck as much.
If by "bicycle crunches" you mean the "touch alternating elbows to opposite knees" I would advise against it, really. Busted discs really don't enjoy twisting motions too much and this would increase the likelihood of him reinjuring his spine.
To reinforce my previous point: Seek a professional opinion. None of us can see you or assess you over the internet and thus can't really offer any qualified advice on your specific case.
You described it fine Joe.
For the OP I wouldn't suggest that execise. It's not the pressure on the tailbone that is the issue. The issue is that you are training your body to bend at the lumbar in a way that increases the pressure on the lower spine. Your lower lumbar should be curved backwards and stregnthened in that position. Planks for example let you work the core while maintaining good lower lumbar position.
Let me try and draw this out.Take two kinds of shock absorbers. One is a car springs. The coil type. The other absorber is a bow, like a bow and arrow. The back is designed like the coil spring. It is great at absorbing compression, hence guys doing hundreds of pounds on their squats. However, it is not designed like the bow, which is designed for a lateral bend.
The back is not a bow. It's not designed to take a load while bending forward. Some people can get away with it, like those who do Romanian deadlifts (I shudder to think of that exercise), but always at a fraction of what their back can take with compression.
Now I'm not saying EVERYONE should avoid situps. I've added weighted decline situps into my routine after a few years of no situps at all. But for those with serious spine issues, there are so many other exercises to do that don't increase your risk of injury.
Aside from consulting a physio therapist, the OP would be well served to read up on work by "Dr. Stuart McGill". He produces a ton of good research on lower back injuries and could be considered the foremost researcher on the subject.
Also, look up and download a book called "Core stability of the back: the foundation of a strong and healthy back" by Rick Kaselj. It has a number of good exercises ranging from just post-injury right up to exercises for a healthy back. Most of them are boring as ****, but they are effective if you stick with them.
This is the key point that a lot of people don't understand. They think they are strengthening their cores, but really they are just fucking up their lumbar spine.
Originally Posted by elipson
Personally, it took a load of coaching before I understood the difference between bending at my hips, my lumbar spine and my thoracic spine. I used to constantly pick up minor back injuries, and occasionally more major ones. Since learning to keep my lumbar stable, and be mobile in the areas that are supposed to be mobile, I don't think I've had any problems with my back.
This is fine, provided the lumbar spine stays neutral. You have to have sufficient hip mobility for them, and you *have* to be really strict with your form.
Some people can get away with it, like those who do Romanian deadlifts (I shudder to think of that exercise)
Last edited by CrackFox; 8/15/2012 2:02pm at .
No, it's not really what I meant.
Originally Posted by Shawarma
You can do them with very little movement or tension on the spine ie you don't have to go all out.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/15/2012 3:59pm at .
Because why not open up another can of worms?
If you are in pain, see a reputable rehabilitation professional. The end.
Crunches: No. As noted earlier by elipson - the work of Dr. Stuart McGill has demonstrated that repeated flexion and extension especially with rotation of the lumbar spine is the preferred method for breaking down the layers of annulus (usually poster) and causing disc herniation. This is to say in the lab setting the way they found to bulge a disc fastest was to put analogous spines into crunch machines. I've listened to and read arguments against McGill's research, but I haven't been convinced, especially for someone with back pain already.
As for strengthening the "core" whatever that means today, I am not thoroughly convinced that doing planks is in general is going to resolve any back pain issues. Would I still do it if it were me? Yes. Todd Hargrove examined some research on core strength in relation to back pain here: http://www.bettermovement.org/2010/b...bulging-discs/ and found no real link between the two.
My current line of thought around pain in general is that the way we move is far more related to the presence of pain than any particular muscle. It's possible you are hinging on one or two vertebra preferentially or have no clue how to move from your hips or mid-back. Any good rehab professional should be able to notice this. As strictly an opinion If I were to call out any region of the body that needs strength, I would aim to strengthen the hips while remaining as rigid as possible around the lumbar.
I suspect that there are many confounding issues with most back pain. For me, learning to release my psoas and getting my pelvis level helped more than anything--these days. But 7 years ago, it was Romanian deadlifts.
I've had good results from these too. Activates just about everything south of your rib cage without a big strain.
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
I used to have pretty severe back and knee pains. Losing weght and building core strangth has helped quite a bit. My knees hardy ever hurt anymore. My back is proabbly permanently screwed but the pain is not nearly as intense or as frequent.
One thig that was very important at the beginning was keeping the excersises "low impact".
Bicycle crunches, planks, that sort of thing. Think of it as physical therapy. Slowly building up enough strength to eventually do the hard excersises without pain and injury.
Be patient with your body and treat it well. Think long term and start small.
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