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  1. #1
    The Patient Meeria's Avatar
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    Exercising with a bad back

    So long story short, I've got a bad back (spondylolisthesis in lower spine) that limits my mobility and such so doing a 'normal' exercise routine isn't something I can do and in my current state standing still for more than 10 minutes is quite agonising. I'm just interested in other people's stories about keeping fit when their back is getting in the way. I don't really have regular access to a gym or a swimming pool so looking for stuff I can do at home (and for very little money). My main goal is to strengthen my back muscles and abs to give my spine more support to make the pain a bit more tolerable. And of course in the long run toning up would be fantastic, but that's not the main point right now.

  2. #2
    I have a close female friend who has a 'crooked back' (sorry for the poor term, but her spine is basically crooked and she's never told me any medicinal name), I think she wore an embracing corsett-thing for around half a year to strengthen her back, and now we work out together :P
    Don't know how much help this it, but what I'm saying is that there's usually some sort of solution ready for you is you seek medical guidance

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Aftonflickan View Post
    I have a close female friend who has a 'crooked back' (sorry for the poor term, but her spine is basically crooked and she's never told me any medicinal name), I think she wore an embracing corsett-thing for around half a year to strengthen her back, and now we work out together :P
    Don't know how much help this it, but what I'm saying is that there's usually some sort of solution ready for you is you seek medical guidance
    Sounds like Scoliosis. The corsett-thing doesn't strengthen the back. It straightens the spine.

    You need to get a trainer or physical therapist who specializes in this type of thing. Spondylolisthesis is a serious disorder that really requires a professional to help you. However, if you forgo a professional you really should focus on strengthening your glutes (through bridges), abs (through planks), and obliques (through side planks). The bridges you need to do are going to be glute centric which means you need to focus on making yourself rotate your pelvis to the posterior and make sure you don't use your abs to push your body up. A good way to learn how to do this is to bring one of your knees to your chest and do a bridge with the other leg. Having that knee to your chest will prevent you from using the stomach muscles to make the bridge. When you learn to focus on the glutes, you can do it two legged. As to why you should do planks and not crunches, planks are far better at strengthening the transversus abdominis. The transversus acts like a girdle around your stomach to help keep your spine straight. Your obliques will help with this too. You can find some plank progression videos but make sure your body is straight when doing the planks. You should also focus on stretching but without a video of seeing you walk it would be hard for me to tell you what you need to focus upon.

  4. #4
    The Patient Meeria's Avatar
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    Thanks jbhasban! This should definitely get me started. I'm seeing a specialist end of January (after waiting for three months..) but I really want to get going on my own.

  5. #5
    Also keep in mind that while you are working on strengthening your posterior chain, try and stretch out your anterior muscles as well, specifically your anterior delts, pec muscles, and serratus anterior. When back muscles are weak, those frontal muscles tend to overwork as compensation and can cause problems with posture, movement form, and can cause discomfort. You can do simple stretches like wall slides, prisoner stretch, and windshield wipers to help.

    I wish you luck, and congrats on having the will power to make some positive changes! I hope it helps with the pain.

  6. #6
    The Patient Meeria's Avatar
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    Thanks blacklamb, onwards to a healthier 2013!

  7. #7
    Keyboard Turner andregmacek's Avatar
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    Weight lifting is part of exercise which should be avoided whenever you have a bad back.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by andregmacek View Post
    Weight lifting is part of exercise which should be avoided whenever you have a bad back.
    Eh. It should be modified. Which is why he needs a trainer/physical therapist. I personally think a PT would be a better choice.

  9. #9
    I think weight lifting in much better for health and this is the part of exercise.Do weight lifting and eat healthy food and get healthy breakfast.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jbhasban View Post
    Eh. It should be modified. Which is why he needs a trainer/physical therapist. I personally think a PT would be a better choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by andregmacek View Post
    Weight lifting is part of exercise which should be avoided whenever you have a bad back.
    You can still weight lift when you got a bad back, just avoid things that put stress on where it hurts.
    SHE doesnt need a personal trainer, its a waste of money.

  11. #11
    The Patient Meeria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harzaka View Post
    You can still weight lift when you got a bad back, just avoid things that put stress on where it hurts.
    SHE doesnt need a personal trainer, its a waste of money.
    The words 'weight' and 'lifting' seem to act like a magnet when it comes to you lol. x

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Meeria View Post
    The words 'weight' and 'lifting' seem to act like a magnet when it comes to you lol. x
    Yes indeed, i think everyone should do it

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Meeria View Post
    So long story short, I've got a bad back (spondylolisthesis in lower spine) that limits my mobility and such so doing a 'normal' exercise routine isn't something I can do and in my current state standing still for more than 10 minutes is quite agonising. I'm just interested in other people's stories about keeping fit when their back is getting in the way. I don't really have regular access to a gym or a swimming pool so looking for stuff I can do at home (and for very little money). My main goal is to strengthen my back muscles and abs to give my spine more support to make the pain a bit more tolerable. And of course in the long run toning up would be fantastic, but that's not the main point right now.
    Go to a physiotherapist and start training your body there. After a while you'll understand what exercise will be best for you, how much you can handle, and how to pace yourself.

    It's a long process, but it will pay off.

  14. #14
    Seek advice from a medical professional as to what your limits are and what you should be starting at and what to aim towards.

  15. #15
    I have Degeneretive Disc Disease, and mutli level herniation on L4-L5 and L5-S1..

    The herniations happened in the Gym after a set of squats.. nothing too heavy, was just warming up! Leaned in to replace the bar, and BOOM!
    Fast forward a month of agony, I saw a specialist and received 2 steroid epidural injections, and once these started to wear off, a Nerve root block injection.

    The last injection was a month ago, and currently I am working out 3 times a week, focusing on lifts that strengthen the back, upper body and core without placing any direct downward pressure on the spine..

    My usual routine is something like:

    Monday: Chest, upper back,
    Wed: Upper Back, Lower Back
    Sat: Chest (Dumb-bells), arms, Core

    I cannot stress enough though, everything is done with one goal in mind....

    NOT to put pressure on my injury...

    Hope this helps in some way, take it easy, don't push yourself too hard!

  16. #16
    Herald of the Titans crakerjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deezlar View Post
    I have Degeneretive Disc Disease, and mutli level herniation on L4-L5 and L5-S1..

    The herniations happened in the Gym after a set of squats.. nothing too heavy, was just warming up! Leaned in to replace the bar, and BOOM!
    Fast forward a month of agony, I saw a specialist and received 2 steroid epidural injections, and once these started to wear off, a Nerve root block injection.

    The last injection was a month ago, and currently I am working out 3 times a week, focusing on lifts that strengthen the back, upper body and core without placing any direct downward pressure on the spine..

    My usual routine is something like:

    Monday: Chest, upper back,
    Wed: Upper Back, Lower Back
    Sat: Chest (Dumb-bells), arms, Core

    I cannot stress enough though, everything is done with one goal in mind....

    NOT to put pressure on my injury...

    Hope this helps in some way, take it easy, don't push yourself too hard!
    Where is your leg workout??? 404?
    Most likely the wisest Enhancement Shaman.

  17. #17
    The Patient Meeria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChairmanMeow View Post
    Seek advice from a medical professional as to what your limits are and what you should be starting at and what to aim towards.
    Funnily enough a back specialist I had an appointment with a week ago said that with spondylolisthesis it's very case by case when it comes to non surgical treatment (and he didn't even recommend physio). He himself has the same grade slip as I do and he said he keeps fit by cycling, which doesn't suit me at all because it hurts.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by crakerjack View Post
    Where is your leg workout??? 404?
    Guess hes a disco gymmer like most people in the gym...

    And dont say "I cant squat" because just because you cant squat doesnt mean you cant train your legs.

  19. #19
    So, if you have back problems the best exercise to do for legs is the hip belt squat. It eliminates all pressure on your back. I would not recommend leg extensions (bad for the knees because it puts a ton of torque pressure) or leg presses (puts pressure on the spine AND supports the spine in such a way that it is hard to tell that you are curving it). You can also do one legged exercises to reduce the amount of weight your back needs to support.

    Whoever said trainers are a waste of money clearly doesnt understand the purpose of a trainer. Typically people do not know how to lift properly or where their muscular imbalances are.

  20. #20
    Read the post...

    Squats: Out. Direct downward spinal pressure.
    Deads: Out. Same reason.

    Learn a bit of basic physiology surrounding spinal interaction with the sciatic nerve, and you will also appreciate that:

    Leg Extensions, Out.
    Calf Raises, Out.
    Leg curls, Out.....

    Seriously, you attack someone with a serious spinal condition for not doing a leg day when he basically crippled himself for life DOING a fucking leg day.

    And you have the fucking gall to insinuate that I am a "bro".... Fuckwits.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-27 at 01:03 AM ----------

    I now remember why its been over a year since my last post on this forum...

    OP, I hope you find a way to work with your condition. In a way I can empathise...
    Just don't expect anything too much from this forum. BodyBuilding.com is also full of gobshites, but there are a lot of very knowledgeable people willing to give some great answers to genuine questions.

    I guess if you ask a monkey the time of day, he is more likely to throw his own shit at you than look at his wrist and answer.
    Last edited by Deezlar; 2013-01-27 at 01:03 AM.

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