Lower Back Pain Progressive Exercise Program

Lower Back Pain: A Common Issue In Our Hyperactivepain-1015574_960_720 And Stressful World

Many of my clients approach me to fix their lower back injuries or issues. They may have different reasons: bad posture, accidents, poor training forms, big breasts and others. However, they all experience the same pain and annoyance.

I don’t like to see people in pain. That’s why I decided to take some time to find, gather and study the latest researches about how exercising can release lower back pain (LBP). I am not a physiotherapist, even though I have always wanted to be. But through my experience and knowledge as a professional trainer, I have the opportunity to create and assess personalized trainings according to your needs. In this case, I will recommend what not to do, what to do, and of course, explain how to train smartly. Believe me, you can start this program for lower back pain rehabilitation safely. Even if you don’t have any lower back pain issuesthis program will get you stronger and healthier. In this training, the core is the key, so get ready to activate it.

Warning: Before starting any exercise programs, you should always consult a health physician.

Watch Out On What You Find On Internet

The internet is a good source of informationthat’s how you found my blog! But, the internet is also a wasteland of saturated information. You’d better make sure that the article sources are certain and trustworthy . During my researchI found many websites talking about exercises and stretches for lower back pain. Honestly, they weren’t all beneficial for your health. Let’s cut the crap out! Here are the exercises and stretches you should completely avoid:

Barbell Row, Deadlifts and“Good Mornings” are all big no no’s. They put way too much strain on your back.

barbell row deadlift good morning

Barbell row, deadlift and good morning (schemes by everkinetic, Deadlift picture by alexander.s.farley.jpg)
Notice all the tension applied to the lower back.

Full crunches and sit ups are considered basics abdominal exercises however they are back killers as well.

Decline-crunch by everkinetic

Inclined sit up scheme by everkinetic

Back Extensions are the best way to put even more pressure on a back that is already strained.

Toes Touches, keep flexing your spine like this and you may stay in this position.

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Toe touches: Do not do that if you have back issues

Lastly, hydrostatic pressure between the vertebrae disc is higher when you just wake up, so avoid any back exercise at this particular time.

Lower Back Pain Progressive Exercise Program

The best way to protect your back and keep it injury free is to focus on core exercises. The core is made up of all the muscles that help stabilize the spine, pelvis, and the whole body during functional movements. It is essential to have a strong and even core to release the pressure from your back. That’s why my program is primarily based on core training. It is divided in 3 main steps: stabilization, dynamic stabilization exercises, and functional movements. In all these phases you have to remember: do not lift heavy, lift smart. No or small weights are better than bad back pain.

Beforehand, always warm-up with a short aerobic training and few repetitions of the cat and camel pose.

This stretch will help you better understand your pain and body condition to adapt your training accordingly.

1/Stability exercises

  • Abdominal bracing: be aware of your deep core muscles
  • Front plank 
front plank

Front plank

  • Lat plank 
Side-plank ever kinetic.png

Lat plank Scheme by everkinetic

  • Quadruped alternate leg arm
110603-F-WS541-010.JPG

Bird dog, photo by Margo Wright

  • Glut bridge
_MG_3021

Glut bridge in the park

  • Cable anti rotation: optional, use it if you workout in a gym.

In all the next tabs, you will do all the exercises of the same color, one after the other,then start the next set.

Phase I: stability exercises

Exercise

Set

Reps and/or time

Rest

 

Abdominal bracing

2-3

6x 8s

Front plank

2-3

30s – 90s

60s after repetition of both exercises

Lateral plank

2-3

20s – 45s

Quadruped alternate leg arm hold

2-3

3x 8s each side

30s

Glut bridge

2-3

15s – 45s

30s

Cable anti-rotation (optional)

2-3

30s – 90s

In phase I, you will do abdominal bracing 6 times 8s and then front plank for 30s-90s, (according to your level)  rest 60s and start the lateral plank. When you will have finished the lateral plank, you will start the second set of these exercises. After doing 2-3 set of the blue exercises, you can start the brown one’s.

2/Dynamic stability exercises

  • Glut bridge: Dynamic version (integration of more movement during the exercise)

 

  • Abs roll out / walk out from push up position
ab rolling 141107-F-FN535-001.JPG

Ab roll out

  • Pikes / jackknife
IMG_8059

TRX pikes

 

  • Leg lift / dead bug
IMG_8066

Starting  position of the leg lift 

 

  • Russian twist / woodchop
U.S. Air Force graphic:Staff Sgt. AJ Hyatt)

Russian twist with medecine ball Photo by Sgt. AJ Hyatt

  • Mountain climber: Use it as a cardio exercise to finish your training session
IMG_8040

Myself realizing mountain climbers

Phase II: Dynamic stability exercises

Exercises

Set

Reps and/or time

Rest

 

Glut bridge

2-4

12x 3s hold

30s

Abs roll out / walk out

2-4

12

30s

Leg lift / dead bug

2-4

8 each side

1 min

 

Pikes / jackknife

2-4

12

30s

Dynamic quadruped alternate leg arm

2-4

8 each side

30s

Russian twist / Woodchop

2-4

 8 each side  30s

 

Mountain climber (cardio to finish)

4

15s

30s

3/Functional movement

When you are ready to start phase 3, you are normally strong enough to start any classic lifting movement. Of course, as I said before, avoid any exercises putting too much strain on your back.

Here are few example of efficient and useful training functional exercises:

Lateral step up

IMG_8055

Weighted lateral step up

Commando’s

_MG_3011

Starting position of the Comando’s

Lunges

DSC01826

Lunges in my secret favorite Culver City park

Db rows

IMG_8077

One arm dunmbell rows

Phase III: Functional exercises

Exercises

Set

Reps and/or time

Rest

 

Lateral step up

3-4

8 each sides

60s

Commando’s

3-4

8 each side

60s

 

Lunges

3-4

8 each sides

30s

Db row’s

3-4

12 each sides

30s

You can start doing any exercises to work any part of the body. Just remember one thing: always keep your core tight, they are the foundation of your body.

What To Retain

I hope my back pain relief program will help you to feel better and/or improve your fitness level. Don’t forget, even if you don’t have any back pain yet, start strengthening your lower back in order to protect it. Likewise, listen to your body. If you feel pain performing an exercise, you should avoid it. Just because an exercise is highly recommended, doesn’t mean that it is right for your body. Lastly, always consult with a physician before starting any exercise routines. You have to make sure that your body is ready to actively workouk.

http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/1997/12150/Evaluation_of_Specific_Stabilizing_Exercise_in_the.20.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14749199

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002119.htm

file:///Users/franciacatalogne/Downloads/Core_Stability_Exercise_Principles.14.pdf

AKUTHOTA, V., A. FERREIRO, T. MOORE, and M. FREDERICSON. Core stability exercise principles.

The New Rules of Lifting for Abs by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove

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