View Full Version : Newbie Question
01-05-2003, 01:27 PM
I'm new to this site, having been recommended by my boyfriend who is a member. Currently, I am 5'2", 117lbs, and 21% body fat. I work out 5-6 days a week, alternating strength training with cardio days, and occasionally tossing in an interval training day to mix it up. I follow a good diet (lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein and water). However, I am not as defined as I would like to be in my lower body area. I have difficulty with the larger weight amounts due a lower back problem and am wondering if there are any suggestions anyone could offer on how to get my legs more defined w/o killing my back..
01-05-2003, 02:39 PM
you could try doing leg ext. and leg curls, there isnt really much back involved in either
01-05-2003, 02:40 PM
seated calf raises too!!
01-06-2003, 06:13 PM
thanks Rob! I'm off to the gym tomorrow to try those out
01-07-2003, 06:19 AM
HI! I think a lot of ladies have problems with the lowerbody not only due to lowerback problems. I really like lounges. You can do them in the smithmachine and alternate by putting plates on the front or back leg to hit the muscles differently. This should not affect your lowerback too much, and really shapes up your but and hamstrings and gives you nice seperation between quad and hamstrings.
Also if you have a lowerback problem, you should be able to do legpresses. They are good. Again alternate where you put your feet. Further up hits more on glutes and hams. Further down more quads.
Buttblaster, cable kickbacks, smithmachine hacksquats are things you might be able to do as well.
What is the problem with your lowerback? Does it just hurt when you are training or is it from something else?
01-07-2003, 07:46 AM
well, my lower back problem stems primarily from the fact that I am very well endowed (a petite girl w/ a 32F chest) and the weight from those guys puts pressure on my back. It hurts more when I train I believe because I don't use machines to work my legs; just free weights which I either hold at my side or place on my shoulders..
what are hacksquats? I've never heard of those..
01-07-2003, 10:02 AM
Hi again! I think you need to work your lower back to make it stronger. Lots of people abuse their back by not actually working it to make it stronger - so as their weights get heavier, they end up with lowerback problems.
I think you should start by adding some lowerback excercises into your workout to make it stronger. Hyperextensions are ok. As you get stronger add some weight and that means you will have got stronger in your lower back.
What type of gym do you go to? Are there anyone that works in your gym that could give you advice on lowerback training or different type of leg workouts?
My lowerback could not handle deadlifts and deep squats - I teamed up with a powerlifter who has a lot of experience with regards to lowerback training. I now do excercies like 'goodmornings', pullthroughs with cables, box squats to get the technique right when I squat normally and so on.
I am also very stiff in my hamstrings and butt, which also has contributed in my lowerback stiffness when I train.
I suggest - speak to people in your gym who works there, or if you have any bodybuilders in your gym who can tell you what to do, then they can show you as well as tell you!!
01-07-2003, 10:44 AM
well, the boyfriend works out there...I could ask him. He's in love with the deep squats but I'm with you; those hurt too much. I'll see if I can find a female coworker who works out there (its a work fitness center)..
thanks for the advice!! =o)
01-08-2003, 03:03 PM
I also had some lower back problems until I started working out in September 2002. There are a number of factors that caused this including age (51), beginning osteoarthritis in the lower back and being overweight for so long...as well as having two ceasareans (both ways...really made a mess of my abdominals). I stand not quite 5' 7", large boned and weighed 240 pounds for many years.
Although I have always been rather strong (due to rural lifestyle), I carry my fat weight mostly in my shoulders, back and stomach rather in my legs and hips. The last few years were finally getting to me and was really feeling winded, back hurt and out of balance.
I finally decided to take a Women's Strength class at my local college. When I first started out, I could not do reverse crunches (killed my back the first few times I tried them) but could manage regular ones....barely at first. The college does have a Nautilaus cruncher that was a great help in those early weeks, though. Those messed up muscles soon felt much better and stronger using it.
However. I soon found out all the exercises..... the lateral pulldowns, leg presses, shoulder presses (using a Universal machine at the college) and all the other freeweight exercises.... did help build the lower back. Even if not targeting the muscles there specifically. I soon found out I could stand straighter and my lower back was not hurting anymore. My instructor started us out slowly with lower weights (3-5/10 pounds depending on the class member) in the beginning. He made VERY Sure FORM was followed in all exercises...no matter what you could do. We did this three times a week with a schedule that targeted upper and lower muscle groups on different days. We did leg presses, extensions and curls with the Universal machine rather than with freeweights. But he did encourage lunges, with or without freeweights.
Being abit stronger than the others, I soon found myself going higher rather quickly and now work out with 20 lbs dumbbells for overhead extensions (two handed/one dumbbell), flyes, upright rows and curls (4 sets of 12). When the Fall class ended nearly 2 months ago, I was bench pressing 65 pounds (4 sets of 12 reps) and shoulder pressing about that much with the Universal machine. Two weeks later, my husband found a professional weight bench and Olympic bar/weights. Now I press 80 pounds with the Olympic bar at home. Without a spotter at home, 4 sets of 12 with that much is just fine. (Although I know others here can do far higher)
I do this for overall strength and weight loss (along with a proper diet). In return, all this working out keeps my lower back strong. I lost three pant sizes since doing this and my fat percentage has lowered. By how much? I dont know as my scale says I weigh 215 pounds right now. But I can see/feel the other results and know muscle is heavier than fat.
The only things I have not tried....YET....are deadlifts and squats. I would prefer finding someone who could show me the proper form of those than trying to do it myself at home. Looking at website pictures or books only gives you an idea.
My Fall Class starts in February. I can wait til then.
Just remember, any of the exercises will help build your lower back....just some more than others. Keep good form always and Good luck, Amelia.
01-09-2003, 07:07 AM
I applaud you for seeking professional assistance on the deadlifts and squats. Those are two that if you even get your form a little bit off can mess you up for weeks. I find that good mornings work without the lower back issues.
Worked on my spinal erector muscles yesterday in the gym. I used 40lb resistance (1 set, 8 reps to start) and am not sore. I believe if I continue doing those and the other exercises like lunges I will build my muscles up fairly good..