My back has improved from its old condition (which included not being able to walk) but I'm still unsure of its abilities. What does everyone think I should do to test out my back's ability to handle loads again? and What exercises should I consider doing for my legs and lower back at first?
As you all probably guessed Squats and Deadlifts are probably not the best place for me to start. When thinking of what I can do for my legs also consider that I am trying to semi-follow the Westside Training program for lower body.
Thank you Advance to anyone who offers up some advice.
Is it lower back? because I had horrible lower back pain and I could barely walk. I waited about 2 days before I went to the gym and at the gym I did everything I normally did except for I couldnt run and I went off squats and did leg press. I also put less weight on standing calf raises
there is nothing wrong with doing squats and deadlifts. In reality, doing them may be beneficial as long as you do a few things. 1) dont be a idiot, in other words...dont go over board and try to maxout or train these to failure. Keep the weight light for a while 2) use perfect form. This is easier said than done. Many people really dont know how to do these movements with perfect form. I like WSB description of doing these, so if you can link up to a video that shows them, particularly the squat...with one exception. I think it is strong to assume that you are lacking in flexibility having dealt with thousands of people with SIMILAR problems as yourself, so dont do full depth squats..and you may want to consider sumo deadlifts instead of traditional style.
also, I like the side bends or anything that will strengthen the quadratus lumborum as this is a crucial muscle in back stability and strength as well as ab work. Just be rational. Dont try to be billy bad ass, and use reasonable weights. also, this is not the time to try to decipher the riddle of slow movements vs fast movements.....slow and controlled. Over time your back will strengthen and your discs will increase in density. Increase your flexibility particularly in your hamstrings as well as your quadratus lumborum. If you need to know a stretch for that PM me and I will come back to the thread and give you one...or at least the best I can describe in words without pics. Also, walking is a great exercise for strengthening many of the muscle directly involved in tone and posture of the spine...so, do that too.
Thank you everyone for your advice so far. My back pain is indeed lower back. I have 2 detriorated discs in my back. Each of them are a 1/3 of their normal size. I was unable to walk for about a month. I have been walking for a while now and for the past month I've been working upper body and abs and walking.
I'm in the same boat as you. I had a diskectomy (L5-S1) back in 2003 and I am 22 now, so I have to watch it when I am at the gym. In order to stay safe, just keep in mind that direct load on your back isnt too bad. It is impact, bending, and twisting that gives it hell. I deal with it by strengthening my core muscles through calisthenic exercises and stretching. At the gym, you need to make sure that force is always as parallel to your spine as possible. The easiest way to avoid unwanted motion is to use machines, most people use motions that are very stressful to your back when carrying weights. When you do carry weights around, make sure that both arms are exerting equal force and keep it in front of you, as close to your body as possible, or at your sides with dumbbells. Squats aren't too bad as long as you have perfect form. If you plan on doing any cardio, stick with the bikes and elipticals. Running causes tons of stress on those disks. Good luck with your back and PM me if you have any more questions.
Thank you for the advice and encouragement. I am wondering did you have a synthetic replacement? Because I heard of a new procedure they have with synthetic discs instead of fusing the bones. By the way, mine is the L4/L5 discs.