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  1. #1
    Lean Bulking 67fastback's Avatar
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    So my back is pretty messed up, new work routine, your exercise ideas welcome

    It's taken almost a year to get an MRI and diagnosed, but to keep it short my L5 S1 is f'd up and pushing on the nerve, and I have multiple disc degeneration and herniations. When I'm good it's like amped up doms, 24/7, when I'm bad it's kind of nasty. I have a bit of a limp because the nerves in one leg aren't working right.
    There is probably nothing I could have done about it, it's genetic a lot of it, and years of the construction environment.
    Sucks getting old

    I am lucky to be near our university sports medicine centre, so have good physio's etc
    They definitely want me to keep exercising, strength work and not let the muscles atrophy


    So far, I've already figured out that pull-ups (which I am really good at) help me feel better and reduce the pain a bit. I can do weighted pull ups to help give the back a nice traction

    The other thing I figured out is that I can walk with the weighted pull up belt on my hips, no problem. It does not hurt my back. So there is probably a way of doing leg exercises with that set up.

    I cannot do deads, weighted squats, or carry any weights without it hurting significantly. I can do one legged squats using a band or cable to counter the bodyweight, so that kind of awkwardly works.


    So if you have some suggestions on other types of exercises to try and incorporate into my routine that don't load the back too much. For cardio, I can ride a bike and swim with no problem so far.
    Working hard on my Squat, DL, Bench, and crazy calisthenics!

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  2. #2
    In Witness Protection mtpockets's Avatar
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    Sounds like "hip belt squats" may be one you could incorporate


    Good luck man, sorry to hear about the injuries
    Last edited by mtpockets; 01-08-2018 at 03:43 PM.
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  3. #3
    Ready To Kick Ass at 40 kyoun1e's Avatar
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    Do this:

    https://www.foundationtraining.com/

    Take a look at this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI

    It's gaining momentum.

    I do this in between heavy sets. I've had low back herniations as well. My back is rock solid. Provides essential strength and endurance for your entire posterior chain.
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    Have you seen a Physical Therapist? If so, what did they advise? If not, why?
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  5. #5
    Registered User uksenior's Avatar
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    I haven't done deads and squats for years, there are lots of exercises you can do with disc damage.
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    Lean Bulking 67fastback's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mtpockets View Post
    Sounds like "hip belt squats" may be one you could incorporate


    Good luck man, sorry to hear about the injuries
    I agree that I think after I do some basic leg work and fix the leg muscle atrophy, I could try these.
    Thanks for your encouragement. I don't really feel sorry about it, just annoyed and hoping to find a way to train my way out of this.

    Originally Posted by kyoun1e View Post
    Do this:

    https://www.foundationtraining.com/

    Take a look at this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI

    It's gaining momentum.

    I do this in between heavy sets. I've had low back herniations as well. My back is rock solid. Provides essential strength and endurance for your entire posterior chain.
    Thanks for the link. I'll bookmark it. Right now I have to do the basics.
    Strange as it may seem, the most painful thing right now is standing still in one position. So presently standing and doing an overhead stretch, is irritating to the nerve, unfortunately. Maybe as I progress tho, thanks

    Originally Posted by Jtbny View Post
    Have you seen a Physical Therapist? If so, what did they advise? If not, why?
    Yeah I have 2 physios out of the university sports sciences centre. Since I have had the MRI results I am doing IMS Therapy.
    Both have a series of exercises and stretches to do.
    The adaptation for me, is to be aware of the nerve being irritated and to stop. Pushing through the pain there is a no go. Most of us are used to pushing into the pain envelope a little

    Everyone is a little different, so we are discovering right now, what works and what does not work
    Honestly so far nothing they have done has made me any better or reduced any pain
    It's still slowly getting worse (not blaming them)

    I am tired of waiting and I think I can get off my butt and do some modified exercises, providing I am careful

    Did a few different exercises tonight in my home gym, and will see how things feel tomorrow morning
    Working hard on my Squat, DL, Bench, and crazy calisthenics!

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  7. #7
    No Huevos katya422's Avatar
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    Sincerely sorry you are dealing with so many back issues. Hope you find some things that give relief and help you keep your mobility.

    Heard some politician on the news today talking about moving the retirement age up to 70 and thought...uh, okay, believe I've read that US life expectancy is trending downward and not everyone works a desk job, some have bodies that have been beaten up by employment.

    Originally Posted by kyoun1e View Post
    Do this:

    https://www.foundationtraining.com/

    Take a look at this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI

    It's gaining momentum.

    I do this in between heavy sets. I've had low back herniations as well. My back is rock solid. Provides essential strength and endurance for your entire posterior chain.
    Thanks for the links. Watched the video and recognized bits of yoga and Callanetics w/some dynamic warm up stuff too.

    And, OP, may not be at all what you are looking for, but FWIW there is an old old program called Callanetics that was developed by a woman with a lot of back problems. The movements are small and controlled and it is body weight only but I found it made a difference in the overall quality of my movement when I did it regularly. There is a book too and lots of modifications, as in "if you can't do this then just do this, but don't force your body too far". All you really need is an open area and a good sturdy chair.
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  8. #8
    Tactical Barbell crew grouchyjarhead's Avatar
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    I have a herniated L5:S1. Walking with a weighted backpack actually helped me a lot, as mine gets aggravated by torso flexion (e.g. driving a lot, sitting hunched in front of a computer, and so on). The straps pull my shoulders back and help counteract it so it did wonders for me. My PT was impressed with my recovery and now he's walking with a weighted backpack too.
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  9. #9
    Lean Bulking 67fastback's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grouchyjarhead View Post
    I have a herniated L5:S1. Walking with a weighted backpack actually helped me a lot, as mine gets aggravated by torso flexion (e.g. driving a lot, sitting hunched in front of a computer, and so on). The straps pull my shoulders back and help counteract it so it did wonders for me. My PT was impressed with my recovery and now he's walking with a weighted backpack too.
    Yes, I can understand that.

    My physio did a little bit of an experiment with me today. I am actually the opposite of you. If I shift my pelvis forward and do a little bit of a low lumbar slouch, I can reduce the pain when standing.

    It was actually a little bit of a shock to see that quick of an effect. At least for now I have something that I can do, to reduce the pain when standing. A very unnatural way of standing, but I don't care. Since the physio is not working, I am going back to the specialist soon to explore other options.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Yes i agree,i would investigate the hip squat belt.
    The company "Ironmind "sells them for the purpose of being able to squat with back issues.
    Kind of pricey but worth it IMO.
    Since the belt sits on the hips low back pressure is nearly eliminated.

    You could also do unweighted sissy squats and as you mentioned one legged squats using bands or TRX type straps.
    Even riding an exercise bike with higher tension will work the legs just check out some of the professional cyclists legs.
    Good luck.
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  11. #11
    Lean Bulking 67fastback's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Yes i agree,i would investigate the hip squat belt.
    The company "Ironmind "sells them for the purpose of being able to squat with back issues.
    Kind of pricey but worth it IMO.
    Since the belt sits on the hips low back pressure is nearly eliminated.

    You could also do unweighted sissy squats and as you mentioned one legged squats using bands or TRX type straps.
    Even riding an exercise bike with higher tension will work the legs just check out some of the professional cyclists legs.
    Good luck.
    Thanks very much for your suggestion.
    I like that idea, a lot!

    It is interesting that you mentioned the cycle. I have been riding my bike on the hydraulic/fluid trainer, and wearing ankle weights. Visually I think it would look a little dumb to a person that didn't know what was going on with my back, but it seems to give a more intense workout, as you suggested.

    Yesterday, I went to the specialist. They kind of made me run the gauntlet of two dr's. I know they like to be matter of fact and don't sugar coat what is going on, but I did find myself not subscribing to his/their prognosis.
    I think most of the people on the O-35 forum are all about proving the status quo wrong, and while I was listening to the two dr's, the whole time, I am thinking that I am going to show you that I CAN do something about this

    On the Wednesday, when I went to the EMS therapist, she asks me about core strength. I told her that I have strong abs, I can do "dragon flags" easy. She looks at me ???? and says show me. I did a couple on the therapy bench, and she says -okay you are strong (lol) 90% of the people that come in here, even the university athletes can't do that!

    Then she says I am actually not doing anything here for you, and you need to go back to the specialist. That I am a"poster child" for a treatment program and to keep on doing what I am doing. Actually she was really encouraging.
    She said she would try and talk to the specialist, when she catches him in the hallway
    She was the reason, I went back to him and was so insistent

    I'll have to do a new fitness journal on my back restoration journey lol
    Last edited by 67fastback; 01-13-2018 at 11:00 AM.
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