Back Rehab After a Strain

I strained my lower back the other day doing deadlifts. It was a little discouraging because I thought I was ready to increase, but during my 2nd set of warm-ups, I felt a flush of pain all around my lumbar and guteal areas. Since then, I’ve been lying on my back for relief. Walking is no problem, but sitting for more than 15 minutes and bending over even at the slightest is painful. Sneezing is a pain in the ass, literally. So I definitely have an extension bias. Flexion is painful. I think I should take a break from the gym for about a week, but I just wanted to know what (safe) exercises I could do that could help me get back to my routine. Core exercises, I know, would be one of the solutions, but could anybody give me specifics?

Also please share your back injuries and rehab with me. I’d love to read about it. Thank you for the help. I really want to go back to the gym asap.

I’ve strained my back numerous times, but not since starting high-rep back extensions several years ago.

After my last back strain I started with pseudo-“back extensions” where I would hinge at the hips with neutral spine until my fingertips touched my knees. Then bend at the lower back until my fingers touched my toes, and then use the lower back muscles to raise back up into mild extension. Started with 2 or 3 sets of 8 spread out throughout the day. Built up to 5 sets of 25 per day before starting to do your typical back extensions in the gym. Last core workout I hit 3 sets of 25 with bodyweight only on a 401 tempo and the only time I have discomfort at work (road construction) is when I am literally jackhammering all day, for two or more days in a row. Otherwise I’m fine, and that’s with multiple back strains over the years.

The plan is to continue doing 3 x 15-25 @ 401 with progressively heavier weight from here on out.

Hope this helps.

TL;DR - do high-rep back extensions with bodyweight-only, son.

Thank you good sir. I’ve actually read somewhere that back extensions were the answer to back strains.

Could you explain what your core exercises were exactly? I didn’t really get the description.

^ I would bend at the hips, and then carefully stretch out into this position.

Then I would keep my hips locked at that angle, and do reps of “back extensions” by slowly and deliberately using my lower back muscles to lift myself up into a lower back arch (hips still tilted forward with a stretch in calves/hamstrings) and then back down again into that “toe touch” position. Repeat for a total of maybe 2-3 sets of 6-8 at first, and slowly (over several weeks to months) building up to 4-5 sets of 25 every day.

The motion of your lower back is kind of like that “cat/cow” yoga stretch (http://www.hearthum.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/catcow.jpg) but instead of on your hands and knees, you’re on your feet with your hips bent and held at 90 degrees.

Does that make any more sense?

Currently though my core workout is as such:

3 x 15-25 - Landmine Twists
3 x 15-25 - Side Crunch on Hyperextension Station
3 x 15-25 - Back Extensions
3 x 15-25 - BOSU Crunches

^ About 2-3 times per week

Yes it does make sense. Thank you for explaining. My back feels much better than last week, but it’s still not 100%. I’ll try your exercises today and hopefully that’ll help get back to lifting.

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:

^ I would bend at the hips, and then carefully stretch out into this position.

Then I would keep my hips locked at that angle, and do reps of “back extensions” by slowly and deliberately using my lower back muscles to lift myself up into a lower back arch (hips still tilted forward with a stretch in calves/hamstrings) and then back down again into that “toe touch” position. Repeat for a total of maybe 2-3 sets of 6-8 at first, and slowly (over several weeks to months) building up to 4-5 sets of 25 every day.

The motion of your lower back is kind of like that “cat/cow” yoga stretch (http://www.hearthum.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/catcow.jpg) but instead of on your hands and knees, you’re on your feet with your hips bent and held at 90 degrees.

Does that make any more sense?

Currently though my core workout is as such:

3 x 15-25 - Landmine Twists
3 x 15-25 - Side Crunch on Hyperextension Station
3 x 15-25 - Back Extensions
3 x 15-25 - BOSU Crunches

^ About 2-3 times per week[/quote]
Can we get pictures or a vid of the first exercise your describing?

^ Sort of like this, only instead of with bands I would just touch my toes, and I wouldn’t do it anywhere near as quickly as this guy does them. More like a 3-1-3-1 tempo.