So here is a short history of my issue: never really trained hamstrings properly / constantly (apart from the usual leg curl machine every now and then), and this was on top of the fact that I do not train legs constantly - however, somehow I've got massive legs - which I reckon is because of all the cycling. Additionally, never really trained abs / core, apart from the training I got from playing football, tennis and lifting weights. I have been lifting weights for about 4 years and I am now 22 years old.
My lower back injury happened this year in March - I was doing stiff leg deadlifts and I think at the 5th rep, I felt something being sort of displaced in my lower back and had to stop. I have had issues with my lower back ever since - sometimes I get tingling in my leg (a few times a week), more often I get pain in that area or radiating from there. However, I would say it is manageable. I don't know what the exact diagnosis is but it is probably something to do with the disc as I did rest it for a long time and it still comes back (it would also explain the tingling)
So I have been reading a lot about this kind of issues and now I know that hamstrings is an important factor in this whole situation. Obviously stopped squatting and deadlifting but I am scared and have to admit that I have avoided leg training as well.
So far, as a way of trying to deal with this injury, I used to do:
- hyperextensions and other stretches where you hyperextend your back
- press-up back extensions
- toe touches (used to them pretty much every workout, read in several places that they're actually bad for this type of injury)
I have also started training abs regularly, with exercises like decline bench sit ups, leg lifts (which apparently are also bad) and a couple of exercises for obliques. This might or might not be relevant but I am not able to do a full sit-up if I lie horizontally on the floor, I need to use the decline bench so that I can generate force from having a fixed point to lift my torso. When I try to do a sit-up on the floor, I can eventually do it but after a certain number of reps I feel a great tendency to arch my lower back.
I can also say that when doing leg lifts, I do find it difficult to keep my legs straight all reps, I just feel huge tension when I try to straighten the knee and lift my legs from the hips (I don't do them on the floor but rather vertically using pads to support my elbows).
So these lower back exercises along with the abs training did help a bit, but the issue still comes back.
The amount of articles on this lower back injury / hamstrings weakness, stiffness and so on is huge and I don't really know which would be the best for me or even a starting point. It would be great if someone could point me in the right direction or even perhaps share their experiences and advice me on things such as what to definitely avoid in my case, what would be recommended and so on.
From what I understood, completely avoiding leg training is not the solution to this but I realised that what I was doing is not that helpful either. My hamstrings are obviously lagging very far behind and I don't know if improving them will improve my lower back injury but it's worth a try.
Thank you for your input!