I could use a little advice on training my lower back. Maybe this belongs in the injuries topic but I feel like I know what the problem is, just need some help strengthening properly.
I started a new job where I’m bending over a lot. Anyone that wants to make a joke about that statement, you’re welcome. I’m 6’1” long-legged with t-Rex arms so I have to bend down pretty far sometimes. I have historically had terrible posture and honestly didn’t even really understand the concept of a hip hinge until i started lifting about 6 months ago. So I have a pretty bad tendency to just bend at the spine; I have been trying hard to remember to use better mechanics but if I’m busy and distracted I definitely forget. I also have and have always had pretty weak and tight hamstrings and week abdominals, so when standing I sometimes arch my back too much, and I was definitely hyperextending when first learning to deadlift. That hurt.
Needless to say I have some low back pain right now. Mostly it’s just muscle soreness and tightness but I feel like when the muscles fatigue and don’t support my spine as well I get some sharp pains and occasional clicking in my spine when moving the wrong way.
I’m doing a variation on @isdatnutty’s beginner program. The changes I made are due mainly to an old shoulder injury and equipment limitations in my very basic home gym. I’ll spare the details but I think my exercise selection is pretty decent; I’m getting in deadlifts, RDL, SLDL, and barbell rows. My back usually feels pretty good while lifting and generally afterwards as well. It’s only pretty recently that I started feeling like I was getting the hang of my DL form, and I’m still kind of struggling to do RDLs. SLDLs feel pretty great. Weights are embarrassingly low for all of them.
Damn this post is getting long, sorry. My main question is, for the specific problem of having to stay stooped over at work for several minutes at a time, several times per shift, is there a best way to train for that task? High reps for some kind of muscular endurance in my hamstrings or just focus on strength? Anything else I’m not thinking of? I plan to start doing more direct ab work as well. I do hanging leg raises (bent knees) and I think I might buy an ab wheel.
Full disclosure I have not been training nearly as consistently as I’d like, especially the past month, so i haven’t made a ton of progress on my lifts. I like training but totally suck at time management. Kids, job, things needing repaired in the house, all the usual things that plenty of other guys have figured how to deal with. Just challenges I haven’t overcome yet.
I don’t have specific lifting goals; just want to get stronger, be healthier, not have a jacked up back, lose some fat and not end up diabetic.
I appreciate anyone who read this whole ridiculously long post.