T Nation

Lower Back Problems

This isn’t really for me, but I’m curious about the subject. I often hear of people not doing DL’s or any heavy back work because they have had lower back or degenerative disk problems. I just heard guys at the gym talking about it the other day and it would be nice to be able to throw some advice their way.

Do you think that lifting back would better or worsen the problems? How quickly do you think they should up the weight they pull/push ect…? Also, how do you feel about Good Mornings for these people?

Not lifting because of past back problems is horse shit. Of course if it’s recent and you’re recovering you shouldn’t be trying to rip 300 lbs off the ground.

I actually have a friend who had a pretty major disk injury in his lower back (football injuries are just so awesome ._. ) and after the initial recovery his coach had him doing high rep deadlifting and goodmornings to bring his back to where it was and also help in the future by making it stronger.

The reason why most people say back problems + back work=bad is because they’re thinking about what would happen if they trained like they did before the injury which is most often times heavy reps high volume. There is no reason they shouldn’t incorporate both deadlifts and good mornings at low weight and low-high reps depending on their current back condition.

It’s important to work up from a low volume rather than find out the morning after that you fucked your back because you lifted too much.

Short version of that way-too-long post: tell them to do both and start at lowwwww volume and only increase when they feel absolutely confident that they can handle it.

I had a back injury not long ago…

Pilates was the answer in my case but it really depends on the injury.

[quote]Zero_Z wrote:
This isn’t really for me, but I’m curious about the subject. I often hear of people not doing DL’s or any heavy back work because they have had lower back or degenerative disk problems.

I just heard guys at the gym talking about it the other day and it would be nice to be able to throw some advice their way.

Do you think that lifting back would better or worsen the problems? How quickly do you think they should up the weight they pull/push ect…? Also, how do you feel about Good Mornings for these people?[/quote]

It depends on the injury. If it’s pretty bad and you’re in pain (I’ve known guys who’ve got trouble bending-down for months after their injuries), you might want to avoid too much back work.

If your injury has healed fairly well, just start slowly and work your way back up.

The thing about back injuries is that you can’t cheat as much as you could have before.

A guy with a healthy back could more easily get away with poor form (especially on max lifts) than a guy with back problems (where bad form on a max lift might have worse consequences).