T Nation

Weak Lower Back

Hi all, I injured my back about 10 years ago and since doing so I have never really done any PT to restrengthen it or make it better in any way. Always kind of avoided using it if I was able to. Well, a few months ago I re-injured it and it kind of put me out of any physical commission for about 4-5 months. Now I’m feeling better and want to seriously do what ever I can to prevent any future injuries as well as make my core stronger.

Now I know most of you will say “Go see a doctor” I have but I just didn’t have the money to pay all of my deductibles and what not to do the MRI or PT. It was a re-injury to my lower lumbar I had disk bulges my first time around. This time around it wasn’t as severe.So, are there any good none over intensive stretches or exercises that would be good to prevent injures and strengthen your lower back as well as your core?

if you can do them without pain, deadlifts complemented with ab exercise would be my first course of action - I had back pain from repeatedly landing jumps off of stuff 2-5 feet high, quit doing that for a bit and started deadlifting and i’ve never had back pain since then. I did not have a serious injury though, just mild but persistent pain so i dunno if you’d be capable of deadlifting right off the bat like i did. start light and progress SLOWLY though

how did you injure your back btw?

When I had my back injury i found that I was infact too weak to ‘recover’ with deadlifts, I could do them but it made my back feel worse. Instead I did squats, and squats fixed my back up (along with some stretches my doctor gave me, which were only giving me temporary releif when I did them on their own) I will post a few pics of the stretches in a min…

my female client with herniated disks in her lumbar deadlifted 95lbs the other day. that is all.

You should see a PT. I don’t think that jumping into deadlifts is a good idea. When I had the same injury that you did, I worked really hard on hip flexor, hamstring, and glute flexibility, and I did a ton of heavy ab work (e.g., ab pulldowns, weighted leg raises, ab wheel with vest). Glute ham raises and reverse hypers are also good exercises. Whatever you do, you need to avoid rounding your lower back.

Well, sadly enough. When I was in HS I was maxing out on deadlifts and I must’ve lost form trying to lift the weight, because my back popped and I had an MRI saying that I had a few bulging disks…but that was like 10 years ago. The first 2-3 years and right up to after I reinjured my back were tough and painful. But after the 2-3 and now it doesn’t really hurt but it’s weak and I’m worried that if I don’t strengthen it or move wrong that I could be in the same pickle, again.

How much weight were you lifting before your back exploded?

Haha I was only a freshman in HS and was doing about 400 plus. Nothing big, just bad form. Real bad form.

Freshman he says. Nothin big he says. God damn I gotta kick my ass in the gym some more!

I wish you luck on your recovery; I can’t really give any advice on how to overcome this problem.

Any other exercises or stretches you all would recommend to strengthen a lower back?

This one is from Mike Boyle who writes for T-Nation sometimes. It really opened me up to the actual causes of back pain.


A lot of my low back problems were crappy flexibility in my hips.

I also had poor glute activation.

These articles helped me and I hope they can help you.

Blake, thx for that information. It all looked really good and in depth. I really appreciate it. I will definitely be using these tips and tools. Thanks again.

Im sorry, my camera got stolen! rrrrg, I will not forget to post the pics, even if this post gets really really old.

Its tough to give advice because none of us are doctors, and we dont know what shape your back is in.

Good general advice would be to make sure you have good glute activation, good flexibilty, and strong abs/back.

To accomplish this, reverse hypers would be nice, along with very stict deadlifts. Start with really modest weights and increase them very slowly. As for flebility, im not an expert on this one, but there are some great articles on here about that.

I injured my back about 8 years ago, and thought I was forever out of the fitness game. Fast forward through about a dozen doctors and various failed therapies, and I had one doc check me FEET. Turns out, one of the reasons I had blown out my back all those years ago was because my left foot was stepping improperly. I got a shoe insert, and a ton of my daily pain went down.

That’s when the light physical therapy exercises started to work. I still have roto-scoliosis (and always will), and a sub-herniation in L4/L5, but I was cleared for lifting weights last fall. My Squat just hit 155 on Wednesday, and my DL from Monday was at 135.

Just start with low weights, and work on perfecting form. Add weight slowly, and it will help build the core that you need to help support a less-than-perfect back.

Good luck!! You can do it, man!



This will contribute whilst I wait for a camera… remember sit up straight when you read all this!