T Nation

What Program to Do - Lack Flexibility

Hi! I’ve always had back and flexibility issues but kind of ignored them - tried just foam rolling and stretching a little bit on my own. Anyway, I was doing a good 15 weeks worth of Bill Starr’s linear 5x5 before deciding to see a physio to get my back sorted out. What I’ve learnt is that due to a lot of tightness and restriction in the upper back, I’ve got very poor pelvis/hip mobility. This means that when I bend forward I can only maintain a tiny arch in my lower back for a short bit, and as I bend more the arch gives way and my lower back rounds.

So basically, all this time my bent over barbell rows have been performed with bad form, and it’s probably not a wise idea to squat too heavy or deadlift heavy either, at least until I get more flexibility in my lower back and hamstrings.

What should I do for my workouts while I work on my flexibility and mobility? I can still do lighter squats and deadlifts I suppose. But I’m lost without a concrete program I can follow fully.

I had a few questions in your last thread nine months ago, but you left us all hanging.

If you could get back to us on those, it’d be great.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding.

Sort of.

[quote]surfzrup wrote:
… before deciding to see a physio to get my back sorted out. What I’ve learnt is that due to a lot of tightness and restriction in the upper back, I’ve got very poor pelvis/hip mobility.[/quote]
To clarify, you saw a doctor and they said your primary problem is tightness in the upper back, and that’s what’s causing your hip mobility issues. Correct?

I’ll give you pretty much the same advice I tried giving you last April. Get on a well-designed program (there are oodles of them in the archives here) and work the appropriate corrective exercises/mobility drills/whatever the physio prescribed for you either at the start of each session or interspersed between sets.

These articles should get you pointed in the right direction:

Hi Chris, thanks for the good reply, and not “giving up” on me heh. I shall answer some of the questions!

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
What’s your current height, weight, and general bodyfat (not percentage, but are you pudgy, kinda lean, already pretty ripped, etc.)?

I’m 5’8, about 130lbs (I’m asian so naturally smaller-boned), and kinda lean but on the skinny side as you can tell from my weight. 21 years old if that affects anything. I’d like to get to about 140-145 lbs.

Since April I started foam rolling, and started squatting light. I was doing a variation of Madcow’s 5x5 till recently and my 5RM PR for squats (high bar) was about 187lbs. I took a tape of me squatting the last time I was in the gym and found that even with just an empty bar my lower back is rounding at the bottom of the squat. No surprise seeing as I get very little arch in my lower back when I bend.

The articles you linked were really good, and I now see how to incorporate these mobility drills and exercises into my main workout (warmup and as fillers while resting).

I’d like to continue on Madcow’s 5x5, or if you have any specific program to recommend that’d be great. The problem I’m still stuck with is I don’t know how I’m supposed to go about doing squats (when my back is rounding even with just an empty bar) and deadlifts. Do I just take them light or what?

Anyway, I’ll give you the details for my 5RMs I was getting on Madcows. I dare say my form on a lot of these were less than perfect though. My bench is significantly stronger than my squats and other exercises, so I’m not sure whether I should still be doing beginner workouts (where my bench will likely stall quickly) or intermediate ones.

Bench: 165lbs
Squat: 187lbs
Deadlift: 220lbs
Press: 97lbs

Thanks again. I really want to get my back fixed once and for all.