Hey guys, I had lower back surgery a couple of years ago and I never got back into golf afterwards. What are some stretches/exercises that y'all would recommend to help strengthen the lower back?
Lower Back Fitness
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Welcome to TST, there have been numerous posts with people with injured backs and their solutions.
What type of injury did you have? The answer could point people towards an appropriate exercise.
I would be interested in preventative measures as well.
I have lower back problems. My doctor referred me to a physical therapist, I do just 4 exercises that specific to my problem. I would ask your doctor to do the same for you. Doing just any old thing could possibly do more harm than good.
I go every 3 weeks, so she can see my progress. And just after less than a month I feel much better, pain is about 10% of what it was before. Good luck.
Planks are a great exercise to help with core stability. If you want something more challenging, when you do a plank, be on your forearms and make sure your forearms are inline with your eyes or slightly more forward. This will force more strain on the abs.
I recommend exercising the full body, especially the lower body. If you have a desk job, years of sitting down will force your hamstrings to be on contraction. When you stand up, it forces them to stretch more than normal, which pulls on your gluts, which pulls on your back muscles. A lot of lower back pain can be taken away from making sure the hamstrings are stretched and stronger.
Also, check to make sure your legs are the same length. My mom has to wear an insert in one shoe because her one leg is longer and it caused her to have back pain for years.
I would search only, youtube has a ton of great ab exercise routines. I am partial to planks and bicycles.
I battle this all the time. It doesn't cause a lot of pain (yet), but the chiropractor just keeps popping my lower back and hips into alignment which straightens me out for a while.
Check out foam rollers. I picked one up at Walmart for around $18. Get on youtube and search for exercises that target your specific area of need. I pulled something so bad in my lower back last year that I wanted a squad to come get me but didn't want to be moved, so I layed on the floor for 12 hrs straight. Then it was another full day before I could walk. I went and got a foam roller and in 2 weeks of stretching on it I was back in the gym. I still use it today on my entire back, legs and hips.
Yeah, i've heard about foam rollers and am interested. Will give them a try soon.
I had the back spasm muscle years ago too. Put me on my back for days, totally. Brutal fear of movement till wagon came and took me to the hospital. Inject a big valium?? to relax the muscle and then ok. Horrible and thank G never again.
Here's some yoga things for the back. On the mat, clean rug or floor, always shoe and sockless, lie on belly. Hands on mat at hip, arms and shoulders relaxed. Head straight with just nose and chin touching mat, breathe through nose. Relax. Now. legs straight and lift up slightly from the hips. No need to lift high, just legs straight and toes off the mat. Upper body relaxed. Count to 7 slowly. Legs down. Breathe normal. Next, same set up but bend knees to 90 degrees and lift legs. Upper body relaxed. Keep knees off mat, count to 7, slowly. Relax whole body, turn head on one side, rest a few moments.
Can start one leg at a time. These yogas will work the lower back muscles and you can feel the effect soon. Named 'locust' or grasshopper pose, but my versions. The important items are legs straight and off mat for some time. How high, less important. Upper body relaxed means all mental focus on legs/back.
Sorry to hear about your bulging disc. It's hard to give an specific answer without an assessment, but as a trainer who's trained a lot of clients with disc and lower-back issues, I'll give you some basic exercises that I think can help tremendously.
One, the others are right — core stability is important. Planks are good (if you can tolerate them). Another great exercise is a deadbug because they also reposition your pelvis when done right. https://vimeo.com/79130161
Then try Paloff Presses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFspBRHke4w
Then, strengthen your glutes. These are harder than they look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-3Y3ZzbYV0 (Just make sure to keep you hips level the entire time.) Drive through your heels and do not lift with your lower-back.
Also, try these stretches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x93peNMP4FE
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Give those a shot and let me know if you have any more specific questions.
@Ikigai I looked at most of the utube items you suggest. I seldom recommend exercises that depend on machines or gadgets, like those shown using pulleys or rubber bands. Why? Because the add-ons are not needed to achieve the goals but they do add one more layer of excuse. Like 'my car has a flat tire, i can't go to the gym and the machine is at the gym'.
Also, i always go barefoot, except in gym or public place. I don't go to gym any more. Barefoot works the foot better, improves balance, saves money, much cleaner and is overall healthier.
Every body muscle, joint, tendon and ligament and fascia can be well worked at home on a yoga mat. If one would argue that yoga lacks aerobics, i may agree. But so do most strengthening gym type exercises.
IMO, the shorter the distance (physical or psychological ) between the moment of desire to do and the actual doing of the exercise the better. When we place the usual conditions on our exercises, get in car, drive to gym, change clothes, confront others, input the vibes of the gym, spend the money, take the shower...etc., we distance our self from our goal. Which means that the probability of doing the exercise goes down.
Suggest you try the glute exercises that you recommend but do them on your belly, legs straight, no shoes. See my description above, post #12.
You're right. They're not needed. But they sure do help. And if this guy's lower back issue is that serious, why not suggest he use something extra?
If one would argue that yoga lacks aerobics, i may agree. But so do most strengthening gym type exercises.
That's just flat-out inaccurate. There are numerous studies that conclusively prove that strength training (and maximal strength training) improves aerobic conditioning. Strength training is anaerobic, which relies on the aerobic energy system for support.
You make a good point. But to me, the better exercise is the more-effective exercise. As a fitness coach, all I can do is recommend the best exercise for the situation.
I used to have lots of lower back pain. No surgery, just years of pain. One time I blew out my back (severe spasm, as usual), and my wife said I'm going to the Doc.
Got set up with a Physical Therapist. He told me (in a nutshell here) that my "girdle" (hips, core quads & hamstrings) were weak and very tight. Set me up on a program with a Personal Trainer, who focused on those areas. Various exercises & stretches, weight training, etc. That was about 10 years ago.
Since then, I've lost about 15 lbs (South Beach for 1 year, since then just eating with wiser choices), and hit the gym 5 days a week, about 45 minutes each day.
Haven't had a serious back episode in over 5 years. My back never hurts after golf (it always did before this) even when playing 72 holes a weekend.
I still hate going to the gym after all these years, but the promise of a pain-free back keeps me going.