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Old 02-15-2006, 04:24 PM   #1
Kevin McKay
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Hey folks,

What is the safest ab exercise for someone with disk problems in the lower back? I know if I strengthen my core it will help support my back but the trick is how do I strengthen it with out injuring myself.

Thanks
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:00 PM   #2
Jibreel Freeland
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I would reccomend 100% effort sprints. They are excellent core strengtheners. Also kipping pullups are good for the core too and easy on the back.

Avoid full range of motion situp type movements.

My .02 cents.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:00 PM   #3
Larry Lindenman
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AbMat, L-Sits, Hollow rocks, knees to elbows, overhead squats, deadlifts, on and on...use good form
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
Kevin McKay
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My back is pretty hosed the impact from even jogging makes my left leg numb so I will forgo sprinting and the deadlifts for now, but will try the other stuff. Abmat is in the mail.

Thanks for the info.

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:55 AM   #5
Blair Robert Lowe
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Depending on where you are, I'd advise these exercises.

Hollow holds. Practice with bent knees at a 45 degree angle at the hips and knees. If this is easy, make it straight. Try to make sure your lower back is squished against the surface. Arching in a hollow hold won't do you any good physically, shape-wise, or rehab wise.
In prep for knees to elbows, which looks basically like a frog tucked front lever drill, start off with dead hang tuck ups. You can also do the same on the floor. Eventually build to N-ups/jackknives but the fast twitchy motion might really cause some serious pain.
In lieu of L sits and hangs, I'd start off with some tuck hangs and then get into a puck. I had a pretty bad back injury a few years ago ( tore my lower back muscles in a weird stomach drop on tramp that made me bend like a pretzel. ) Just holding L hang and sits was excruciating for a few months. I think it did make me a lil more bendy in my back than I already was which was considerable.
I like the idea of OHS and DL to stabilize focusing on form.
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:09 PM   #6
Kevin McKay
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Thanks Blair,

I am really new to this and don't know what these are?

Hollow holds?
dead hang tuck ups?
N-ups/jackknives?
tuck hangs?
puck?
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:10 AM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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A puck is a combo of a pike and a tuck.
A pike is where you bend at the hips. Like when ya sit down and reach for your toes. Or an L-sit or L hang. Let's just say the hips are 90 degrees in relation to your spine.
A tuck is where your knees are bent from 30-120 degrees.
A puck is where you then are bent at the hips but tuck your knees a bit to make an easy or sloppy L sit. Kind of an in between.
On the video page of crossfit there is a demo of hollow rocks. Think of it like an ab crunch where you round out the shoulders. Suck the gut, squeeze the butt. If you're on ground, your lower back will press into the ground so there is no space between your lower back and the ground. If you were to stand, it would seem you're hunched over.
Dead hang tuck ups. Hang from a bar. Bend your knees into at least they are as high as your mid section. Your hips bend and your knees bend. This is also a tuck hang. Pike hang would be straight legs, hips 90 degrees in relation to spine.
N-ups/jack-knives are like V ups except the knees are bent in a tuck instead of straight like a pike. Start by laying down, then your legs will rise ( this does use the hip flexors ) or bend in while you basically do a situp with your upper torso. Sometimes we like to do them fast.

Drillsandskills.com should show some of the gymnastic positions. Hollow, tuck, pike.
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:27 AM   #8
Kevin McKay
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Awsome! Thanks for taking the time I will try all of those.
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:38 AM   #9
Jim Melani
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Low back pain is something I've had to deal with for 20 years. I have injured my back with hill sprints, L-sits and Hyperextensions, use caution with those. My advice is to try deep breathing exercises. The vacuum is my favorite. They actually do provide benefit to core development with little chance of injuring your back. Once you build up some strength there consider an ab roller from the knees. This does put some stress on the lower back, but I can usually do them comfortably a week or so after a back flair up. I've found that many of my flair ups came from some kind of off-balance back rotation, like my sport of choice - table tennis. So add some core rotation exercises once you have built up some basic strength.

I've found the best things you can do for lower back pain are:

- Totally recover by doing nothing that puts strain on your back until the pain is reasonable. Re-injury is very easy to do.

- Don't carry any extra weight in your mid section. There is a fulcrum effect and you don't want to add any leverage here.

- Don't sit too much during the day.

- Keep your pelvis properly aligned by keeping your hamstrings loose.
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Old 02-17-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
Kevin McKay
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Thanks Jim
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