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TOPIC: Best way to strengthen lower back?

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April 8, 2013 3:42 PM
I know that due to massive weight gain recently has caused the recent and quick arriving lower back pain. I realize that I am top heavy and in my attempts to work it off, it seems my back gives up before I do. And that's after 10 mins of moderate walking. By 20 mins I am leaning on the treadmill (which I know is a big no-no) to ease the fire on my lower back to be able to complete the mile. Any advice other than give up?
I am doing Zumba tonight and thought about trying yoga.. but I won't be able to get in yoga positions if I dont walk off the inches. It seems like a never ending cycle.
  34071476
April 8, 2013 3:44 PM
Work on core strengthening exercises. The stronger your core, the less stress on your back.
  40820778
April 8, 2013 3:50 PM
Try standing legs hip width apart, do not move your legs or hips , bend at the waist, (forwards) touch your knee and then stand back up. It's like a backwards sit up. You're using your lower back to lift your body. It has really helped me to strengthen my back! Good luck! You can do this!! flowerforyou
  36083936
April 8, 2013 4:26 PM
just keep walking too. If you can't do a full mile yet, do what you can. do it tomorrow, do it the day after, etc. Before you know it, that same distance won't feel so hard, so then add a couple tenths (or just one). When you add the tenth, just do that exact distance repeatedly for a while until it is easy.... then add another tenth.

This will take some time, but it isn't a race, this is for life. Remember, at the same time you are doing this, in theory you are also eating at a calorie deficit, so you will be losing weight. This means you will be able to go farther with less effort.

keep it up, take it easy, and keep your eye on the long game. Nobody expects instant results from you, you shouldn't expect it from yourself.

edit: just noticed you are also speaking in terms of time Vs distance. Take the same thing I said here and do it by time, who cars what the distance is. do ten minutes, 10, 10, 10, 12, 12,12,13,13,13,14,14,14,15,15,15. Just add a little every third day. As you lose weight you will also notice you are going farther quicker.
Edited by bradwwood On April 8, 2013 4:30 PM
  31354505
April 8, 2013 8:56 PM
Thank you all for all of the advice. I will try to combine it all and try to find a medium. Core exercise Zumba and start counting cars or streets instead of mins.
  34071476
April 9, 2013 12:00 AM
deadlifting is probably one of the best exercises available to strengthen the lower back.

Also superman's are great for lower back strength

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/superman
April 9, 2013 12:04 AM
When I was my heaviest, I found just moving eased the back pain. I started with walking (quite a lot) and swimming.

I do run and lift now, but I started with just moving regularly.
  10095468
April 9, 2013 12:07 AM
Squats, deadlift, hyperextensions.
April 9, 2013 12:08 AM
QUOTE:

Work on core strengthening exercises. The stronger your core, the less stress on your back.


this

I fractured a vertebrate in my lumber spine so had lower back pain for some years since I was 17. I had trouble sleeping, it was just horrible, and the pain does come back again at times. I have only tackled it now that I have strengthened my core muscles. Core muscles are your abdominals, so this includes all the exercises that work this area. There are some strenuous work outs on YouTube (6 week 6 pack by Jillian Michaels) but if you take that as an example to find a few exercises, you will find a quick change I can promise!

Just be sure to take things very slowly, and try to incorporate swimming as well as this is very good for gently training muscles.

Good luck!
April 9, 2013 12:28 AM
you ease your back by strengthening your front, so crunches & leg lifts are good.
that's what my physio told me, anyway, and it's worked for me.

if you're looking for gentle, safe back exercise, laying on your front & lifting your shoulders & legs up is good. so is kneeling on all fours and lifting right arm/left leg, then left arm/right leg.
April 9, 2013 12:33 AM
Get yourself a swiss ball - by using this to just sit on for half hour while watching telly and then increasing the time you will strengthen your lower back. Make sure you get the right size - 65cm if under 5'8 and 75cm if over.

I have severe back problems and my swiss ball is my lifeline. Once you have done this for a couple of week you can move on to small exercises with it. I have found on you tube "ask dr jo" swiss ball exercises. They are small but very effective movements.

good luck
  20928309
April 9, 2013 12:36 AM
QUOTE:

I know that due to massive weight gain recently has caused the recent and quick arriving lower back pain. I realize that I am top heavy and in my attempts to work it off, it seems my back gives up before I do. And that's after 10 mins of moderate walking. By 20 mins I am leaning on the treadmill (which I know is a big no-no) to ease the fire on my lower back to be able to complete the mile. Any advice other than give up?
I am doing Zumba tonight and thought about trying yoga.. but I won't be able to get in yoga positions if I dont walk off the inches. It seems like a never ending cycle.


You've already found the limit of exercise your back can handle, so exercising it more is just going to make it even more tired.

I'd suggest you try introducing some non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming or the recline bicycle, so that you can get more exercise in before your back fatigues.

Looking after your posture (constantly, ESPECIALLY when it's tired) and ensuring you have a good quality mattress/bed and enough sleep will also help.
Edited by IronSmasher On April 9, 2013 12:36 AM
  9711248
April 9, 2013 12:39 AM
can you do planks? Just start there.
April 9, 2013 12:46 AM
I think you have got some great advise here but also just to say, I am sure once you lose a little weight the back pain will ease up. I was in a car accident about a year ago and suffered some muscle / soft tissue damage to my back. Pain was quite bad at times, especially when laying down. As I have lost weight it has got much better. So teamed with the advise above I am sure it will gradually get better as you lose weight, good luck! x
April 9, 2013 12:54 AM
You might want to try water aerobics, the deep end type will help with the core strengthening and having you stretching and strengthening those core/back muscles.
  13632507
April 9, 2013 1:01 AM
i'm recovering from a lower back injury and i was advised to get a hoola-hoop. Its great fun.
April 9, 2013 1:07 AM
You might be surprised with yoga - I found some of the positions were no problem even when severely obese. The most difficult ones were the upside-downy ones, but flexibility wasn't a problem. If that's what you fancy and your back is up to it it might be worth a go. Some people swear by it for back pain - that and pilates.

I found that walking was one of the WORST things for my back pain. I don't know why. Maybe bad posture. I don't get so much pain now. I do strength training (a mixture of weights and body weight exercises) and ballet, so I don't know if they have helped. I am a lot stronger now (still obese) and find walking much less painful (i.e. much less painful than it was when I was slim!). I would agree with the others that strengthening supporting muscles seems to help.

Also, I think it's important to have a good fitting, supportive bra if you're prone to back pain.

Good luck - it's an annoying pain to have and I hope you get it sorted.
  22334493
April 9, 2013 1:14 AM
QUOTE:

i'm recovering from a lower back injury and i was advised to get a hoola-hoop. Its great fun.

soooooo truehappy
i've got nerve damage to the lower back but i can hoop for hours
just make sure you get a decent adult one n not too light or heavy, 1kg is great to start at
April 9, 2013 1:53 AM
When I started exercising I was pretty overweight--about 130 lbs. overweight. I had back pain, knee pain, all sorts of pain. I started with just walking. I couldn't walk far at first, either. That's ok--do what you can and keep to your diet. As you start feeling better and losing some weight, it gets easier and feels way better. Then you walk a little further, or maybe add something else to your walking. I took up kettlebell training, but it could be anything that interests you. You don't have to do a lot of exercise, especially in the early stages of weight loss.

If you feel walking is too problematic right now, you could try swimming or a water exercise class. Great exercise, very low impact on the joints and such. Cycling might work for you as well.
  28550113
April 9, 2013 1:59 AM
My gym has a weight machine specifically to strengthen the muscles of the lower back (although I find it helps my abs too), and my lower back pain has almost completely gone away since I started using it. If you have a gym, you should ask someone,they will be happy to help. I know that most core work happens on the floor, and you may not be into that (I hate to be the fat girl on the ground!), but the machine is great.
  16991380
April 9, 2013 1:59 AM
part of it is weight related, and as you lose the excess, you will find it easier to exercise. walk, ride a bike, elliptical, and other forms of cardio will help with weight loss. strength training, including dead lifts and squats, will help build muscles that support your body, therefore making you stronger.
  22872058
April 9, 2013 2:03 AM
Deadlifts
Hyperextensions
April 9, 2013 3:01 AM
I would really really recommend some pilates. I used to have such trouble and then I got a copy of Body Control The Pilates Way with Lynne Robinson, and did the 20 minutes intro every morning and wow, things got so much better! It's really gentle, and no problems with not being able to do it, even if you're out of shape. I used to do it 1st thing, and as it's all laid down on the floor it didn't feel like hard work at the time so was a gentle start to the day, but it still did the job! At that time I had a job where once a month I had to load a couple of heavy boxes into my car and drive off to different places, unload the kit, do some work, load it all back again and take it back to unload at the office. I knew that would make my back sore, so would plan my social life not to be doing anything on the evening after one of those days, and to have an easy day the following day too. After a few months of pilates, I had to do a day which involved the intial load up of kit into the car, then THREE visits, each with an unload and reload, and then the final unload at the office. On previous form that would have have me hardly able to move - but I did it with no problem, no pain, and was still able to go out that night!
  2056744
April 9, 2013 7:18 AM
Don't push it on the treadmill if it is causing your back pain. Walk till it starts to hurt and then stop.

I had lower back surgery many years ago. For years after just standing any length of time would cause it to ache and then hurt. That stopped when I started eating low carb, even before the weight started to come off. Low carb diets eliminate excess water weight and reduces inflammation. Just a suggestion to try.

Other recommendations: Check your shoes. Make sure they have good support. Strength training: Weights and weight machines are better for you right now than aerobic exercises.
  28452406
April 9, 2013 7:19 AM
Core work...

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