*Always consult with your doctor if you think you have an injury and obtain medical clearance before working with a fitness professional.*
Many of us have back pain bother us every once in a while. For some it's an uncomfortable tightness after driving for hours, for others - a part of every morning until the body warms up. I was dumb enough to go trail running with dad right after getting off the plane (post heavy deadlift the day before), and an excruciating pulling pain propagating from the tailbone down the left glute didn't wait to ruin the day. It was the same pain that dad had before his two herniated disk surgeries 1.5 years ago.
One stressful fatherly lecture about all things I do wrong in the gym, slack on resting enough and an MRI later, we have found out, the hernia scare was just light inflammation after a 24 hr plane commute home. Intraverbal disks have not been affected.
What is inflammation?
Despite the relief of not having a serious injury, days like this make one pause and rethink lifting heavy. Despite the fact pain typically goes away next day for a healthy adult, that doesn't mean inflammation has healed. Keep in mind that muscles heal faster post injury and post workout than tendons and ligaments. The latter need almost twice as much time to recover and will be a limiting factor of your performance. This is the reason myofascial release, stretching, working on active as well as passive flexibility will be the paramount factors of your injury free life and comfortable lifting.
Can you ever lift again post injury?
If you're smart about it. If you run into the bookshelf corner with your pinkie, that's not a good reason to throw away all bookshelves from the house... I mean you can, but that'd be dumb and piling books on the floor is quite inconvenient. You learn to walk around the house without carelessly swinging your feet left and right. So, if you've been injured in any other way, why won't you learn how to be smart about lifting for fun and health instead of using it as an excuse to become a sedentary lazy sloth?
While vacationing home last week, I was super excited to lift with dad and asked him to show some favorite glute, ham and quad exercises. He had two extensive back surgeries 1.5 years ago and it was a miracle he could walk afterwards. Having been a weightlifter for the majority of his adult life, he couldn't just not workout again... but had to keep the tension off the lower back at all costs to avoid the hernia coming back. So, dad engineered a series of exercises to exhaust lower body musculature without affecting the back.
If you've got a herniated disk, or lower back pain - try these out!
Isolated quad, glute and hamstring workout
🔃 Superset. 3 sets of 20, 60 sec break in between:
- elevated feet hip bridge
- lying cable adductor × 3 sets of 20.
🔃 Superset. 3 sets of 20, 60 sec break in between
- quad sit-down
- quad angle
🔃 Pray you'll be able to squat on the toilet the next day without holding the wall and cursing my dad's name 🤣.
If you have better suggestions of what to call the exercises, please comment below. I haven't been able to find anything remotely similar on the interwebs, thus this post 😎