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Starting back at the Y tomorrow, and my main worry is what types of exercises/lifts should I avoid with the pinched nerves in my back. I have gotten a little guidance from my doctor and chiropractor, but both were very general in their advice. I doubt they deal with this type of situation very often.

My plan to return to serious weight lifting will begin with two weeks of cardio in preparation to begin working with the TechnoGym equipment again. However, I am unsure as to how to proceed here. I know the treadmill is an important cardio workout, but I have two problems. First is the impacts on my lower back, and second is that I tend to lean on my arms to support a good portion of my weight. Both causing pain and further injury.

So my plan is to add more time to the recline bike, the stepper (the smooth action of the stepper is not nearly as hard on my back or arms), and the Top-XT (an arms bicycle sort of thing). And then basically start the treadmill from scratch, beginning with a low time and speed so that I do not have to ride my arms, and I limit the impacts to the lower back.

I am also thinking that the recline bike should be the mainstay of my cardio program, since the bike offers excellent support for my lower back. While I am unsure how I will react to the stepper since I haven’t been on one since these new back problems crept up. I love the stepper, I’m just unsure how it will effect my lower back. I would expect that it should help loosen things up. But we shall see.

Comments Welcome!!


4 Replies (last)

if you can, i would completely avoid the treadmill. the bike is probably your best bet to avoid further injury. my dad has some bad lower back problems and he has been told absolutely no running. he can walk, but it's still with pain so he really shouldn't be doing much of that. It's pretty much impossible to keep him from it considering we just wrapped up our triathlon season! If you are going ot lift, it might be better to stick with some machines instead of free weight lifts that might strain your back. Good luck and I hope it gets better!

My back acts up from time to time and it is no fun working out when it out of alignment.  I recently had it go out slightly while I was doing some dead lifts.  I cinched my weight belt down as tight as it would go and finished out the set.  Yeah not so bright but it worked and I went to my chiropractor that afternoon.

Perhaps swimming may be a better exercise to get the weight off of the joints.  You can do it for a couple of weeks and then transition into the bike and other machines until you know your back will take the strain.

Your back injury may be a result of over training if you are a workoutaholic.  There are some good articles out on the web on this topic.  I have a shoulder that is starting to act up with the weather and I suspect that it is from this very thing.  Just a thought

Take care!

 I would avoid the treadmill entirely for the time being - well, at least for the first couple weeks of working-in, and probably until you can walk on it unsupported. In addition to the lower back stress it places excessive strain on your hip joints when walking and can throw your spine out of whack for good measure.

 If you can get on the elliptical or stepper and walk backwards at a high resistance that should help increase the strength endurance of your hamstrings, glutes and lower back some. You might be able to do the Bird Dog exercise as well - Stuart McGill recommends that, the side bridge and the curl-up  for lower back pain to strengthen the muscles involved in an appropriate range of motion without excessive spinal loading. You'll want to consult with either your chiro or your trainer to see what's appropriate for you to do though - I'm slightly suspicious of the curl-up and you probably will need to modify the birddog into a straight leg lift and arm lift performed separately at first, quite possibly while supporting your body on a bench.

UPDATE: The backwards rotation on the stepper works great.  I'm doing two minutes forward, one minute backwards, for 6 minutes.  Working my why back up to 10 minutes on that thing Cool!!

But the workouts, stretching, hot tub, sauna have helped the lower back pain.  But I think that maybe the streching has helped more that about anything.  And I have started water walking to replace the treadmill.  I have tries the treadmill several times, and I always end up with my left hip hurting. 

So I am pretty pleased with the workout right now.  the only real problem area is the military press, but it has been a problem all my life.  Slow but sure I guess!!!

4 Replies