View Full Version : Back Strengthing

13th October 2001, 03:14
Does any one recommend any good back muscle work outs?

colin linz
13th October 2001, 08:05

I would argue that sit upís are not what you need for strengthening the back due to back pain. It is true however that the lower back gains most of itís stability from the abdominal muscles. However the muscles that you primarily use for sit upís arenít the ones that stabilise the back.

I would recommend that improving the function and strength of the Transverse Abdominus, and the Multifidus to be a better strategy to employ for lower back pain. The Transverse Abdominus being the major stabiliser for the lower back. The Transverse Abdominus plays only a stabilising roll in sit upís and if it is not working correctly you will still be able to do the sit upís, itís just you will have back pain after or during. You can compensate for poor TAís by using the Rectus Abdominus, and Obliques. However you need to move like Robo Cop.


13th October 2001, 14:47
Cool, thanks guys=:wave:

Michael Becker
13th October 2001, 19:03
Try the bridge exercise. Matt Furey has a book on this and other old wrestling based exercises called Combat Conditioning. I bought a copy in January and have been trying the exercises since then.

I used the bridge exercise to clear up some lower back pain, so I can vouch for the effectiveness of the exercise. The hindu squats also helped significantly a knee problem.

He sells his book and also a video from his website, www.mattfurey.com . I think the book alone would likely contain all the information you need.

13th October 2001, 19:06
I use what are called "hyperextensions", (an erroneous term), or "lower-back lifts". I find that for beginners and intermediates, this exercise is fantastic. I also like stiff-legged deadlifts, and you can try goodmornings, but BE CAREFUL. For both stiff-legged deadlifts and good-mornings, get someone knowledgeable to show you proper form. Otherwise both exercises will put a lot of stress on your spinal region that you don't want. Properly done, the muscles will take the strain of it.

colin linz
14th October 2001, 01:21

Yes the Transverse Abdominus is the main stabiliser of the back, the other is the Multifidus. You can however gain a stabilising effect from other muscle groups, like the Gluteals. Because the Transverse Abdominus is an abdominal muscle has lead many to believe that abdominal exercise will help it, when you think of abdominal exercise what do you think of? If you research in the areas of profession that have a good understanding of the function of the body, as well as a good understanding of exercise physiology (Physiotherapists ), you will find different opinions to the examples you have given

I think you would be using a sit up that only goes as far as to just lift the shoulders off the floor, and the legs bent at 45 deg, and arms crossed on the chest. This is a fine exercise for the Rectus Abdominus, and if you add a movement to the side while doing this will work the Obliques.

However these donít adequately address the TAís. All the exercises posted above are good for back strength and conditioning if the person has no symptoms of back pain. However most lower back pain is a result of poor function of the TAís. Therefore if pain is the reason that you wish to strengthen your back you should first off condition the stabilisers before moving into other more general exercise.

A very basic way of thinking of the abdominal muscles roles is, the Rectus Abdominus pulls the front of the rib cage to the Ilium, the obliques provide sideways tilting, The Transverse Abdominus is a band that runs across the stomach, I believe it supports the spine by providing compression against the spine, however my understanding of itís exact mechanism of support is poor. The Multifidus, are of course not abdominals but are positioned on the posterior side of the spine under the Sacrospinales, their main function is to reduce the shear loading on the discís.

I have no formal qualifications in this area. However I have discussed the issue with a number of Australia's best sports Physiotherapistís, and other instructors that Iíve had at different coaching courses that I have done.

I have also had personal experience. In 1998 I shattered the Disc between L4, and L5. The largest piece was 2.5 cm square and it lodged against the nerve root to my left leg. I had to undergo spinal surgery to remove the disc. 12 months later while cycling ( I coach road and Velodrome cycling ) I had an accident with a car. I suffered a 60% crush,wedge fracture to L1.
Being a member of the military, and my need to remain deployable they sent me to the best people to try to achieve this. I learnt through this process that Doctors are good at prescribing medication and performing surgery, after this they handled responsibility to Physioís. I found it rare that the Doctors even new what the Physio was doing or how they achieved their outcome. What they did know however was that if the patient didnít go to a Physio they would not recover as well, this was bad for them.

As you can imagine I learnt allot through this process. I also did considerable research myself, as I have an interest in health. The information is available, the best areas to research are those that have success treating the root cause, not the symptoms.


PS Just Col is fine.

Ruairi Quinn
14th October 2001, 12:17
Originally posted by Michael Becker
Try the bridge exercise. Matt Furey has a book on this and other old wrestling based exercises called Combat Conditioning.

Just thought I'd throw in that I bought Combat Conditioning as well, but one thing that buyers should beware of is that all the exercises (including the bridge) can be found in old judo and wrestling manuals at a lower price. Some judoka actually employ a drill called 'bridge 'n' twist' which is much more sophisticated than Furey's version, it's a no-hands bridge and trunk reversal to return to the same position.

Michael Becker
15th October 2001, 10:09
Yep, Ruiari is right-the exercises are even mentioned in 'Asian Fighting Arts' by Draeger and Smith. I also know of judo clubs that use these exercises.

That said, you dont have to search around for the Combat Conditioning book, and as they say, time is money.

16th October 2001, 03:21
for my work out, I use the pull down bars, this one bar where you grab it and pull it back (works biceps too), and a back extender thing. It exercises my lower back (like Good Morning) and my gluteus maximas. The one for my lower back. I've seen this at several gyms by different companies. Basically you sit down in a chair, put your feet on a pad, and lean backwards pushing on a bar. It works your lower back and gluteus maximas. Rather cool machine, I use it when I am tired because I can do like 125 on it without an effort. You can also do chin ups and good mornings. Just be careful with good mornings. Bruce Lee hurt himself doing that one (I think it is rather stupid to do)

Scott Rehark

16th October 2001, 20:59
Thanks guys!:)

See ya.:nin:

19th October 2001, 23:36
Some weight room exercises for the back that I have found helpful are:

Pullups, 3-5 sets of max reps each set
Stiff leg deadlift,
Lat pulldowns,
Bent-over lateral raises,
One-arm dumbell rows
Bent-over barbell rows
Good mornings
Back extensions
Seated rows
T-bar rows
Regular deadlift

My typical workout will consist of 12-18 sets of the above exercises, usually doing 3-5 sets from 4 or 5 different exercises. I start off the first sets with high reps (12-15) and by the last set I'm down to 5-8. On days I want to shock my back I'll hit around 25 sets with little recovery between sets and exercises and going as heavy as I can. I plan 2 days recovery after a shock workout, with a light back workout on the 3rd day.

William Johnson