The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    I need a back safe leg routine for the next couple of months.

    3 months ago, I was doing well on 5/3/1...

    I got my squat up to 355x5 and my deadlift to upper 300's for 10 reps and middle 400's for 3. Then one morning I was scheduled to squat....I got up out of bed and my back was really stiff...like it was tough to bend over. My instinct said to skip that day, but being my dumb self I went and did 355 on squats. I got through the workout, but ever since that day my back hasn't healed 100%. I thought I was good last week as I had zero pain so I tried to deadlift. I pulled up 405 no problem with zero pain but now its Monday and I couldn't even bend down over the sink to wash my face/brush my teeth today. So I decided, I am not going to even touch DL's/Squats until I am 100% confident that I am recovered.

    In the meantime, I still want to work my legs but I am not exactly sure what is "back safe". I know leg press can put strain on your back, but I find that is only if I go all the way down. If I set the pins at the top, I can get a pretty good, pain free workout in. What else can I do?
    Last edited by mchicia1; 06-22-2010 at 07:52 AM.

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  3. #2
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I have found that Front Squats are usually easier on my low back (because my trunk stays upright during the movement).

    If you have an injury then I would recommend sticking to machines where your low back is immobilized (leg extensions, seated leg curls, etc.).
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I have found that Front Squats are usually easier on my low back (because my trunk stays upright during the movement).

    If you have an injury then I would recommend sticking to machines where your low back is immobilized (leg extensions, seated leg curls, etc.).
    Yeah I figured I'd probably just need to do machines. Maybe walking lunges? I find stationary lunges can shock my back sometimes because of how awkward it is to step back up into position...but walking lunges seem natural and pain free.

  5. #4
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Yeah I figured I'd probably just need to do machines. Maybe walking lunges? I find stationary lunges can shock my back sometimes because of how awkward it is to step back up into position...but walking lunges seem natural and pain free.
    Walking lunges could be good.

    I believe that one of the keys to training around injuries is to find movements that can be challenging when performed with relatively light weights. Walking lunges or step-up's would fit into this category.

    Make sure to work on flexibility as well, a lot of low back pain comes from tight hamstrings or glutes.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Walking lunges could be good.

    I believe that one of the keys to training around injuries is to find movements that can be challenging when performed with relatively light weights. Walking lunges or step-up's would fit into this category.

    Make sure to work on flexibility as well, a lot of low back pain comes from tight hamstrings or glutes.
    Yup, my back pain is a direct result of this...

    I took 2 weeks off and stretched like crazy and felt pretty good but I quickly tweaked it again. I definitely need more time to have it fully heal.

    I assume military press may be out of the question, which sucks because I am making good gains with hct-12 on it....going for 155x6 this wednesday. Maybe Ill just wear a belt? It has never really put any strain on my back before.

  7. #6
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Yup, my back pain is a direct result of this...

    I took 2 weeks off and stretched like crazy and felt pretty good but I quickly tweaked it again. I definitely need more time to have it fully heal.

    I assume military press may be out of the question, which sucks because I am making good gains with hct-12 on it....going for 155x6 this wednesday. Maybe Ill just wear a belt? It has never really put any strain on my back before.
    I always wear a belt for heavy standing military press, but if you are concerned about your lower back then I would just do them seated for now.

    Patience is very important when you are coming back from an injury.
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  8. #7
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    What lower back assistances exercises were you doing?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    What lower back assistances exercises were you doing?
    Zero...I was always afraid to. Maybe its time to start when the pain subsides. I don't want to squat/dl again until I am really ready.

  10. #9
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Start by stretching and doing bw back extensions. Try to work in glute ham raises next. Then try something like good mornings. You will be ok, just take it slow. Your height and frame certainly don't help in these lower body lifts, so strengthen that lower back as much as you can. Also, remember your abs as well.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    Start by stretching and doing bw back extensions. Try to work in glute ham raises next. Then try something like good mornings. You will be ok, just take it slow. Your height and frame certainly don't help in these lower body lifts, so strengthen that lower back as much as you can. Also, remember your abs as well.
    Thanks! Will give it a shot.

    Another thought, was even when I am recovered, is to cutdown squats/dls to only twice a month....and on the other days just substitute a back safe movement. My squats/DL's never fall like my upper body exercises when I lower the frequency.

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