Warm up -
Complete 5 supersets of:
8 deadlifts AHAP
500m row (full-out sprint!)
Rest 3 min.
Post weights and times to comments.
Studies say 80% of Americans experience moderate to severe back pain at some point in their adult lives. Many experience chronic back pain.
If you have chronic back pain, your instinct is to stay away from a workout like this. It can be a mistake. We've learned that ofttimes the workouts you want to avoid most are the very ones that could help you. Maybe even cure you. We've seen it hundreds of times.
Understand that you may have a condition that precludes you from deadlifting. Never over-ride your medical professional's advice in lieu of our suggestions.
That being understood, if you've got chronic back pain - deadlifts can help to heal you. But, you have to be smart about doing them. Here are a couple of suggestions for staying safe while performing deadlifts with chronic back pain:
1 - Warm-up and stretch all involved muscle groups thoroughly before deadlifting. (as above)
2 - Learn and use PERFECT form. You must never find yourself in a position where you lose neutral spine. EVER!
3 - Let pain be your guide. You aren't allowed to do any part of this, or any movement - that hurts. ALWAYS STAY WITHIN YOUR PAIN FREE RANGE OF MOTION.
4 - Experiment with different ranges of motion. DLs put more stress on the spine the closer the bar gets to the ground. Many folks will pull deadlifts from the rack where their starting position is above the knees. Don't worry about ROM. It'll come if you slowly increase the distance your bar travels over the coming weeks and months.
5 - Lighten up. Rehab is a different animal than straight-up fitness is. You can't expect to get more fit if you can't move. Don't overdo it by lifting too heavy. It is more important to perform a full ROM exercise, than it is to lift heavy.
Are you looking for an exercise that targets the abs more specifically? Try Decline Stability Ball Situps. (video below)
By elevating the feet and keeping your knees bent throughout this movement, it negates much of the help from the hip flexors. Since hip flexors are one of the primary movers during situps, this places additional stress upon muscles of the trunk to complete the movement. This provides a stellar abdominal workout.
Then by using a stability ball with feet elevated, it forces the movement of your body into a decline. This puts an additional complication upon the situp movement providing even more stress to the abdominals.
Try it and let us know what you think - to comments.
3-5 sets of 25-50 reps, 2-3x per week for 3-6 weeks, to increase abdominal strength and appearance. (Kate)