back pain

In my last post, I wrote that I would explain the injury that has left me on the sidelines for the past two weeks. Here it is:
After an hour-long rotating plyometric push-up and plank routine, a few hours rest and another hour-long go at a plyometric squat/cardio routine, I was left with a rip to the back (that I both felt and heard) that left me unable to move for ten minutes.

Okay, so maybe what I really heard was the screaming in my head for breaking my number one rule for responsible physical fitness. That rule is to, above all else, maintain form. As I was performing the plyo push-ups, my muscles began to tire and my back began to sag. Despite the bad form and pain that began to creep in, I continued. I was close to finishing the workout. What was a little bad form and a little pain? (I would never allow a client to do this, why was it okay for me?) Upon my return to exercising a few hours later, I still felt discomfort in my lower back.  I was on a mission to hurry up and finish for the day. Resting was not an option. Twenty minutes into my second routine and the consequence, for not listening to my body, tore through me in the form of a mighty fine pull. Ugh!

As I am now forced into rest (repair), I have planned my comeback. How will I do that? Where do I begin?

Because of my fitness level, I will be able to begin where I left off – working the core. However, instead of performing risky plyometric moves I will focus on performing isometric(static) core exercises. This will allow me to strengthen the affected muscles.

While my focus for this post is on stability exercises, flexibility is also an important part of rehabilitation. The first measure I took, after the initial ten minutes of not being able to move, was to ice the affected area.  This was an effort to keep the inflammation down. A few days later, I was able to begin a stretching routine. I will have a separate post on the benefits of flexibility soon.

The word core usually conjures thoughts of the abdominal muscles. But, core exercising can mean different things. According to The National Strength and Conditioning Association, a core exercise is one that is multi-joint and recruits one or more large muscle groups or areas with the synergistic (assisting) help of one or more smaller muscle groups. Examples of these types of core exercises are bench press, shoulder press and back squats. These exercises should be performed on a regular basis.

Core exercising also refers to those stabilization exercises that work the muscles of the spine, neck, pelvis and scapulae. Training of these muscles have shown to reduce the incidence of low back pain and injury. Examples of these exercises include supine heel slides and dead bug, quadruped and planks. Performing these stability exercises will be my focus for the weeks to come.

Core stability muscles

core stability


Stay tuned for my next post on the plank exercise.

I haven’t included pictures of all the core muscles. If you would like more information on the specific muscles or exercises that engage the core, please leave a comment…