Posted by: Shawn | 2008/01/16

Damaged disc

I damaged a disc in my lower back in the gym about 5 years ago. I don't really have problems anymore.

I'm going back to the gym from next week and I'll be doing a full body primer for 6 weeks.

I want to strengthen my lower back and plan to do hyperextensions.

I would also like to get back into doing deadlifts.

My question is, are they safe if your back is injured?
What is the best exercise to strengthen my lower back?

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Our expert says:
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hi Shawn

Impossible for me to say. The injury was long time ago, so in all probability it's healed up now. the risk is that in the intervening period, you've developed some weakness or compensaion somewhere, or that you are just predisposed to injury of the disk. So I do think that you will benefit from doing back exercises.

I would avoid the deadlifts for a while, at least until you've done some more basic training and worked on the stablity and control of the back, Try to avoid hyperextensions as well, focus instead on static, more simple exercises. That is only temporary, and actually has little to do with the back injury - it's just the "done thing" on a programme to avoid the complex drills and movements, until you've established some kind of base to work from.

What I woudl suggest is that begin with the circuit and do things on the large gym balls, like bridging, balance drills etc. Also, speak with the trainers in the gym, but avoid the complex exercises for a while, at least until later, when you can 'graduate' to the more difficult drills.

Good luck

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