I got an email from a customer. It’s from Susan and it says,
“I love your idea of exercises for injuries but I would like to know how an injured person is supposed to do these exercises.”
How To Train Your Core If You Are Injured
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There are different levels of people when it comes to injury. There are injured individuals who are not able to do very much. I have worked with those type of people when it comes to rehab and in a physical therapy clinic or people who have been in motor vehicle accidents and then there are people who are in the gym and workout and have an injury that slows them down. They are wondering how to keep working out and working around that injury while still helping themselves recover from that injury.
When it comes to this exercise and injury things, there is a huge spectrum. Thanks to Susan for reminding me that I need to spend more time on different levels when it comes to the exercises for people. Continuing on with Susan’s email…
“Not meaning to sound too negative but this year I have been getting back to the level where I was and I am trying to overcome a back surgery. I had broken my L4 and had it fused and repaired. The exercises that you do are great but your model is very fit and I am wondering what exercises you have for someone that is not as fit, overcoming a back surgery and has a weak core. Do you have any exercises to help someone with this type of condition that involve body weight or the Suspension Trainer”?
Thank you very much Susan for sending me in your question. If you were my client, I probably wouldn’t get you on the Suspension Trainer right away. We have done a number of videos when it comes to the Suspension Trainer. The exercises are probably medium to advanced. So Susan if you were my client and if you have a back injury, a back surgery, you are trying to get back to where you were, I probably wouldn’t start you off on the Suspension Trainer but you are right. You need to work on your core. Strengthen your core by starting off with the wall or leaning up against something.
#1 – Plank Against The Wall
Plank Against The Wall
I get Orsy to demonstrate. She is just going to grab the bar and she is going to be at an angle. She is just in holding position, bracing the abdominal area, activating the glutes, the lats and the muscles all around the back from the front and the back.
If she wants to make it more difficult, Orsy can increase the incline of her body so she can scoot her feet back and then add more of an incline in her body. You can do this up against the wall, not necessarily on this specific piece of equipment.
#2 – Leg Movement
The next step that I will get you to do is, I would start adding leg movement. The first would be in this position, tightening the abdominals, tightening the glutes and the lats and just bringing the knees up to just about hip height and then back down. Going slow, alternating, keeping things tight, working on that core, educating your body to separate hip movement with back movement. I would go through 5 repetitions on each side and just going through one set. So we started off with holding. The next step would be high knees.
#3 – Hip Extensions
The next exercise I would go with is hip extensions. Bring the legs back, slow and controlled movement. I want the movement to come from the hips so she is working her glutes and her hamstring, the low back isn’t changing and I am still maintaining that angled position and the core is activated, glutes are tight and the lats are kicked in.
#4 – Side To Side Movement of the Hip
Side To Side Movement of the Hip
Then the next thing I would get you to do, same thing, in this position but now we bring the leg out to the side and back to the middle on the other side. Just like with the leg back, the low back position isn’t changing. It’s all happening in the hips but this time now we are working on the outer part of the hip and working on that side to side movement of the hip.
Susan that’s where I would start you off:
- Start with the plank against the wall, holding it for a period of time like 10-30 seconds.
- If that’s too easy, bring your feet back more and add a steeper incline. You are working that core area and you want that core afterwards to feel like it’s worked, that there isn’t stress on the back or pain on the back but the muscles have done something.
- When that gets too easy then you move to the progressions that I talked about. You are at that wall plank, you are adding knee to hip height, then you are adding bringing the leg back, you are adding leg to the side. Do 5-10 repetitions on each side, that is a nice little 5 minute routine to start off with and then check how your back feels.
How does your back feel after that little routine? Does it feel like my muscles have worked or have I overdone it? Have I put too much stress and strain on my back?If I am fine, I want to make another check later that night. How is my back feeling? Does it feel fine? Do my muscles feel like they have worked? If everything is okay, we are going to check to see how I feel the next morning and how does the back feel. Do the muscles feel like they have worked? If yes, then I have done the appropriate amount of exercise when it comes to the condition that I have.
There you go Susan, give that a go. Let me know how it goes and please do let me know how things are going. If you are not Susan, please do send me your questions when it comes to your injury and pain and I will work on doing more videos when it comes to those people that are starting out to recover from an injury.
Make sure to swing by ExercisesForInjuries.com and enter in your injury or pain. There is a good chance that I have a video, an interview and an article that will help you overcome your pain.
Secondly, if you are watching this on YouTube, head up above, hit “Subscribe”. What that will do is every couple of days you will get a video like this where I talk about overcoming your injury and pain.
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Rick Kaselj, MS