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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old August 9th, 2014, 05:17 AM   #1
WhySixB
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Default Lower back pain?

Hey guys and gals! I am trying to get started back into skating again. It's been a few years but I still have a little bit of balance still. The problem that I have is that my lower back is killing me right off the bat. I guess I was in a lot better shape back in the day when I was skating and playing roller hockey. My question is this, what are so exercises, stretches or routines that I can start incorporating into my daily activities to really strengthen the lower back so I can get through this hump? What say you?
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Old August 9th, 2014, 05:28 AM   #2
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You don't want to build up the lower back so much as you want to build up the abs. The abs are meant to hold up the upper body, but when they get worn out you slouch and the lower back takes over. The muscles aren't meant for that purpose, so they quickly reach their limits, but there is no backup muscle group to take over for them.

We discussed some ideas over in the speed forum a couple months ago, but basically do what you would normally do to work out the core. Realize that you are worried more about the long term ability of the muscles to hold up than a high instantaneous output, so more crunches are better than fewer high intensity reps on a machine.
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Old August 9th, 2014, 05:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhySixB View Post
Hey guys and gals! I am trying to get started back into skating again. It's been a few years but I still have a little bit of balance still. The problem that I have is that my lower back is killing me right off the bat. I guess I was in a lot better shape back in the day when I was skating and playing roller hockey. My question is this, what are so exercises, stretches or routines that I can start incorporating into my daily activities to really strengthen the lower back so I can get through this hump? What say you?
Lots here: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...back&FORM=IGRE
But don't forget you need to work your whole "core" your core (abs etc.) do more then you think to support your back.
Also it can take some time to learn to relax the lower back when skating low. Think "cat back"
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Old August 9th, 2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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1. toe touch stretches in the morning and before you skate
2. on your belly and use your hands to curve your body up .. kind of like a push up but you don’t take your hips off the ground.. stretches your stomach and back
3. Planks for core strengthening…but any plank lasting more than 60 seconds loses effectiveness so do more of them rather than longer ones
4. Oddly enough a truss belly belt helps with posture (found that out when I got my hernia)
5. Lose weight
6. roll your shoulders back when you skate to keep good posture
7. Sit with good posture and that will translated to built skills and muscles for good posture skating
8. Ice when you get home, heat when you get up
9. Stop smoking (it constricts small veins)
10. Bend your knees more when skating and keep your shoulders over your hips.
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Old August 9th, 2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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All of what they said above plus rule number one of hockey (Keep your head up) will help you with skating posture. Remember also what coach Herb Brooks always said: "Your legs feed the wolf"
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Old August 9th, 2014, 08:12 PM   #6
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1. toe touch stretches in the morning and before you skate
Posture, of course, mine was bad for 47 years, correcting it makes a huge difference. I'm still working on it and forever will be.

But the quote for toe touches. I think it's important how you touch your toes. This is not my own, got it from a masseuse who does sports people. Stand feet apart just so they line up with your shoulders. Keep your knees bent very slightly. Now put all of your weight on your heels. Butt out the entire exercise to keep the weight on your heels. Now go for the floor as far as you can without additional bend in the knees.

Now, I had asked for this, and particularly needed a stand-up option.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 01:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WhySixB View Post
Hey guys and gals! I am trying to get started back into skating again. It's been a few years but I still have a little bit of balance still. The problem that I have is that my lower back is killing me right off the bat. I guess I was in a lot better shape back in the day when I was skating and playing roller hockey. My question is this, what are so exercises, stretches or routines that I can start incorporating into my daily activities to really strengthen the lower back so I can get through this hump? What say you?
You just had to mention back pain. Geez, I got it this morning.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 08:02 PM   #8
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Hey WhySixB, just suck it up man!
Haha, nah, just kidding. My lower back used to be the biggest weakness in my skating but over the years I've steadily built it up to a point where I'm pretty happy with it now.

You need a strong core in general - lower back, abs, and obliques. Of course you can try targeting the back, but I say just concentrate on skating more for now and build the fitness you need (funny how nobody has mentioned this!). Then if you feel the back is still weak then that's the time to look at specifically targeting it for strengthening.
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Old August 11th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Hey WhySixB, just suck it up man!
Haha, nah, just kidding. My lower back used to be the biggest weakness in my skating but over the years I've steadily built it up to a point where I'm pretty happy with it now.

You need a strong core in general - lower back, abs, and obliques. Of course you can try targeting the back, but I say just concentrate on skating more for now and build the fitness you need (funny how nobody has mentioned this!). Then if you feel the back is still weak then that's the time to look at specifically targeting it for strengthening.
Yes, I used to get lower back pain a lot more and for longer durations before I was a come-back skater. It doesn't last a whole morning anymore. Funny, I can trace the weakness back to an injury in a factory 30 years ago.
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Old August 11th, 2014, 02:22 PM   #10
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Doing the core exercise stuff is excellent, but understanding that their purpose is is to allow you to hold optimum posture as you skate (as Derrick already noted) is important too.

Lower back pain relates significantly to how the stress load carried by the back distributes across the disks, cartilage, muscles etc. Ensuring that this stress load is evenly distributed is the goal.

This is where posture has a huge effect. The bend angle position of the pelvis as you skate is a major concern for how much pain will develop as you skate for extended periods in the knees bent, low skater position.

Many skaters bend too much at the point where back meets pelvis, and too little at the hip joints. Learning to feel and control (with core strength) the tilt angle of your pelvis as you hold skater position is a good place to start tuning your skating posture for less pain.

Once you begin to feel how adjusting pelvic angle lowers and raises the stress & pain at specific locations of your lower back, you start having the necessary feedback to experience and establish the needed posture adjustments as you skate.

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Old August 11th, 2014, 03:00 PM   #11
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Ensuring that this stress load is evenly distributed is the goal.
How do you figure? Thinking about indoor skating specifically for a moment, the load is asymmetric by design. One foot crosses over, while the other doesn't. Since the movement of the lower body is created by opposing forces in and through the core, that means your core is worked differently for the two legs. In fact, one side of my abs is stronger than the other.

In addition, as you keep your chest up, more of the force required to keep it there is moved forward - to the abs. You aren't evenly distributing it between the back and abs, but moving the lion's share of the job to one muscles group. This muscle group is designed to take the load - the muscle groups at the front and back of the core are not symmetric.

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This is where posture has a huge effect. The bend angle position of the pelvis as you skate is a major concern for how much pain will develop as you skate for extended periods in the knees bent, low skater position.

Many skaters bend too much at the point where back meets pelvis, and too little at the hip joints. Learning to feel and control (with core strength) the tilt angle of your pelvis as you hold skater position is a good place to start tuning your skating posture for less pain.

Once you begin to feel how adjusting pelvic angle lowers and raises the stress & pain at specific locations of your lower back, you start having the necessary feedback to experience and establish the needed posture adjustments as you skate.
The rest of this is true. I just think you have the underlying reason wrong.
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Old August 11th, 2014, 03:28 PM   #12
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Default Her's one I stumbled on don't have scientific backing

So this is a just try it and make your own determination.

I built a station so I can stand all day. Standing with your feet spread slightly out evenly distributed gets you pretty tired. However, since I have been trying to get one foot uprights I stand with one foot or the other directly under me and on an edge (I'm on a 2x4 to keep the edge, but I don't think that is absolutely necessary). I switch feet and edge often. This is actually less tiring once you build lower leg strength.
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Old August 11th, 2014, 11:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by WJCIV View Post
How do you figure? Thinking about indoor skating specifically for a moment, the load is asymmetric by design. One foot crosses over, while the other doesn't. Since the movement of the lower body is created by opposing forces in and through the core, that means your core is worked differently for the two legs. In fact, one side of my abs is stronger than the other.

In addition, as you keep your chest up, more of the force required to keep it there is moved forward - to the abs. You aren't evenly distributing it between the back and abs, but moving the lion's share of the job to one muscles group. This muscle group is designed to take the load - the muscle groups at the front and back of the core are not symmetric...
I wasn't analyzing lateral stress loads, only bending front to back and up-down.
Muscles only apply force by tension, so the abs (toward the ground) cannot contribute in any way toward raising the torso when in skater position, only muscle groups on backside of backbone can do that.

I was suggesting that having the lower back bending too sharply at any one spot can concentrate too much stress there, and that by the rotational positioning of the pelvis in the vertical front-back plane, shape of the lower back bend can be altered to better distribute the posture holding load force carried there.

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Last edited by Armadillo; August 12th, 2014 at 04:01 AM.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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I got back problems too. Your discs in your back are fluid filled cushions. My body doesn't complain about needing water as much as it should.

Before skating I drink 2 bottles of water.

Not always, but when my back hurts; just drinking a good bit of water makes the pain go away.

It may help or not, make sure you bend your knees slightly. Makes your body have a suspension system versus bringing the shock right up to your back. Bending the knees helps build those core muscles better too.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 01:07 PM   #15
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Two things helped me: doing a beginner pilates mat workout dvd (more fun for me than just doing planks or crunches), and continuing to consistently skate 3-5x/week.

I suspect Pilates mat is helpful to me not ust because it's more fun that just doing crunches/planks/prone-cobra, but it also helps teach moving the legs while stabilizing the core.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 09:55 PM   #16
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Something I learned helped me too...is it can be things like hip flexors being too tight. I do crossfit workouts in addition to my skating and was in severe pain. I've started doing stretching throughout the day to loosen my hip flexors and foam rolling and this has helped a lot. Back pain is almost totally gone. I also had tight IT bands that I use the foam roller on.

Two videos I have used.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekl1dYKEEAw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQmpO9VT2X4
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 08:32 AM   #17
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WhySixB, I have struggled with lower back pain for a number of years but recently it has improved to the point that the twinges and spasms are the exception rather than the rule now. I put this down to skating generally, and strengthening my core specifically. However I found that warming up and doing light stretches for the lower back eased the way. I asked a fellow user several years back on SLF (who also taught yoga) and she replied with this:

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Originally Posted by Zoebird View Post
Sure,

I start on hands and knees and do cat stretches (arching the back, belly to the floor with the inhale -- back bending -- and then rounding, spine toward the ceiling) for about 8-10 rounds.

Then I do downward dog -- which is an upside down V shape. Don't worry about things like "heels touching the floor" just open it up so that it's nice and wide, and bend your knees. Slowly "pedal" your legs bending the right knee and pressing the left heel down, then switching. Do this a number of times. Keep it slow, and keep it "soft" -- meaning don't push hard into the stretch, just nice and light. That will put it in the muscle and keep it out of the tendon.

come back down to hands and knees, and bring your right foot forward between your hands. make sure your knee is right over your ankle. This is meant to be a gentle lunge. you might slide the back leg back a bit, and don't go too deep. stay up high and softly, with the breath, lower the hips toward the floor/heel.

Everything slow and gentle and modified.
...I still carry these exercises out and find them beneficial.

Regards

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Old September 1st, 2014, 08:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhySixB View Post
Hey guys and gals! I am trying to get started back into skating again. It's been a few years but I still have a little bit of balance still. The problem that I have is that my lower back is killing me right off the bat. I guess I was in a lot better shape back in the day when I was skating and playing roller hockey. My question is this, what are so exercises, stretches or routines that I can start incorporating into my daily activities to really strengthen the lower back so I can get through this hump? What say you?
You absolutely must stretch all of your lower body muscles. Most importantly is the soleus muscle, for which there are numerous ways to stretch. http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/s...cles-6105.html If you don't keep the soleus loose, you will eventually windup with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/p...topic-overview I'm certain if you follow my advice, your lower back pain will soon be gone. For maximum results, you have to do these stretches a couple of times a day.
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