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Old 08-18-2004, 10:27 AM   #1
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DAVE9999 HB User
Ab Strengthening

We all know strong abs help support the back, so who wouldn't want stronger abs to alleviate back aches. The problem seems to be if you work out abs too hard or the wrong way, you make your back worse.

So I am wondering what is the best way work abs? Not just the exercise(s), but number of reps, and how often (everyday? every other day?) ???

Are there any recommended books out there for this?

for me, I would need to start out slow (what I'm doing now), and then slowly work my way up to the point where I could work them hard, that way they could handle sitting longer and everyday life in general,

any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated

 
Old 08-18-2004, 12:16 PM   #2
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scotty12 HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

i have a few lumbar problems myself.when i was told fusion is the only answer time and time again i rally gave physical therapy a fair shake.i would go 2 times a week but exersize at home daily.along with exersizing,stretching your glutes and hamstrings makes a huge difference.
i had the same problem w/ab exersizes causing alot of increased pain,especially using the ab machines at pt.

for me i found lying on the floor feet flat/knees bent and raising the buttisimo and holding a couple seconds repeat slowly 10-20 times .you have to try and lift using your abs as its easy to cheat.
sit ups are a no-no,as are leg raises

also stretching hamstrings ,thee are a number of ways to do this.but the most effective i find is at some steps one foot on the floor the other leg on a step and bend foward at the waist keeping legs locked straight,you should feel the burn.

check out www.*********.com there are pictures and instructions on various exersizes.if you find the back pain gets very bad then do less.as time goes on
it will get easier.

i couldnt lift a gallon of milk w/o added pain.when you develop body strength (upper too) it takes the pressure off your back.

good luck....................................scotty

 
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Old 08-18-2004, 02:51 PM   #3
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boot HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

Are sit ups a no-no forever after back problems? This is where I always get in pain when trying to rehab, strengthen abs!

 
Old 08-18-2004, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Ab Strengthening

Due to acute back pain and sciatica which developed almost overnight, I too had to look at the 'abs' issue. I checked with my ortho and PT about pilates and was fortunate enough to be given the name of a pilates instructor who specialises in rehab work. When I had some relief following an epidural injection I began one on one classes. The brilliant thing about the exercises was that they put no strain on my back at all and I began to notice the difference after two - three weeks. I can't believe the ab strength I have now when I'm walking / standing/ sitting. She also corrected my posture as I was tilting too far forward when standing and putting pressure on my lower back. No matter how bad a day I'm having I can do the basic exercises - they are easier than the stretches I do.

By the way, I notice a lot of people talking about yoga - I think my herniation was the result of ashtanga yoga. Also, I was warned against standard pilates classes until my back condition was resolved - so you need to source a specialist pilates instructor as opposed to just joining your local class.

 
Old 08-18-2004, 03:03 PM   #5
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Re: Ab Strengthening

I usually am the last person to jump on the bandwagon for equipment, but after recently having cervical injections for pain, I thought I would have to give up excercises. I was doing crunches for the abdomen and that wasn't the best excercise for my upper neck area. I saw this ad on TV for the ab revolutionizer. I don't buy anything off TV adds, but this one peaked my interest. I got it about a month ago, and wow what a piece of equipment. It does the job with no back pain. This one really does what it says. Abrev.com. Look it up.

 
Old 08-18-2004, 10:14 PM   #6
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standingman HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

Good topic. I've been in a number of PTs, and each person as their own "approach" to ab work--some people big on pelvic tilts, some not at all, etc.. To some degree, it's probably a lot of trial and error to see what works best for each of our particular situations.

Standingman

 
Old 08-19-2004, 02:44 AM   #7
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Jenna'sMom HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

When I was in PT they gave me alot of good exercises that were very gentle. Get your doctor to give you a prescription for PT. Like standingman said, it may take a couple of times to find the right fit.

Just engaging the ab muscles and tightening them for 10 secs at a time for 10 to 20 reps can help.

Take Care,
Julie
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Julie

APLIF T4-S1 on july 19, 2004
Harrington rod T5 - T12 1982

 
Old 08-19-2004, 05:25 AM   #8
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DAVE9999 HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

Thanks for the feedback. I will try to slowly gain strength in my abs, I definitely agree with the hamstring stretching as well. I've been trying to stretch my hams on my desk every hour at work (a little strange and a few weird looks but the stretching helps a lot), plus at home.

That is a funny name: "standing man", but that is what i feel like, i avoid sitting as much as I can, and when I'm standing at home I move around, I could be "pacing man"

 
Old 08-19-2004, 06:12 AM   #9
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scotty12 HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

dave,
it does take time,but if you keep at it for a few months things should improve quite a bit.it wont cure any existing problems in your back but it does take the stress of your back when you are physically fit.this board doesnt allow links to any commercial sites but the site does have photos of proper exersizes.ill tru again without the w's and the *** com.it is chiro geek
its one word but like i said this board does not allow links
just type in the link.it does have alot of info on spinal disorders that is easy to understand.........................scotty

 
Old 08-19-2004, 07:39 PM   #10
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standingman HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

Dave--Re: the name, yes, you know where I'm "coming from." I have also compared myself to a shark--gotta keep swimmin!

For me, tightening abs actually helps my sitting. I'm doing that even as I type this, and my sitting pain reduces. Of course, it's hard to spend the whole day suckin' in your gut!

Standingman

 
Old 08-20-2004, 06:15 AM   #11
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wmcgowin HB User
Re: Ab Strengthening

Speaking of swimming-what about swimming-does that help the abs? If so, it would seem like the perfect blend of aerobic exercise and ab strengthening.

I'm in a health club w/o a pool, but thinking of switching to the Y so I can use the pool.

 
Old 08-20-2004, 07:36 AM   #12
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Lightbulb Re: Ab Strengthening

swimming is a great way to exersize if you have back pain.honestly,the only time i really feel minimal pain is when im in a pool.most good physical therapy places offer aquatic therapy.....good idea. scotty

 
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