PDA

View Full Version : Lifting safely with old back injury


Daniel Dean
03-16-2011, 09:14 AM
So I convinced my 58yo mother that going to the gym and lifting is important for her long term health. I would like to get her started on the basic compound lifts but there is one issue, about 15 years ago she herniated a disc in her lower back and has it surgically repaired. Is it safe for her to do squats, deadlifts, etc.?

John P. Walsh
03-16-2011, 12:38 PM
So I convinced my 58yo mother that going to the gym and lifting is important for her long term health. I would like to get her started on the basic compound lifts but there is one issue, about 15 years ago she herniated a disc in her lower back and has it surgically repaired. Is it safe for her to do squats, deadlifts, etc.?

If it's medically cleared and she gets proper instruction then maybe she could. Most PCPs will discourage this deads and squats. It all depends on her ability tolerate it. Once youíre talking about surgery and an older gal that I assume has never done much lifting itís a different ball game. There is no one size fits all and despite these being the king lifts they are not for everyone. Iíd rather have some one devote a year or two to yoga to remold those muscles but thatís me. I value health first and donít get all that hung up an arbitrary barbell numbers. But if she was cleared and was tolerating deads and squats then what the hell.

Daniel Dean
03-16-2011, 01:09 PM
The injury was 15 years ago and she has been living and working well since. She has no prior lifting experience but is moderately active (stretches every day, hikes, bikes some, skis a couple times per year, used to wakeboard when we were kids). I'm not trying to push her into any kind of true heavy lifting, I just want to help her maintain strength and function as she gets older and do it with as little gym time as possible.

Kevin Shaughnessy
03-16-2011, 01:28 PM
I'd have her to sled drags as her primary leg strengthening exercise while focusing on reverse hypers or back extensions to build lower back strength. Both those exercise decompress the spine while their being performed so they're good for injured backs. Start easy and build up gradually obviously. Then when shes moving some weight with her extension exercises introduce squats and deadlifts