Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain – Roofers and Contractors

Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain – Roofers and Contractors

hey guys Demetri here with the roofing
insights and today I decided to make very special episodes for all the roofers all
the construction guys out there the thing is most construction guys who’s in
the trades they have a major problem with the lower back I know a lot of guys
who work for me and recently we’ve been talking about it who constantly almost
on a weekly basis or monthly basis see their chiropractors do adjustments
because they don’t work out well and I see it as a big big problem because when
I talk to these guys I have a lot of guys who siding installers gutter
installers and we discuss it after hours and things like that and so often guys
just don’t know if there is a solution so here’s my story I’m not a personal
trainer by any means I don’t consider myself to be knowledgeable enough to
teach anybody this is just what helped me what changed my life in so many ways
up to three years ago I was seeing chiropractor every week I’ve been
preparing my chiropractor for a yearly subscription pretty much to save money
because I was going so often I would pay like thousand bucks for entire year I
started flooring company eight nine years ago
and boxes were heavy I remember laying on the ground few times on the job sites
because my lower back was pinching my nurse it was constantly jamming from
lifting up weights not stretching not doing you know exercises never have a
time to gym so construction stuff you work 10 12 hours a day you constantly
lift them out of weights and then when you jump it affects your work it affects
your personal life and I remember it it’s not a good feeling
unfortunately I still have a lot of friends who has the problem so here’s
what we’re gonna do I’m here in the gym and I’m gonna just demonstrate what a
lot of people don’t realize we’re dealing with this is good great single
bundle my company right now does roof installs so this is one of the roof
roofing materials or construction materials not many people realize how
heavy it is its weight 70 pounds so and here we have kettlebell so this
kettlebell is says 70 pounds it’s actually they cheated
68 pounds no wonder I’m so weak because I’m thinking I’m working on with 70
pounds and so only 68 so let’s see so 68 pounds the challenge is if I ask you to
work with this kettlebell for a 10 15 minutes you’re probably gonna say this
is too heavy you know you’re not supposed to be doing it but yet I’ve
seen so many times when guys come to the jobsite and their boss just yell at them
hey guys I need this pallet around the corner so they go in start lifting it up
and before you know you know next morning if you do this you start hurting
your back I’ve been there many times so what I’ve done is I came to my doctor
and I said doc listen is there anything medicine can offer me because my body
hurts on a regular basis no matter what I do I’ve never been in sports I’ve
never been you know never work in my body professionally so I asked my doctor
if he can recommend me anything so I don’t have to go to chiropractor so he
referred me to neck and back cleaning I went to neck and back cleaning and I
found out that they don’t recommend adjustments never adjust anybody and
they sign me off a three-months program it was three and a half years ago I sat
down pretty much it’s a rehab program they measure all your body they measure
my back the push in the chair and you pretty much work out with your back and
they show you all the charts were you supposed to be where you’re at right now
and they show you exercises for three months after that I started googling
researching based on those exercises what really works so I invested I bought
like seven eight kettlebells I have them at warehouse right now my workers
working on them and we bought some equipment and I can tell you I have
three four guys on my team who comes to work and just spend 10 15 minutes a day
and they don’t have lower back problems anymore so but because I’m not
professional I’m not going to teach you or show you I’m gonna introduce you to
my personal coach now CrossFit owner Jeff and he’s gonna show
us what he would do with the weights like this and his recommendation for
lifting construction materials on the job sites hey guys so
we’re here with the Jeff Jeff thank you so much for taking time to make this
video and Jeff is the owner of CrossFit and here in Maple Grove Minnesota so
Jeff like we spoke before earlier you know my problem you know I have a lot of
employees and you know the most construction guys out there do have
lower back problems the reason I wanted to ask your opinion because you would do
the weights all the time if you would be a roofer just can you imagine yourself
yeah and if if I have if I would ask you to move 60 of this babies and put them
on the roof or around the house like in the gym every time you work out I know
you do warm up and all of that stuff but I’m your boss and I just yell at you hey
man get off your car go do this is there any exercise anything you would
recommend you know that would prevent me to be in a chiropractor tomorrow well a
couple of things when you start lifting heavy weight like this and you’re gonna
do it for multiple repetitions really you got to have a proper warm-up because
your muscles are more than likely tight you probably drove in a truck over to
the site so you’ve been sitting for a little while the first thing I would
recommend doing is probably just first when you’re picking those up first you
need to focus on where is your spine in what position is it in so when I come
down I want my back to be flat the whole time a lot of times when people tend to
pick things up they keep either their legs straight and they’ll round their
back or they’ll bend their knees but they just have no body awareness with
their midsection and all these are what really protects your low back and so the
pain that you’re probably getting from that is because you’re not keeping your
core muscles tight and so when you pick it up you know first we’re going to a
warm-up you need to just do a couple of toe touches where you’re focusing on
keeping your chest up and you’re just gonna try to touch your toes now if you
can’t get all the way there that’s completely fine but really you’re just
trying to teach your body the proper position when you’re about to start
lifting it’s also going to loosen you up so that
you are ready to lift the weight and you just kind of know where you’re supposed
to be at perfect if you would do let’s say can you show us maybe like what you
would never do with this just because of the size like I tell people all the time
this is easy I mean 70 pounds it’s a lot of weight if I would have to work with
this I would start with a 35 right but it’s pretty obvious it’s easier to grab
this is big so let’s say I have a truck and in the truck I see a lot of guys
that’s the band like what would you do and what you never do like how would you
lift up and what the key points have you’re buying to pay attention not okay
so first I’ll just show you how I would pick it up and then I’ll tell you the
ways not to pick it up and then why so essentially I would stand directly over
the weight way so you can see I want to get towards the middle of the shingle
pile because it’s an odd object it’s a rectangle it’s separated I don’t want to
go on either one side I want to kind of sit right in the middle because that’s
where the weight will be distributed equally and then from there I’m gonna
kind of squeeze my stomach about 20 to 40% not like you’re trying to flex for
some girl or something but you know just right here and I’m gonna bend my knees
down to where I can get my body on it while I’m keeping a flat back position
okay and then from there I’ll just get my hands underneath and then once I have
my hands underneath I’m going to use my legs to lift and not my back okay so the
way I’m gonna do that is I’m going to kind of extend up and then come on to my
shoulder all right from there that would be the proper way of doing it
okay I would never pick this up from this position because you’re separating
everything you’re a lot more likely to round I also wouldn’t stand way behind
it okay the further the weight okay this is pack of shingles that’s what I’m
gonna refer to as the weight the further it is in front of me the more it’s gonna
encourage me to want to round my back which is ultimately
what should be causing your low back problems so if you can get directly over
it that’s gonna help you efficiently use your legs and keep your back in a
protected position all right the other thing is when I come up I want to kind
of extend my hip almost like I’m jumping so that I can get some acceleration and
I’m not sitting here using my arm muscles to get it up there because your
legs are so much stronger than your arms and when you lift with your arms you
will tend to start to move this stuff so main points there is you’re gonna get
over the shingles right in the middle you’re gonna focus on keeping all this
nice and tight you don’t need to clench really hard just some so that you’re
aware of where your midsection is and then you’re gonna use your legs to help
you get it up there and not use your arms okay that bed kind of set what if
just a little comment there you usually don’t see like you don’t have a chance
to step over yep can you sure what do you do with from the side because that’s
how you so I mean if it was a little higher up I would more than likely kind
of slide it over drop down keeping this tight and then shift it on to my back
from there once the pack gets a little bit lower I’m gonna kind of address it
get my hands under one side first and then I’m just always gonna be aware of
my position now when I do that it’s a little awkward so the best way I can say
is the further the shingles get away from you the more it’s gonna be pushing
down on your low back so you just want to try to get it as close to your body
as possible and then just being aware of your midsection throughout does that
kind of address it a little better I just see guys the thing about it the
reason I’m asking this question I know thousands workers out there we most of
us never been trained like your boss is not going to show you this stuff it’s
like well go on low this is like in my family my dad has chronic low
problem I have and he doesn’t know how to live way he’s 56 year old yeah he
never showed it to me I mean when you’re not in sports when you don’t get it you
don’t get it and if if you’ve been doing construction of 10 20 years you keep
destroying your body nobody ever showed it to you you keep going to adjustments
so this for me that’s what breaks the cycles I understand it somebody showed
it to you now it makes sense now next time you’re gonna watch it
yeah it’s a great advice let’s talk about what would you do like let’s say
you’re roofer every day 10 12 hours that’s what you do right you know
tomorrow morning you’re gonna face it again and usually we don’t leave them
too much what’s happening right now the industry and you know for quiet time
suppliers usually get it to the rooftop delivery so we’re not always curing this
stuff but every once in a while you’re going to go to the store pick up three
four or five and I think that’s where the problem is you see you think is just
five bundles are you freaking cold and you’re gonna bend and sometimes just one
bundle when you grabbed it wrong but you didn’t look afraid about it that’s where
you stretch and things like that so great tips but if you deal with it every
day what kind of exercise would you do at home what prior or like 10 minutes
you know the day let’s say you don’t have time that you have a family you
have full-time job I don’t blame guys for not working out
it’s hard life already there and to get two hours of the gym is hard not
everybody can do it what kind of exercises would you do like in the house
to prepare so I mean if you’re in your house a couple of things you know as
I’ve already addressed it’s your midsection we’re trying to strengthen
now ultimately to get this up to your shoulder you do also need to take and
consider your leg strength so first I would really just say it’s just gonna
help your back problems in general if you start focusing on your core so
there’s a couple ways you can do that and a lot of people think strengthening
and the core is sit-ups and to be honest I don’t think that’s the best way
especially for this application because it’s only working mostly the front and
the core is also your back muscles so when I refer to core I mean your stomach
your back and everything in that area so what I would do is I would do a plank
and you are going to essentially get your hands
about shoulder-width apart and then get into a basically push-up position as
most people would know it but you want to keep your butt up a little bit higher
and almost keep these muscles kind of flex down like this you don’t want your
butt sagging kind of like this and you don’t want it like this either all
that’s gonna do and what you would do there is you could do like a 30 second
hold with a 30 second rest or you could do a max hold but at the end of the day
what you’re doing there is you’re strengthening your core as a whole
rather than just focusing on one muscle group in it within it okay the
kettlebell as you said and you were directed to kind of by the people
helping you with your back is another awesome way because what the kettlebell
does for you you can do a couple of things with it and and everyone can kind
of go to the store and buy one of these or go to Amazon but if you haven’t done
it before start with a lighter weight but you can start by just doing a
deadlift and that is the most correlated movement I think to you picking up these
shingles is the body awareness of coming down and grabbing something off the
floor so I would basically set up where I keep my back flat chest up I’m gonna
grab that kettlebell and I’m just gonna stand and then I’m gonna come right back
down and touch and that’s all I’m gonna do in every single time I just want to
make sure I’m opening my hips all the way and thinking about squeezing my butt
reason we think about squeezing the butt is it allows us to use the proper leg
muscles and most of the time when people pick things up off the ground things
like this is they instantly go to this rounded position well right when you do
that you now need to re flatten out your back meaning you’re using all these low
back muscles to pull when you’re not supposed to be ultimately these are big
movers they can do the work the other thing is with the kettlebell you can do
kettlebell swings so as you guys already saw when I picked it up I kind of swung
it and I kept it close to my body ultimately what I was doing there is
extending my hip and this kind of the kettlebell is an awesome thing it’s
called a kettlebell swing you’re gonna set up just like you had that deadlift
and then I’m gonna push that kettlebell back and I’m gonna throw my hip forward
okay now every single time that kettlebell comes down on me I’m making
sure I’m keeping my back flat and then I’m using thinking about squeezing my
butt to throw it up and how that’s going to correlate into this is when you go to
extend and get it up it’s gonna teach you those muscles that you need to use
to get up there those are probably the two biggest things you know using the
kettlebell to work on your leg strength which will help your core ultimately and
then the swing to help you teach you to get it up and then just the plank which
is just gonna help your core overall and I have to testify I’ve been doing this
for a while now I mean I feel much stronger than when I was you know seven
eight years ago I feel I mean for me weight is nothing like stuff like this
and I do it like playfully you can there’s tons of videos in YouTube
there’s a lot of different and once there you start doing it there’s
routines it’s truly makes your body so much
stronger like what Jeff showed us you know most guys thing it’s yoga when you
do playing like it’s not a real exercise I mean guys it’s real and it’s saving me
thousands of dollars now just because you know the chiropractor visits and
stuff you don’t think about it I’d rather pay my membership gym in a cross
with right now and be here four or five times a week and you know feel great
about it then you know rolling the chiropractor and like begging to make
you feel better but what if you go and you work and you do something let’s say
you you feel sore because I know I’ve done it many times when I was tempting
to get back to the chiropractor and think do you have like a recommendation
if I do feel sore if I work a lot and I’m tight everywhere what kind of
exercises you recommend to help after the fact okay so usually when you get
strained I think the best stretch that I can think of we want to really open your
hips most of the time when people walk around on a day-to-day basis and have
low back pain it’s generally because their pelvis their hips are kind of
tilted forward a little bit almost like you’re you’re like this and then that
causes you to almost overextend a bit which puts a lot of shear on your low
back so what we’re ultimately what I would say is if you’re having that low
back pain and that I would want to loosen up the front side of your body a
lot of people would think oh well if my low back hurts I’m just gonna roll it
out I’m just gonna start getting a massage on it well usually when
something hurts it’s usually being caused by something else it’s not
usually a direct correlation so by opening up this front section what I’m
about to show you it’s gonna allow you to stand up straighter and it’s gonna
relieve your low back and it’s not gonna need to tighten up so much so I’m gonna
come down here now I’ll just give you guys a precursor this
is not a comfortable stretch to sit in and the first thing is we like to sit in
it for two minutes and here’s the reason why whenever you’re doing any kind of
stretching kind of to rehabilitate and if you have a chronic low back pain it
takes multiple times and a decent amount of time in the position to actually make
a long-term change you could do this for 30 or 40 seconds and it might help right
that at that second but you’re not actually gonna stop having low back pain
if you do this for two minutes it creates you know more of a change within
your muscles that it’s gonna allow your pelvis to sit in the proper position
more and more each day so if you stay consistent with it I almost guarantee if
you did it every single day for about two to three weeks two minutes on each
leg you probably wouldn’t have it as much low back pain like almost at all
this is also the number one stretch that would say to get rid of low back pain
within four minutes okay so here’s how it works you’re gonna point your toe
towards the ceiling and I’m gonna get my knee on the wall I’m gonna slide it all
the way down okay so that’s the first part then I’m going to take this leg I’m
gonna bring it up and put it down flat so this is the position I’m going to now
when I started this and I first did this I’m more sitting down here like this
kind of agonizing you know essentially you’re going to
a law a big pull from about your hip to your knee
nothing’s hurting you right there you’re stretching it okay that is what you’re
supposed to feel it’s not a comfortable feeling but the more and more you do it
it gets much more comfortable and really you’re you’re making some pretty good
change within your hips and then the goal is now I’m capable of actually
sitting up and I’m flexible enough to sit in this position now in the
beginning if that is too much and you like can’t even keep your chest down do
nothing like that well then we just bring our knee a little bit off the wall
but what I will say is that if you feel extremely comfortable while you’re in
this position and you could sit in it for you know five to ten minutes then
you’re probably not doing it at a intensity that’s gonna make any
long-term change in your hips and you’re not gonna get rid of that low back pain
so getting your knee all the way wall is pretty important it’s not comfortable
but unfortunately when you’re trying to fix something you know that’s as severe
as low back chronic low back pain or an injury like that it’s not always going
to be the most comfortable thing so does that help absolutely I mean I think it’s
great content I hope it helps somebody if you’re the boss you have employees
show them something like this I mean I have 20 30 people working for me and I
literally show them around and I said guys here’s how you’re supposed to do it
if you’ve heard you know do this exercise it’s not everybody gonna do it
but still I think it helps and I have friends who do still go to chiropractor
every week I’m trying to get to them like hey this is there’s a better way
and this is the better way guys and I’m living testimony of it I mean I saved
three four thousand dollars last three years because that’s my
gym memberships and all of that stuff hope it helped guys I’ll see you next
Tuesday on the roofing tips thank you

6 comments on “Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain – Roofers and Contractors

  1. Jae Ashley Stewart Post author

    EXCELLENT VIDEO. It's admirable that you're so thoughtful and concerned about your employees, and Jeff truly has insight. Everything he demonstrated made me realize that I've been doing all the wrong things. The physical therapist I went to didn't have a clue and, in fact, made things worse.
    I'm female & not a roofer, but I've always been quite active in designing & building room additions, covered decks, and free-standing buildings for storage, workshops, etc.
    My last project was a small 2-story cabin that I co-built with a male friend of mine. He had to do most of the heavy lifting because I not only have developed severe lower back pain but also have a pinched sciatic nerve caused by a black leather corsette I wore to a Renaissance Festival a couple of years ago. Honestly, I don't know how those women wore those contraptions all the time back then!
    Anyway, I've tried pain management, physical therapy (big mistake), and pain pills (which only partially help). I recently ran across a You Tube video on yoga and have been doing those stretching exercises. And they help as long as I don't do any physical activity, but since I'm getting ready to have my retirement home built on my land in East Texas, there's no way I'll be able to just stand back and watch.
    So tonight when the siding video was over & this video came on, it renewed my hope that I just might be able to conquer this pain and get back to building. Tomorrow, I'm off to buy a 20 pound kettle weight. I'm 5'3" and weigh 127. Do you and/or Jeff think 20 pounds is about right?

  2. Moses working Post author

    good info. what is do is stand it on its end on top of something. bend down and let fall to my shoulders. up the stairs i go.

  3. Brendan Kearney Post author

    I grab from the sides of a bundle. Its like a snatch grip deadlift. As long as you have proper technique your back is fine. Mastering the deadlift has helped a lot for that


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