Low Back Pain and Working Out (IMPORTANT!!)

Low Back Pain and Working Out (IMPORTANT!!)

What’s up guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. So maybe you’ve got a back injury or you’ve
had a back injury in the past and you think that your days of lifting are over. Or at least your days of lifting heavy weights
are over. But I’m going to tell you today that that
is not the case. Especially if you start training your body and your back the right way. You see, the back is extremely important for
us for a lot of reasons. If you’re looking at the upper back here,
alright we have one of the most important structures in your entire body to protect
and that is the Spinal Cord. And it will do anything in it’s power to be
able to do that. So we often times will get lots of muscle spasms in here, through the
upper back, because you’re trying to do one thing, you’re
trying to create stability. And if you don’t have the stability through
the strength of your mid scapular muscles right in the upper back, guess how you’re going to get it? You’re going
to get it through spasm. And the spasm is going to create an artificial
stability. But that’s not good, because spasms hurt. When we get down to the low back we also have,
obviously some really critical functions here to protect our whole center of gravity, and what happens is, the low back usually
takes on the brunt of insufficient mobility other places. Usually in the joints right below that. Most
importantly in the hips. If your hips are not mobile enough or strong
enough, basically it shifts the brunt of it’s work and responsibility, one link up the kinetic
chain, right here to the lumbar spine. Not good if you don’t have a back able to
withstand that. So now you injure yourself. What’s the biggest thing to helping you get
back on track? I’m going to tell you this right now, you
have to make sure you remember this, it’s that you have to go for Stamina before Strength. In the lower back If you want to recuperate
from an injury and get back to lifting more than you ever did before, you have to focus on Stamina before Strength. Maintaining, obtaining and maintaining the
stable lumbar spine posture is critical to every single thing you’re going to do. Whether you step over a Deadlift, whether
you do a Bentover Row, whether you’re even doing a laying down Bench Press, the stability through your Core is going to
start with a stable Lumbar Spine and getting into the natural curvature of your Spine and
being able to hold it. So the best thing you can do, before you even
worry about strength, is start doing exercises like I’m showing you here. This is not really a hyperextension. People
will call this a hyperextension but we’re not going to take it all the way up into extension. What we’re going to do is we’re going to get
to a neutral position with a little bit of extension, the natural curvature of your Lumbar
Spine. And you want to make sure that you can hold
this. And when I say hold this, I’m talking about hold it, treat it like a Plank. Start going for durations of a minute, a minute
and a half, two minutes. When you can handle that, guess what you do next? You weight it. And you don’t always have to
weight it, like I’m doing here, equally with a weighted vest, but you can actually do what I’m doing here,
and that’s asymmetrical loading. Because you never get the luxury, especially
if you’re an athlete, you don’t get the luxury of always loading symmetrically across your
spine. So hold the Dumbbell a little bit out to your
side or Kettlebell a little bit out to one side and still try to maintain that non rotated
stable position of your Lumbar Spine. Now, once you’ve got that in place, the idea
here is build up your volume. So again, stamina. So it’s not just stamina in a single session
but it’s stamina over the course of multiple sessions. So work on getting yourself to be able to
tolerate this, not just one time a week but two times, three times, four times a week. Build up your volume. Do it in multiple sessions
across the week and you’ll see that your muscle stamina will
be right where you need it to be to move on the phase two and that is the strengthening. And guess what? When you get back to doing
your strengthening you have to make sure you take a baby steps progression. Because it’s going to take a lot to overcome
the hesitation that your body will have to allow you to exert the strength that you possibly
have. Right, you may have a lot of strength but
if you can’t convince your back that you’ve got it? It’s not going to give it to you. So you have to make sure that even if you
used to be able to Deadlift 315 pounds, 400 pounds before you hurt your back, you’ve got to start way back at the beginning
again. 135 pounds do it through multiple sets, multiple
reps and convince yourself that you are in complete command of each and every one of
those reps. When you’ve done that, baby set up to the
next notch. And I’m not talking jumping up to 185, I’m talking about going to 155 and
convincing yourself that you can do that. And over time as you really start to command
every single rep of that Deadlift, your back will actually allow you to start using the
strength that you have and that had, maybe that you never really
lost, as long as you’re doing the right progression. Now the last note here, Weightlifting Belts.
Guys will as Jeff, is it proper to use a Weightlifting Belt? I say No. Not if you’re trying to organically
build back your strength. We all know that a Weightlifting Belt can
give us the temporary feeling of safety that we have to maybe attack a workout but in the long run, that’s the worst thing
you can do because attacking the workout with a false sense of security is the fastest way
to get hurt again. Ok, so what you want to do is avoid the Weightlifting
Belt. We know that when we have a lower leg injury
and we wrap a knee brace around our knee, our quads will tend to shut down, they’ll tend to allow the brace to do the
work. We don’t want that. We don’t want our internal abdominal structures to say Hey, you do the work, I’ll just kind of let
myself back out of this one. You want to make sure that your internal stabilizers
from the front to the back, the transverse abdominus, all the muscles
in through your low back, they’re the ones doing the work because guess what? They should be doing the work after all. Guys I hope you found this video helpful and
I’m telling you, there’s hope. My own wife had a Lumbar Fusion a few years
ago, on multiple levels and she’s now back not only Deadlifting but Deadlifting more
than she ever has before. She’s stronger than she ever has been before
because she’s training the right way. She worried in the beginning about getting
stamina, she then build her strength and now she’s taken everything to an all new level
and that’s what you guys can do too. If you guys are looking for a program that
puts the Science back in Strength and it’s created by a Physical Therapist so
we know that there’s a progression to everything we do and there’s a safety behind what we
do, then head to ATHLEANX.COM right now and get
our ATHLEANX Training System. In the meantime, if you found this video helpful
or if you’re dealing with your own back injury, make sure you let me know below and I’ll keep
making more of these videos. You know we break out our boy here, Ray to
show you guys exactly what’s going on inside of the body to help us understand more of
what our bodies are capable of. I’ll see you guys back here again in just
a couple days.

100 comments on “Low Back Pain and Working Out (IMPORTANT!!)

  1. Siddiqah94 Post author

    I’ve watched this about 3 years too late! I had a spinal op when I was 18 – back in 2014! (Way too young). I ended up losing 22kg post the op so I can make sure I’m at the best of health, I still get spasms here and there which aren’t that great but in terms of working out, I never knew what exactly was the best for strengthening my back!

  2. ThomasPaineRules Post author

    Thanks Jeff and thanks for sharing you’re wife’s back fusion and her gains since. My surgeries are not as severe and your instructions and her example have given me hope and the proper way to start and progress . ?

  3. Francis Draeger, Jr. Post author


    Great video! This is encouraging to hear! I herniated L5-S1 a little over a year ago. I had terrible sciatica. I mean, I could barely drive to work without crying, or screaming in pain. I only live 2.7 miles from work, and it takes 10 minutes. After physical therapy for four months, and finally, an epidural, I finally started to move again. I started with swimming. More physical therapy. Then, I lifted with my upper body. Now, I'm back to squatting heavy again. I was about to start deadlfting again, until I saw this video. Now, I'll focus on engaging my lower back, re-engaging the muscles, working on stamina and the mind-muscle connection. I thought, even after starting to squat again, that I would never DL again. But after watching you do your pause squats at 315, knowing how much knee pain you're in, and seeing this video, maybe one day, I will be able to DL again.

  4. Im Thrillz Post author

    I started working out around a month and a half ago and my lower spine started to feel a weird pain in the center when i lean back or bend over to touch my toes. This weird pain in the center of my lower spine started a day after i deadlifted 275lbs at 150lbs with good form (i made sure i was doing them with good forms), and then cleaning 155lbs, both for about 20min

  5. Pepi's Post author

    Loved the information from this video. Could you please do a few more and incorporate different exercises targeting various muscle groups. I have a horizontal Roman chair and have found it very helpful for my back. Unfortunately for me being able to go to a gym is not possible so I have invested in some exercise equipment to allow me to get back some fitness from years of doing very little. After 60 years of hard knocks to my body taking small steps to gain more flexibility works for me. Thanks for all your fantastic videos I love them keep going. Mark Geiger Queensland Australia.

  6. dharam raj Choudhary Post author

    My MRI report findings
    Straightening of lumber lordosis seen
    Mild diffuse bulging at L3-4 & L4-5 level mildly narrowing the external foramina. Facet joint arthropathy and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy noted.
    I started my gym just two month earlier.
    What should I do.
    Can I continue my gym or not. If not, for how much period I need to take rest.
    Which type of exercises I do. Please….

  7. OFFICIAL NSA Post author

    ive always had great flexibility in my back. i could lie face down and stand more torso upright no problem…thats because a problem becausr the past year or so my lower back has gotten bent too much, so i have anterior pelvic tilt basically. working on stretching hip flexors and and strengthening abs. need to do start doing deep leg presses to to hit the glutes. front squats and rack pulls/deadlifts KILL my lower back. unless i literally thrust my pelvis into it and keep abs flexed super tight…pissin me off

  8. Ricardo Lopez Post author


  9. ISHAK youssef Post author

    good videos but i think that changing the studio will be better for you .. it's not attractive

  10. Karen Walton Post author

    Very good. Thanks for the info. Ive been dealing with lower back pain since I did a weighted hyperextension- probably before I should have. I think for a while for my back workouts I will focus on stamina like you said vs strength building.

  11. Brittanie Morris Post author

    i am trying to help my mother with her lower back injury, she is use to lifting heavy but now she cannot.. we must build the strength back up, any recommendations..

  12. BrightStar* Post author

    Jeff, every one of your videos is terrific. You give so much information here, and all of it high-quality with good production value. You really know your science and put it into practice.

  13. TheLei78 Post author

    Can you make a video about sacroiliac pain 🙁 I may have stress fractured my joint from bad bent over rows

  14. TheSteveMaybo Post author

    Excellent. Thank you!!

    More back injury recovery please!

    Have a herniated disc L4-5.


  15. Junz Post author

    Wish id seen this vid earlier thought id seen all yr lower back vids. Anyway literally tweaked a recently recovered lower back injury, luckily i still have my diclofenac pills for inflamation, its not as bad as the first time i tweaked or pinched it a month ago doing squats that took me out of weights for 1 week. I now know to do plenty of reps and build up to it, coz the trainer at the gym said to after id injured it last night lol. Wish id seen this vid earlier thoe. Thanks for the info, awesome vid!

  16. Chapin Johnston Post author

    You the man. Going thru this right now and my ego desperately wants to put more plates on the bar. I'll calm down. Thanks for the great info as usual!

  17. Jeanette C. Chavez Post author

    Man you're the best trainer, athlete, Doctor and an Angel of God! You've done to me what even my chiropractor couldn't do!
    And the best part: you teach me, I did it myself! You've not only cure my back injures but strengthen my lower back at one point that I never dream of.
    May God continue to bless your beautiful life along with your loved family!
    My only way to pay you back is by sharing this info and the videos with the people who need them and to keep you and your family in my humble prayers.
    God bless you Jeff! ❤

  18. Annie An Post author

    Is it normal to have lower backpain after workout?? I never had backpain before. I have just started goin to gym .

  19. Uzair Munaf Post author

    I've got a muscle sprain on my lower back, was doing a squat 130 kg, and a slight jerk gave me a really bad muscle sprain, i've rested for about 3 days but it feels like i have to go to the gym. But at the same time my lower back still hurts, especially when i sneeze, what should i do?

  20. anthony james Post author

    No ur wife is strong cause she has a
    kick ass educated awesome husband . Bro I dont know why u dont have ur own tv showlol jeff caviler ur the best man learned so much stuff from u. Thank you as a personal trainer Im here to educate and assiste my clients for the betterment of themselves and their relationship with others. We are the doctors it is a science.

  21. Eugene Post author

    I needed this video I haven't been able to workout to really get in shape and I kept hurting myself.  I'm gonna follow this guy and see how my workouts go.  I love lifting weights but couldn't get back in shape because of my lower back.

  22. W Post author

    Excellent! Thanks for giving this important advice for those of us who are rehabilitating herniated discs

  23. vico khang Post author

    HI, Jeff

    i just got spondylolithese grade 1 from deadlift. im still recovering but can i still go back to dead lifting?

  24. stephen moore Post author

    Hurt my lower back. Now when laying flat on my back…. I can't lift my legs of the floor an inch.

  25. Kamina Kiske Post author

    What's up Jeff. Great video. I gotta admit, I've skipped over your videos for a long time because of so many b.s. YouTubers. But when my low back and right elbow/bicep started giving me so much problem I was having to skip workouts. (I love one arm rows but my elbow/biceps wouldn't let me do them) so I decided to give you a go.
    (I have two daughters, so I have to stay bestial for their sakes. Ya know.)
    So I started using your tips for correcting some things. I have shown marked improvement in my arm. Still babying my low back with weights, but I've shown a decrease in pain, to where I can actually pick up my girls without my back nearly dropping me.
    So thanks. And all you guys out there sick of nearly fitness advice. Listen to Jeff.

  26. Joseph McCollum Post author

    What if one side of your lower back gets more fatigued from back extensions than the other ? Is it over active or weaker ?

  27. Nicolae Span Post author

    This video gives me the confidence and the right thinking to start and train my lowrr back. Thank you for the goos content and keep it up!

  28. Louis T Post author

    I have a important question!!! I have injured my lower back for 5 months now and I am going to try this!! How ever when you say lower the weights etc! Do you mean for every part of your body?? When training Bi, tri, shoulders etc do we lower the weight for that aswell? Or do we no work these muscles and just solely focus on strengthening the lower back every day till it’s repaired!? Thanks I hope you can help!

  29. Tamara Weiss Post author

    I had been actually shocked by this back pain guidebook known as “fonon fetching site” (Google it). Normally, the actual position of my knees, hips as well as back is retained due to this. As I wake up each and every morning, I really don`t feel pain any more. The condition of my knees has significantly enhanced ever since I began employing this..

  30. mohit passi Post author

    Sir i have lower back pain from the last year and got myself injured while lift some objects in standing without bending knee and till now i am not fully recovered sir tell me what i can do ?

  31. I Bear Post author

    What do you think about reverse hyperextensions? I saw someone doing them in the gym for the first time and am getting very little info on if they are worth the time.

  32. User154 Post author

    I fixed it by saying this every day:

    Guess what? I’m in a wheelchair now lol

  33. tarun sharma Post author

    I got an injury on last monday while doing bent over how could and when should i start workout and what kind of workout is suitable as doctor suggested not to bent

  34. Dominique Chang Post author

    Love this back problems guide, "Kemzαnο Loni" (Google it)! Out of curiosity, I tried this plan and discovered that it worked on curing my back discomfort. I even advised this informative guide to my mothers and fathers due to the great results I uncovered. I was told that they cannot imagine how great was it. It can solve your back ache very efficiently..

  35. Chris Erics Post author

    Could you please make a program for rehab of Lumbago, lower back pain, in Combination with week glutes. Something one can use for 3 months to develop on q a weekly basis. I do not feel like I can come back to deadlifts because pf lumbago attacks. Really need to have a more in depth program to follow, based on the ideas in this video. Thanks!

  36. Ryan Kelley Post author

    How do I teach myself proper form on deadlifts if I workout alone? I don't have anyone to physically let me know if I'm doing it wrong any tips?

  37. Christobal Flores Post author

    My back has been spasming regularly its very painful. I get massages but from time to time I still have pain need advice

  38. Shannon Huffman Post author

    This kind of back ache guide book certainly is amazing to me, hunt for Google "fonon fetching site". In most instances, the actual position of my knees, hips and back is maintained because of this. I no longer experience painful sensations each time I get up. I also observed improvements on my knees due to this plan..

  39. Tamara Weiss Post author

    I lose some sleep because of my lower back pain. I really like to rest on my side and this was throwing my hips out of position. I never encountered such scenario again when I found out about this back problems guide named “fonon fetching site” (Google it). I can now sleep well once again given that my back ache is fully gone..

  40. Jose Pereira Post author

    Video for 3 compound leg movements you can with a bad back or Disc herniation https://youtu.be/2IfixLaz7cQ

  41. Sharron Wynn Post author

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  42. Shannon Huffman Post author

    This back pain guidebook is really a treasure, look for Google "fonon fetching site". It considerably relieved my serious back pain brought on by a recent injury. But it helps me to position in my side or back that will help ease a few of the muscle spasms. ..

  43. Tamara Weiss Post author

    This specific back discomfort guidebook truly is amazing to me, search for Google "fonon fetching site". In many instances, the particular position of my knees, hips and back is maintained due to this. I no longer encounter painful sensations every time I get up. The condition of my knees has significantly improved ever since I began utilizing this..

  44. Dakota Senn Post author

    I'm 23 I was born missing my L5, my L3 and L4 have fused together and I work in construction most of my job is heavy lifting my lower back is in constant pain and sucked dry of energy because of my abnormalities I've tried to work my back and core but I can't seem to get a full extension of either my core and spinal support, I can get minor workout from but its drains me from performing any workouts the next few days do to pain what should I do

  45. mrexacto Post author

    Great video but I can't quite tell what the setup is. Are you on a bike seat? Are your feet hovering or locked into something? If you're able to clarify what kinds of equipment setup someone should use, that'd be great!

  46. Zaxizoid Post author

    I can’t do jumping jacks anymore a few days ago it was fine but now when I try to do jumping jacks my legs and my lower back pain hurts really badly it might be cuz I over did it that time I did 150 jumping jacks 50 squats and some other exercises please help I don’t Gonna gain the fat I burned

  47. JMJ Personal Training Post author

    Thanks Jeff. As a trainer I'm always looking to acquire more knowledge. Thats why I watch your videos with a paper and a pen ?

  48. Johnny Shabazz Post author

    I don't know, man. If you've had a serious lumbar-area spasm and/or impinged nerve(s), you're not going to start with those quasi-partial extensions. Using your entire torso weight would be far too much, believe me. Would you not be better to first start with some of the hip mobility and hip strengthening exercises Jeff demonstrates in other videos? I'd like to see a complete, inclusive video covering the full reaction to a lower back injury, from initial stretching to the very first light resistance body-training exercises (since so many of us experience this).

  49. Bernard De Meo Post author

    Jeff, The injury I have had now for 2.5 years is mid back right along the spine on the right side, I believe its the latissimus dorsi insertion point in the spine or the posterior serratus or the facia. I have never let it heal as I continue to train with the traditional heavy lifts, and I re-injure it every few months. What exercises should I avoid or include? It has gotten to the point where even heavy barbell curls are a painful. The injury occurred while I was squatting on a smith machine and I had my feet positioned way to far in front of my body, with the weight jerking my mid back as I came down. Please help. Thanks

  50. 1stfloorguy Post author

    I have been doing stretches for glutes and lower back for weeks because I injured my back about 7-8 years ago and i have been trying to get ready to work on the pipeline. I was bound to desk jobs and all that was doing was making it worse the past 5 years. Albeit it has not hurt like the first 2 months of injury but still constant uncomfortable pain. nothing really helping out my pain until a few days ago I started doing light weight dead lifts just a 45lb plate each side. Huge improvement in my lower back pain. Edit I also do a wide stance sumo pull while looking at the cieling and my ass way down to the floor. it's much safer on the back imo

  51. Benjamin Jestel Post author

    I get lowerback tightness from squats and I have no idea why. I try everything to fix it but my lumbar always feels compressed.

  52. AppleSmashers509 Post author

    Never squat or deadlift at planet fitness in the smith machine, I've injured my back 4 times now and the last time I injured it I was in agonizing pain all night I had to take 600mg of ibuprofen I never went to get it checked out but I think I might have caused long term damage cause I felt the two points in my lower back snap on several occasions due to uncontrolled reps and then bad form because of the way the smith machines are designed.

  53. Lone-Wolf-XCII Post author

    It is so scary getting back into weight training after strictly doing calisthenics for three years – even though I used to do powerlifting and bodybuilding.

    I feel short, dull pains in my lower and middle back (they seem to be very precise and focused pains) occasionally now that I have went back to weight training in the last two weeks.

    I stopped weight training because of these pains and some sciatica-like pain in my lower back/upper glutes (hopefully only inflamed piriformis muscles).

    I really am not sure if I should see a physiotherapist or and exercise physiologist for a full-body assessment.

  54. Kryptonite Post author

    trying to go hard before developing the fundamentals = injury/injuries that show up in later age

  55. KrazyIvanTheRealDeal Post author

    Dude, this video was a game changer for me. Combining this 'reverse plank' with some of the stretching techniques also from Your vids I managed to come back to the gym – so far I'm doing baby steps (once a week for a month now) but I actaully started moving forward as compared to actually getting worse when I only worked with my physiotherapists.

    You did a really good deed posting this.
    Thank You!

  56. KB Adams Post author

    Hell I can't even bend over and pickup car keys, Could something be seriously wrong in my back.
    I have been doing core exercises for weeks now with no weight but about once a day whether brushing teeth, just leaning over slightly or trying to pickup something like a 20 pound weight my back goes out? what the hell could it be.
    Why did your wife have a fusion? what were her symptoms per surgery?

  57. Jackson Picazo Post author

    Does this apply for lower back bulging discs as well? I have trouble with this and would love a solution.

  58. pizzagirl Post author

    My lower back is always rounded inwards and it’s always been this way ( I guess Lordosis) even though I try to keep it as straight as possible when working out. There isn’t any pain or anything.. is this still normal? Or should this be fixed?

  59. Jame Andy Post author

    I really love this back pain guideline, search Google "Kemzαnο Loni". Overall, I only say this helps keep my knees, hips and also back all aligned properly. I get out of bed with 0 % pain when using this. The condition of my knees has substantially enhanced since I started utilizing this..

  60. Mike P Post author

    If you have a low herniated disk and you do these work outs, you will destroy your back.

  61. jarry Dee Post author

    SO sick of my damn back. It gets in the way so much. I am 45, jus started going to the gym 6 months ago. I have pinched nerves and spinal stenosis in my lower spine. Was always afraid of deadlifts. So after a few months I try some, goes good for the first few reps and then…. SNAP. I swore I would never do them again. So today, which is a few months later, I try DL again. Put 160 on it ( I know, sissy weight to most of you), and it feels pretty easy, second set… SNAP. I try to remember so many damn Q's that I have learned, thinking way too much. What sucks is that the weight was not even hard, it was coming up easy.. but this damn back..ugh.. I know it is my form, but I have tried to do everything I have learned, and I just can not seem to stop getting hurt, and that sets me back on all the other lifts for a week or more.

  62. Viridiana Esquivias Post author

    Thank you! This just clarified a lot of mistakes I did and kept getting the pain worse! But this video pointed out the most important tactic that is working so far. Which is stamina! Safe and not painful cardio based on my injury and slowly building strength! No weights yet , but own body weight exercises

  63. Shelley Buchholtz Post author

    After a couple of months of searching for a treatment method for my back ache, I discovered this back problems guidebook known as “Kemzαnο Loni” (Google it) and it worked in my case. Definitely aids in back ache during sleep. I am amazed by the potency of this particular guide. This is just what I had been looking for. .


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