Okay…I’m stumped on this one. And I’ll willing to chalk this up to still being fairly new as a trainer. One of my clients has a very weak lower back and lower abdominals. In an effort to build these areas and strengthening them I have her doing the “superman” for lower back and then lower abdominal work that involves supporting her lower back by placing her hands under that area. However, even with her back supported she is still feeling discomfort and can’t complete reps…i’m lost on how to strengthening these specific areas when the exact moves used to strengthen her lower abs and core are causing discomfort due to weakness (i’m in an endless loop). My apologies if I’m missing something obvious, believe me i’m reading and studying and reading up and perusing work out programs…but would very much value some input and suggestions here. Thank you in advance!
Hi Rachel…I think the first step would be to refer her out to her Doctor to see what’s going on. Her Dr. may say she A.O.K or may restrict her from certain movements. Either way, you’ll know what the medical advise is.
Let’s assume she checks out ok. A dynamic movement assessment might reveal overactive/underactive muscles that may need to be corrected and dealing with muscle imbalances MAY help the problem. I use an overhead squat assessment to determine imbalances but you could also just look at her posture. Does she present with an arched back? Rounded shoulders? Forward head leaning? Arched backs and Pronation Distortion Disorder can cause low back pain. So, dealing with those issues would be my first step. There are specific remedies for each of those issues.
I like to start people slowly (as usually I work with people new to exercising) so I tend to start strengthening the core by working on the core stabilizers for a few weeks (up to 4-6 weeks depending on how they progress) These exercises include floor marching, floor bridge, iso abs and side iso abs, quadrupeds, floor cobras…anything that has little movement but lots of stabilization.
Once they have those down and they have built up a good base I then progress to the more traditional exercises that most people associate with “core” routines such as cruches, rotations, hip extentions and continue with the stabilization exercises as well. It could be…in the absense of any medical issues…that your client just isn’t quite ready for the more advanced moves yet.