Originally Posted by ih8_punkrock
The back thing ---- I pulled / strained some muscles in my back (middle and lower) lifting all these boxes helping this really hot girl move, so it's all good. Lol.
Ya, I am trying so hard not to go gung-ho too quickly. I seriously haven't done anything for so long I am starting from scratch. This morning I lifted, really light weights, just to get in there and do some range of motion stuff. How did you finally get over your back injury? Did you do like physical therapy or something? There's a guy I know who went to physical therapy, and paid $$$$ a day to have someone in a white sweatshirt move his leg for him. Lol.
My main problem was I had really strong legs from 13-years of playing soccer and 5-years of track/cross-country running. Those are purely lower-body sports and your upper-body only has to carry its own weight. And not much at that since it's vertical and that weight is supported by the spine; the back/trunk muscles just keeps the upper-body centered over the hips.
However, when bent over 45-60 degrees on the bike, you end up pulling on the bars to counteract the upward push from hammering on the pedals. So your back and arms end up having to be strong enough to oppose your leg muscles!
I had just graduated high-school and didn't want to play soccer anymore as my life-long teammates all went off to different schools, it wouldn't have been much fun with a new team. So biking was it! Immediately I was faster than all the other noobies and was keeping up with the group rides without any problems. I ended up doing their longer rides and bonked a couple times a week until I figured out I needed to eat. It was actually the sprint-workouts that killed my back as I was really cranking on those pedals (didn't know about spinning yet), and I had been doing 700lb leg-presses for soccer. YANK and that was it for the back.
I went to a couple doctors and was given the usual treatment, pain-killers, muscle-relaxants and bed-rest. Was told to not do what it was that pulled my back, meaning no bike-racing!
Well, for about a month, I was bed-ridden anyway, so that was fine. I had one of those old-lady walkers so I could get around the house, luckily, I lived on the 1st story of the apartment complex. But I still wanted to race bikes so I finally found a chiropractor and PT/physiologist at a local sports-medicine center. Some back "adjustments" were done after I was well enough to walk and had regimen of stretching from the PT.
After that they put me on a weight-training programme for my back. Basically hyperextensions, stomach-crunches and deadlifts. Exercises are detailed here: Bodybuildling.com -What Is The Best Lower Back Workout?
. They stressed that I needed to increase my back-muscle's strength by 3x and my stomach by 2x. This was roughly the same time the UCSB team got into the gym for the winter, so it all fit in perfectly with the training. I did primarily the hyperextensions and got up to 40-lb stack on the back of my neck (felt more stable than holding it in arms like the photo).
Overall, this process from the initial injury to when I was finally able to get back on my bike was about 3 months. We had a great coach on the team that taught me good training and riding techniques so I wasn't stressing my back as much (spinning). But I think it was primarily the strength-training. I've bent pedal-axles and snapped handlebars & stems since then in sprints and haven't had any back problems in 10-years of racing.
BTW - Additional side-benefit is I can work on cars bent over all day now without any problems. Before in high-school, my max was 3-4 hours at a time before my back got too tired.