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Other/Mixed Should You Fear Lumbar Flexion?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

GovernorSilver

Level 4 Valued Member
My low back was injured in the past on a badly executed deadlift attempt. I've also had back spasms.

I've had no issues with Jefferson Curls, which I started trying out years after those injuries. I often do them empty-handed. Sometimes I'll hold a bag loaded with some soup cans. I started doing them to try to improve hamstring flexibility. From what I understand, the purpose of the weight is to help stretch out those hammies a little more. I don't know of any coach that I trust who thinks going heavy in this move is a good idea.

Pavel Tsatsouline teaches a similar looking exercise in his Resilient video, using a light KB.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
My low back was injured in the past on a badly executed deadlift attempt. I've also had back spasms.

I've had no issues with Jefferson Curls, which I started trying out years after those injuries. I often do them empty-handed. Sometimes I'll hold a bag loaded with some soup cans. I started doing them to try to improve hamstring flexibility. From what I understand, the purpose of the weight is to help stretch out those hammies a little more. I don't know of any coach that I trust who thinks going heavy in this move is a good idea.

Pavel Tsatsouline teaches a similar looking exercise in his Resilient video, using a light KB.

Just did some off an 18" step stool.

Weight was a 12 kg KB, so nothing heavy.

Like you, I mostly feel it in my hamstrings.

I don't feel any major traction effect in my spine (TBH, I feel much more traction from dead hangs), but maybe it's just too light for that.
 

GovernorSilver

Level 4 Valued Member
When I do a Jefferson Curl, it's almost always after doing a gentle back extension stretch like Sphinx or Cobra.

I got the idea from one of Mark Wildman's cooldown sequences and some Viniyoga
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
I was hip hinging just to lift up toilet seats.
I do that too, is there something particularly wrong with it? Shouldn't you generally do daily tasks the same way you lift?
It depends on where you're coming from. It's great to be able to flex your lumbar at will in the course of daily activities. I don't - I used up my lifetime's worth of flexing my lumbar in the course of daily activities, effective October 23, 1997, when my disc blew. Early on in my recovery, I learned it just wasn't going to work for me any longer.

In this video on the Jefferson curl, this guy cites some studies about how how mileage cyclists had healthier lumbar spinal tissue adaptations.
Good to read Stu McGill on this, IMO. He talks about certain activities being "self-selecting," and long-distance, high performance cycling, e.g., Tour de France riders, seems to be at or near the top of his list. His point is simple enough - as a generalization, that posture is bad for people, and the people who you see riding the TdF are those who, for whatever reason, have adapted.

My personal experience - my back never feels better than after I've been on the bike all day. And then a few hours later or the next day, all hell breaks loose, no matter how careful I am post-ride. I've stopped riding as a result except perhaps once or twice a year, but I was a pretty serious roadie for a couple of decades or so.

-S-
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
My personal experience - my back never feels better than after I've been on the bike all day. And then a few hours later or the next day, all hell breaks loose, no matter how careful I am post-ride. I've stopped riding as a result except perhaps once or twice a year, but I was a pretty serious roadie for a couple of decades or so.

-S-
I switched to an Electra Cruiser bike, my back is a lot happier, although you aren’t getting anywhere too fast on it.
 

Jeff Roark

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been doing it quite a bit lately with my SLDLs. I've allowed my back to round a bit, and its definitely made me stronger. I did 315x10 on the full range SLDL.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
I switched to an Electra Cruiser bike, my back is a lot happier, although you aren’t getting anywhere too fast on it.
There are only so many things I have time for, bike just isn't going to be one of them for me. Besides, I loved being a roadie - the position felt great to me. If I was ever going to try it again, I'd just work on my position on m road bike - I had a custom frame made for myself, a road bike from the last century :) that weighed 16 lbs, ready to ride, out of fillet-brazed steel. It's a think of beauty and I do miss riding it.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
My TVA was also a bit "sleepy" -- improving that also dramatically improved my pelvic control, which improved my hip mobility, which also improved my hamstring mobility, which improved my hinges.
I would say this is a core - no pun intended - principle here at StrongFirst. Too many people are focused on the front abs muscles, six-pack and all that, when the TVA is really what you need to be strong. And my personal theory is that strength frees up mobility - well, it's not an original thought, I know - and that increase "core" strength, in this case the TVA, will then facility better mobility in the hip and hamstrings. I'm a good example - deadlifting and splits really happened together for me.

-S-
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
I used to be able to do these... "Pike-Ups" w. a "powerwheel" (ab wheel you put on your feet) or with a TRX are also great - I can still do those, sorta.

I have gymnastic rings and I've seen some folks do them by putting their feet in the rings.

I'm pretty sure I'd face plant and break my nose.

I love 75 kg barbell roll-outs, though.
 
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