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Push Ups and Lower Back Pain

Question: Please help!! I am trying to prepare for police academy and am doing pushups everyday. The problem is: my lower back begins to hurt after only 10 pushups. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong. Thanks, Lynn

Answer: Lynn: Low back pain caused by push ups can be caused by letting your stomach muscles sag even slightly. Strengthen your lower back with low back extensions (there's an example on my beginner's workout page). From there, you can try a low back extension machine, dead lifts, or a low back hyperextension. Also strengthen your mid back with a lat pulldown to front, squeezing your shoulder blades together tight and trying to keep them retracted towards each other even in the eccentric phase (slowly releasing the contraction). A neutral spine is maintained by isometric contractions of the abdominals, so you must also strengthen your abdominal muscles, focusing especially on your lower abs. Start your push-ups from the ground, and before you lift yourself for the first one, tighten your abdominal muscles forcing your back to be straight and rigid, extend your neck straight out of your spine, and keep your eyes on the ground. Keep your lower back from sagging by maintaining that isometric ab contraction. Hope this helps you,

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