Scott's killer core with disk surgery | Uphill Athlete

Scott’s killer core with disk surgery

  • Creator
  • #44681

    Hi guys,

    I had disk surgery in January due to a herniated disc (L5/S1). Doing actually quite good so far.

    I have a core training based on the exercises from Stuart McGill, so only static and no concentric exercises.

    I got the feeling that I’m stagnating with these excercises at the moment.

    Which exercises from Scott’s killer core workout are doable, and which ones are a big no-nos?

    Best regards

Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Participant
    Jim Prager on #44700

    I herniated my S1/L5 disc in 2018. I was able to resolve it with a lot of physical therapy. Once I was allowed to get back to training, I was doing the easiest variation of each exercise then building one that got easy. Also, if an exercise hurt, I stopped and talked to my physical therapist.

    Strict Sit-ups: I couldn’t add these for months. As this was hard on that joint.
    Bird Dog: Great!
    Windshield Wipers: bent knees
    Plank/Three Point/Two Point: I started by building up my plank time. When I could do 1 min, I made it harder by switching to three point.
    Kayaker: I still can’t do these pain free. I do a standing Pallof Press instead with a stiff band instead.
    Bridges/Table: These were important to get my glutes firing and strong after so much time off. I started with frog bridges and progressed up to single leg. I still do these every morning.
    Hanging Leg Raises: I started on the ground. I was also doing dead bugs every morning as part of PT (and still do).
    Gymnast L-sit: I have to do this between chairs as my flexibility limits me.
    Side Planks: I started with holds up to 30 s. Once I could do that I added dips of my hip. Eventually I added a rotation component with weight.

    Hope this helps.

    Dada on #44704

    Awesome Jim! Thx a lot!

    I do many excercises already as part of my PT program (variations of bird dog, planks, side planks, bridges).

    Tried dead bugs yesterday but felt a lot of leverage on the spine.

    But it confirms what I thought, that dynamic excercises like Kayaker and sit-ups are still not a good idea.

    Happy training, Jim!


    Jim Prager on #44713

    My therapist had me start with very easy variations of dead bug and build up. I don’t remember the exact progression, but it went something like this:

    Arms at sides; pelvic tilt, hold
    Arms at sides; knees bent, alternating slide feet on floor
    Arms at sides; alternating heel lifts
    Arms at sides; alternating leg extension
    Arms at sides; alternating leg lifts

    Once a level started to get easy, I’d add opposite arm moving with opposite leg.

    Before I could move on to the next level, he’d put a towel under my back. If my lower back lifted, and he could pull the towel, I wasn’t ready for the next level. My therapist also put a blood pressure cuff slightly inflated under my back and force me to maintain constant pressure.

    Once I was able to do strict sit-ups again, I feel like they’ve been an important part of keeping my core strong. Kayaker never feel right, so I’ve been finding other rotational exercises that don’t require rotation under load.

    Good luck in your recovery!

    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #44757

    Jim hit the nail on the head with the idea of slow progression, patience, and listening to your pain. As Uphill Athletes, you are used to a lot of discomfort. This can take the form of toughening it out, cowboy up, when faced with pain during movement in association with an injury. This usually just digs the hole deeper and you lose training time. Disc injuries take a lot of time to resolve, but they do!

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