Saturday, March 8, 2008
No Good Way to Exercise the Lower Back Without Weights?
BEHOLD THE LOWER BACK STRENGTH THAT DEADLIFTS DID NOT BUILD!
Yeah, I read that on a Bodyweight Forum not too long ago. Apparenlty, Bodyweight is good but it just can't substitute for the back building abilities of the various deadlifts. It was uttered and repeated several times too. I didn't chose to respond to it at the time. I just didn't know where to start with a retort to that statement. Fortuately, I do now.
When I hear things like that, I have two reactions:
1. So, what if I can't get to a weight? Am I screwed?
2. You're full of shit.
I despise the notion that you need to be tethered to equipment to get yourself into shape. If you can't get to that equipment, then what? Do I let myself rot on the vine until I can get to it? The key to exercising for life is, in my opinion, to make it a habit (preferabley a daily one). The key to maintaining it is to not skip it for a prolonged period of time. So if you've made yourself totally dependant on stuff that you may not get to, then you break the habit! This is counterproductive. This goes for the lower back. You need to have a plan to get your lower back strong. Then you need alternatives. You may need alternatives to alternatives. Ultimately, it comes down to having a positive, can-do, WILL-DO attitude.
It also comes down to being truthful and knowledgable to some degree and the people who say that you can't exercise the lower back without a weighted deadlift exercise are full of shit and/or fucking liars. You could do wall walks, reverse pushups, leg lifts, torso lifts, leg AND torso lifts, and different bridging work to get your lower back into great shape.
If you're about to mention that you can't add extra weight and that calisthenics are good for muscular endurance and not for strength then you've got a massive hole in your arguement. You see, your lower back consists of muscles that are predominantly slow-twitch fibers. They need to be this way because the light but constant tension is what keeps your spine alligned properly. If you train heavy then you will make your lower back functionally WEAK.
So while you may like to impress the girls and the fragile-egoed men with your deadlift, you're not training your lower back muscles properly by hoisting 400 lbs off the ground with a dead lift. If you think that there is no other alternative, then you're lying and/or cheating yourself. You've just been enlightened here. It's up to you to re-evaluate what you're doing and make some healhty, sound choices about your health and strength.