Back Problems

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by EddieDingle, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. EddieDingle

    EddieDingle Member

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    I got done sailing in a light breeze yesterday and my back is so sore I can hardly sit down in a chair.

    I figure I did it while roll tacking.

    Is something wrong with my technique that is making my back hurt?
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Laser sailing in general requires a certain level of flexibility and core fitness, without knowing how you stack up in those, it's pretty difficult to answer if it's techique or something else.
     
  3. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I have nothing specific for your original question. However, in general I hurt worse after sailing in light air than in heavy air. I attribute it to crouching down in the cockpit for hours on end.
     
  4. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    Make sure you're not slouching.

    It's the same as sitting at a computer for hours on end with poor posture: You will hurt.

    Other than that, it's very hard to help you with the (lack of) information you've provided.

    Structural?
    Muscular?
    Lumbar?
    Thoracic?
    One side?
     
  5. EddieDingle

    EddieDingle Member

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    Well I consider myself in pretty good shape. I am 19 years old and I don't think I should be having back issues. It feels like sore muscles. I think you are right about slouching.. I would have never noticed it. Maybe I just have to get used to using different muscles? It is a aching pain in my upper back.. can't even think about sailing without it hurting.
     
  6. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    Do you lift weights?

    If so, maybe you're lifting in a fashion causing muscle imbalances?

    You can consider yourself in pretty good shape all you want, but muscle imbalance is muscle imbalance.
     
  7. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I find that I pretty much always ache after a hard days sailing in heavy winds but rarely do I ache after a light wind day.

    Perhaps you should consider doing a few stretches when you come off the water just to eek out any potential aches (that and make sure you stretch to warm up before you go out of course).

    I do an all round gym program but with a focus on core stability (so lots of gym ball related stuff with free weights). It has made a huge difference, I do not get anywhere near as tired and can stay focused for longer that before.

    That and make sure you stay warm, it is surprising how much a little cold and damp can make you ache after sailing!
     
  8. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    I don't know about stretching before going out. I might stretch after doing my warm up on the water, but stretching when your muscles are cold/unworked isn't great/effective. Definitely stretch after sailing.

    I kind of lol at "gym ball stuff". Why? Why not just do some heavy core work? Heavy overhead presses, heavy deadlifts, heavy squats, weighted sit ups, side bends? The first three alone will make your core incredibly strong, along with your lower back, without even adding in any other core work at all. I can attest to this.

    Someone has made a killing off of gym balls...
     
  9. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    Pressing heavy weights does not have the same effect as having to balance on a gym ball when doing other ab work. One of the problems I have is that my stomach muscles are not strong enough so my lower back is being worked harder to try and compansate for it. When exercising on the gym ball you really can feel the muscles being worked (even when using no additional weights).

    For example on the mat I can easily do 40+ obliques (20 each side). On the ball I can barely manage half that without needing a break. When I started on the ball I could barely do more than 14.

    Ab curls (crunches whatever you want to call them). I could do these pretty much all day if on the mat. On the ball I could barely manage 20 without need to stop.

    Now things are different. and i cannot see how pressing any amount of weight helps with the core muscles (stomach, lower back). The ball however has had noticable effects for me.
     
  10. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    You didn't even look at the link I posted, did you?

    There have been no studies linking training on unstable surfaces to athletic performance.

    When you choose to do an exercise on a ball, you have to use less weight, thereby reducing strength gains.

    Instead of doing body weight oblique crunches for such high reps, why not try side bends with a dumbbell for 3 sets of 12-15. Let me know how your obliques feel after those.

    Same with sit-ups. Just do decline sit-ups, holding a weight/plate.

    Pressing will strengthen your core. This is fact. Please don't try and say otherwise. Same as overhead squats. Overhead press will work your abdominals, obliques, costal muscles, and back, which all stabilize the spine. If you've never done an overhead press, don't knock it, especially in an incorrect manner.

    If you're looking for a movement that incorporates almost your entire body, try deadlifting. Involves your lower back to a large extent, as well as your core.

    Do you squat?

    What do your current gym routine look like?
     
  11. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    You seriously need to chill out man!

    The link you posted was just that a link with no explaination of what it was. Call me suspicious but I don't go clicking on every seemingly random link that gets posted on a forum.

    The fact is you have your belief I have mine. My regeime is working for me.

    I do not need to build muscle mass I need to tone and optimise what muscle I have. I am already too heavy for the Laser on the water I sail on (hence why I also have an 8.1) so I have to draw the line between gaining muscle mass (I have very little body fat to convert) and toning up what I have.

    That may sound like a contradiction but the program I have is tailored for me by my personal trainer who spent a lot of time examining the muscle groups that are in use specifically in relation to sailing.

    I also firmly believe that if you want to sail to get fit then that's fine, you need to accept that you are going to pay for it by aching for a day or so afterwards. To improve your racing you need to get fit to sail.

    The Laser is one of the most physical boats out there to sail, a lot of it is sheer brute force to keep the thing driving effectively (i.e. you sailing the boat not the boat sailing you).
     
  12. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I've deleted Shatty007's link because it appears to me to just carry the discussion to another (less civil) forum. Shatty, if you've got a link to some scientific evidence, you are welcome to post it.
     
  13. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    Sorry. I don't know how I;'m coming across over teh internets, but I'm not angry or anything.

    As for your stuff working for you: Some people succeed in spite of their methods, rather than because of them

    You actually "optimise" what muscle you have by lifting heavy. You can lift heavy and not gain weight. Gaining weight all depends on your calories in vs. calories out. Getting stronger has to do with your central nervous system and neural efficiency. Lifting heavy is actually the easiest way to increase neural efficiency (get stronger), while not putting on weight. Low reps induce the least amount of hypertrophy.

    I'll try and find a good chart showing the rep ranges vs. their effects.

    Edit: Here:

    [​IMG]

    Until you've been lifting for a while, you can actually lose weight and get stronger via increasing neural efficiency.

    "Very little body fat to convert." Fat does not convert to muscle. You lose fat by burning more calories than you intake.

    It's possible to effectively train your whole body with very few movements. I'm interested to know what your program looks like. Post it if you would?

    I wouldn't advocate sailing to get fit, either. I realise the Laser is a physical boat, having sailed one a couple times myself (Laser 1, Standard Rig), which is why I would advocate being strong as hell to get the best out of yourself.

    Just my little story:

    I worked out a lot, and had been doing so for a while. I fractured 3 vertebrae in my T-spine and 3 in my C-spine in a car accident in July of '07. Up to that point, I was an athletic guy, struggling to gain weight and get bigger. I only ever made it to around 183 pounds. Well, just this past February, I decided it was time to hit the gym again. I was very weak and it was hard getting back into lifting. Maybe weighed around 175 lbs. Well, I used totally different methods. Simpler ones. Ones that were tried, tested and true. By June, I was about 195 lbs. Stronger than ever. Good eating and proper lifting had taken 4.5-5 months to do (even after the injuries) what I couldn't do in the few years before.


    It was just a link to a thread discussing the issue of stability balls and training on unstable surfaces.

    Less civil? Sure it's a bit looser than the ol' sailing chaps over here, but they know a touch (just a touch) about all aspects of training and being strong. I know I can't squat 615 lbs for depth, pull 636 lbs off the ground, bench 405 or put 365 over my head.

    Here's one. Still gives a greenlight to some upper body exercises, but refutes their effectiveness for anything to do with the lower body (save rehab):

    http://blogs.experiencelifemag.com/survival-of-the-fittest/2008/05/eric-cressey-is-unbalanced.html

    Eric Cressey also has/was part of an actual scientific study, if you'd like to attempt to read your way through that, instead.

    If you're looking to get stronger, you don't use a ball because, due to the unstable surface, you will have to use less weight, diminishing the overload stresses/principal.
     
  14. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    Hi Shatty,

    Perhaps I was a little hasty earlier, please accept my apologies 9I am feeling a bit ill today so I am as snappy as a short tempered dog.

    I have 3 gym programs depending on how much time I have (and the time of the year as over the winter I play hockey twice a week which gives me a good cardio workout).

    The machine at my local gym are Precor machine, the names given are the one on them!

    Program 1 (full program)

    10 Mins on the treadmill (warmup, no running but increasing the incline bu 1% each minute after 2 minutes walking at 4.7 mph)

    Pec Deck 2 x 15 reps @ 40kg
    Lat Pull Down 2 x 15 @ 35kg
    Upper Back 2 x 15 @ 40kg

    10 mins on the stepper/strider alternating 2 mins stepping, 2 mins striding resistance 7

    Leg press 2 x 15 @ 95kg
    Seated leg curl 2 x 15 @ 45kg
    Step 15 x 2 (1 legs together, 1 legs apart, for balance)

    8 mins on the cross trainer crossramp 11, resistance 13

    Back extension machine 2 x 20 @ 40kg

    floor/ball exercises

    full plank 3 x 15 seconds
    Ball 2 x 20 ab curls
    Ball 1 x 20 (each side) obliques
    Floor 1 x 25 reverse curls
    Ball 1 x 25 back extensions
    Ball 3 x 10 bicep curls @ 10kg (balancing once on each foot then one set with both feet on the ground)
    Ball 3 x 10 tricep dips

    Recumbant cycle 8 mins resistance 9

    Cool down stretches

    Take about 1 hour 40-1hr 45 for this program

    Short program 1 (Cardio)

    Treadmill 6 Mins flat fast walk (5mph)
    Concept 2 rower 6 mins resistance 7 (generaly around 1600-1700 meters)
    Stepper Strider 6 mins stepping resistance 7
    Stepper Strider 6 mins striding resistatnce 7
    Cross trainer 6 mins on a varied program (generally hillclimb)

    Back extension machine 2 x 20 @ 40kg

    Floor/ball work

    full plank 3 x 15 seconds
    Ball 2 x 20 ab curls
    Ball 1 x 20 (each side) obliques
    Floor 1 x 25 reverse curls
    Ball 1 x 25 back extensions

    Cool down exercises

    Generally around 50-60 minutes

    Short program 2 (weights)

    Treadmill 6 minutes flat fast walk (5mph)

    Pec Deck 2 x 15 reps @ 40kg
    Lat Pull Down 2 x 15 @ 35kg
    Upper Back 2 x 15 @ 40kg
    Leg press 2 x 15 @ 95kg
    Seated leg curl 2 x 15 @ 45kg
    Back extension machine 2 x 20 @ 40kg

    floor/ball exercises

    full plank 3 x 15 seconds
    Ball 2 x 20 ab curls
    Ball 1 x 20 (each side) obliques
    Floor 1 x 25 reverse curls
    Ball 1 x 25 back extensions
    Ball 3 x 10 bicep curls @ 10kg (balancing once on each foot then one set with both feet on the ground)
    Ball 3 x 10 tricep dips

    Cool down stretches

    Generally around 45 minutes. I am going to introduce a bit more cardio in to this one as I feel like I am not in the zone towards the end of it (ie heart rate has dropped too far).

    The 2 short prgorams get alternated and I generally go 2-3 times a week depending on work.
     
  15. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    Alright. I'll show you what I do in the gym currently:

    Monday:

    Deadlift - 5x5
    Bent over row (barbell) - 3x5/5x5 (Depending on how I feel after the deads)
    Chin ups - 3xfailure/5xfailure (Again, depending)

    Wednesday:

    Overhead press - 5x5 (Usually a push press with some leg drive)
    Facepulls - 5x5
    Pull ups - 3xfailure/5xfailure

    Friday:

    Squats - 5x5 (Below parallel)
    Romanian dedlift - 3x5/5x5 (Depends on squats)
    Calf raises - 3x20 (Don't know why I do these, but someone very strong recommended them for someone of my (limited) lifting experience, so I toss them in.
    Side Bends - 3x15 per side

    That's my routine. My whole routine. 10/11 movements. Usually takes about an hour. Now, this is a routine designed purely for strength and some size (hence the reps of 5) and I do little cardio. If I wanted to add cardio, I'd add in some HIIT (high intensity interval training) on my days off. (Sprints, etc.)

    Some people also like barbell complexes.

    ------------

    I see you have a lot of machine exercises in your program. Why not free weights, as an alternative.

    Also, say, if strength was a goal, you would want to do your strength training before your cardio. If you're blasting yourself before you hit the weights, are you leaving anything left in the tank?

    With the leg press and leg curls, why not just kill 2 birds with one stone and squat? Squats are great for total body strength. Legs, back, etc.

    Think movements, not isolation exercises. You want to train the movement, not the/a single muscle.

    Also, you listed weights beside the exercises. Are those the most recent, or do you do the same every week? You should try to progress each week, adding either weight or reps.

    Again, I am someone with no professional training/certifications.

    ------

    Always remember, a personal trainer is a business man, who has to sell himself to put a roof over his head and food on the table. Are they all bad? Of course not. Are they all good? Same applies.
     
  16. dwb

    dwb New Member

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    EddieDingle;

    What I’ve done to improve my comfort and endurance in a Laser may be of use to you.

    First of all, I’m almost 65 years old - - everything hurts all the time.:) I try to minimize this and have found a few techniques that have helped me a lot when sailing the Laser. I am fairly new to Laser sailing and found out right away that hiking required some serious trunk and leg strength (among other things).

    I made a hiking bench from an old flat-topped sawhorse that I had around. To this, I attached a plywood top of the same width and edge radii of the deck of a Laser. I attached hiking straps to the legs of a heavy machine I have. The “bench” is located relative to the hiking strap so as simulate the distances and angles of hiking on a Laser. I position a footstool under where my upper back would be when hiked-out fully. This is a safety net in case I feel something give.

    I put on my hiking pads and do sit-ups. Also, I have a rope loop that I can use as a “helper” by pulling with my arms if I need to. I do about 12 or so sit-ups and then do that many arm pull-ups using only the rope. I rest a little and then repeat maybe two more times, depending on how I feel. If I feel any pain, I stop. At my age, I can’t afford to damage something.

    These exercises seem to closely match what I’m experiencing while actually sailing and hiking out. I’m purposely trying to mimic the motions and intensity of sailing while using my bench. I now find that I can hike much more comfortably and for a much longer time without pain either during or afterwards.

    Of course, when the wind is light, hiking is not an issue. I get sore, I get stiff, and my back hurts from crouching too much when going downwind or reaching in light winds. The lighter the winds, the worse it is. I’ve found that standing up occasionally seems to get the kinks out, restores the circulation in my legs (especially when wearing a wetsuit and hiking pads), and gives my back a much-needed rest. Also, you can look around really well from a standing position and get a good “situational awareness”. Another thing I do when I have time during a sailing session is to lay the boat on its side and go for a little swim. This takes the weight off my joints, stretches me out, and just feels good. As Mae West once said, “I feel good, and there’s no law against feeling good”.
     
  17. H.Atkinson

    H.Atkinson New Member

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    Hi Eddie I think that you have pulled a back muscle & have a muscle spasm in your back. Have you had a weakness here before? I think that twisting doesn't help.
    I have had several such episodes & the other weekend needed to spend 60 hrs in bed & every time I moved it felt like "labour pains" (although I am a bloke). Unfortunately I do have a weakness in my back & it intermittently recurs. I find ibobrufen & either panadol or panadeine best ,although last time I needed valium& codeine as well (not as good as it sounds).
    Anyhow it takes about a week to come right!
    Also, I'm afraid that I was doing free squats at the gym, with a weight belt, that caused this recent episode.I was doing low reps/high weights ie 90 kg 6 reps of 6 & I am 74 kg & 48 yr old. So as a result I won't be doing free squats again & have reduced all my other weights.
    There's no point in getting injured.
    Anyway I'm sure you will be coming right by now.
    Good luck.
    cheers Hamish A NZ radial sailor
     
  18. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    You got hurt doing squats for one of three reasons:

    1) You used too much weight.
    2) You form was poor.
    3) 2 being a result of 1.

    When you say you were doing squats with a "weight belt" I'm assuming you mean a lifting belt, right? What was your belt placement?

    I wouldn't give up on squats, but I'd reduce the weight and figure out proper form. If you have existing aches and pains, of course putting a loaded bar across your back will exaggerate/aggravate them.

    Check out SquatRX and mark Rippetoe's squat instruction video on YouTube.
     
  19. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    At the gym I go to it is not run as a commercial enterprise it is run by our local council. So while it is there to make some money the primary service is for the community. The PT who I see is very nice and her time is included with the montly subscription so she has noting to gain by wasting mine and her time.

    Were I at a commercial gym I would be more wary.
     
  20. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    The machines are used because they more effectively isolate the muscle groups that are being worked whereas using a free-weight exercise would not do this as effectively.

    The gym ball work is to increase abs strength and help with core-stability and balance (you really can feel your core working when balancing on the ball). It has made a big diffference for me so i am a happy man. I just need to keep the motivation up!
     

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