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Having good abs doesn't mean you have a strong back. I agree with that but I need to add that hamstrings can affect you back aswell. Asymmetrical hamstrings (from working your abs too much and not stretching properly) can create a curvature in your spine. Sounds nasty but fairly common. Don't try "homemade" stretching exercises just contact a physical therapist and explain your problem.
Had a similar issue, good abs but weak back and short/asymmetrical hamstrings. Now, 100% :D
Hope you get well!
One thing I've found since I started Combat (only 5 months ago) is that my hip flexors are really, really tight - crazy tight. Think of all the knees up and kicks we do, especially the fast ones in the Muay Thai track... There are a few hip flexor muscles, but two can really cause us problems. The iliacus is attached to your hip and the psoas major is attached to your lower back. Once those two get tight they can increase the forward tilt of your pelvis which ultimately increases your lower back curvature and can cause lower back pain. So try stretching your hip flexors regularly and see if that helps. Max
I second the advice about the Balance, I find Combat + Balance really a very good combination. Hopefully you'll get some Flow over there in your area one day.
As for the lower back pain caused by Combat - no, I don't have one and I didn't hear any complains from any of my participants either.
Although I actually kinda "should've had" those complains. When I was 19 y.o I had a nasty injury of my lower back, I was in the hospital and the doctors said in the end that there'nothing they could do for me, that I'll be having the back pain all my life and I'll be unable to sport for the rest of my life. Well, who cares about what doctors think anyway? :-)
But it's true, I really was unable to do anything active for some years, just yoga and pilates first few years, later when a new gym was opened in my area with Les Mills classes I was introduced to the Balance. First couple of years I only participated Balance, and I tried other classes eventually. I felt in love with Combat right away, but first couple of years I really was unable to follow it as often as I wanted because of my back pain (but it's not the case that I got the pain from the Combat class of course, it's actually the other way around).
I learnt the technique, I kept on working on my core muscles and now I'm teaching (at least) two Combat classes a week (I also participate Attack, so now it's more than only Balance for sure!) and I'm not on painkillers or something like that at all.
I'm not saying that I'm not having back pain from time to time (a couple of time a year maybe if not less, but it's just because my backbone is not the same as it used to be before the injury), but I've never missed a class because of that pain and the pain was never caused by Combat anyway - that's what I am saying.
If Combat class causes your back (or whatever) pain, then you're certainly doing something wrong because even with some back issues it's still possible to do Combat and I'm the living proof.
Also if you'd follow the Balance/Flow or simply Yoga classes you really could learn how to listen to your body, you'd learn how your body reacts on some exercises and you'd recognise some signs your body gives you when you do something wrong. Doing Balance also helps to improve your posture and bad postire can also cause back pain.
You said your core is pretty strong, and if you really keep your abs braced during the class, then you have to check your technique while executing for. ex. high knie run or knie/jump knie or jump kick. Shortly every single time when your feet leaves the ground and you have to land back, - how do you execute that? - Is the knie of your stand leg flexed when you land? Your lower back doesn't like it if it's not bend!
How do you land on your foot - is the weight coming straight to your heel or do you roll your foot down from toes to heel while landing? Because if you land on your heel after jumping up and especially if your knie is not flexed on that moment, your lower back really hates you every time for that!
But if your heel doesn't touch the floor at all, so you're like jumping/running on your toes only, then you'll definitely gonna feel it in your kalfs! (But it's another story of course)
Should I also mention the shoes? Also very important if you often perform high options (jump knie, jump kick etc.)
We also have pretty intence track 9 in BC47, you already said it almost killed you the first time you did it. How is your hover there? Do you perform it on your knies or on your feet? I do it on my feet and I know for sure that if you perform it correctly, you won't be feeling any lower back discomfort during this exercise. If you do, you always can take a lower option with suporting on your knies.
Then - if your weight didn't placed correctly while you're on your feet, even if you keep your abs braced, it still can not be enough for your lower back, especially if you perform the Superman + leg extention on your toes. Just check your hover in the mirror and listen to your body: where do you feel the weight the most? Do you feel it the most in the center of your body in your abs+lower back? Then try to press your forearms more into the floor and also push your hills away, while bracing the abs - make your body longer and keep on checking in the mirror if your body is in one straight line (obviously you better do it after or before the class). If you see your lower back keeps on sinking down - there's the reason of your lower back pain. If you are going to do Superman from this position, it only gonna make it worse. In this case performing the exercise in lower option is the best choise for you, but still - you have to brace your abs very good don't hung in your lower back.
And BREATHE! One more thing which you'll learn during the Balance classes is to breathe. You think it's natural, but it's not so easy as it sounds, especially for the instructors who have to breathe and speak the same time. If you don't breathe correctly, your body can also react with all kind of pain during the cardio exersices to let your know that you're doing something wrong.
So, listen to your body, check your posture and your technique and hopefully you'll find what causes the pain and you also can help your participants to avoid it too.
Good luck and get well!
^ awesome post. I have lower back pain myself, 47's track 9 is probably the hardest conditioning track to my lower back when I do all high options, took about a month of training to prepare to teach it (holding hovers for longer than i'm used to etc.).
There are some tricks like putting your thumbs under your butt during reverse curls etc to support the lower back, I find this helps with the pain.
Wow thank you again everyone for your responses! I do not think this was originally caused by Combat (did I mention my 35 lb two year old that very frequently catches a ride on my left hip?), but there is something I am doing in class that is definitely making things much worse! I do not experience any pain DURING class, but afterward is a whole other story. I never thought of tight hip flexors or hamstrings contributing to the probelm...thanks for that tip!! I will spend extra time stretching both and see if it helps (should do that anyway!).
With respect to jumps and kicks...I am fairly certain that nothing in my form or execution is the culprit. Track 9 in release 47 just took a bit of form-checking and really concentrating on bracing my back....the first time I did that track, I was just not bracing effectively, but couldn't get over how weak my back felt....now it is no problem. I am wondering if I am twisting my torso too much while executing jab/crosses and/or uppercuts. As I mentioned my intensity level is typically through the roof and I really go for all of the punches. Could that be the culprit?? I am definitely going to get it checked out but I just would love to pinpoint the movement/weakness/form or execution error!!
hello.... first i 'am not instructor, i just member,but once i have suffered lower back pain too,which caused me pain every time,i could not walk well,sleep well, etc... one of instructor in my gym said to me that i have to do more stretching , like yoga or stretching by my self after class or weight training, i take whole one month not do any exercise except strecthing , so i hope my experience usefull for u ,do strecthing like yoga or anything... and most important that u must listen your body... we do exercise to get healthy not to get suffered...
Great to see all those helpful advices!
Also got lower back pain for some years, caused by injure, but still gain from
you guys oppions, thank you all!
Oh, I am not an instructor, but a fan of Les Mills, only for one year, but can
see many good changes in me.
Hmm... the origin of the problem is unlikely to be your intensity level. But as you already have a problem the "twisting" might add to it. I think if you treat the underlying problem, which is most likely done by stretching in my own opinion, you wont have to worry about your intensity level.
Do you feel pain when punching and rotating your torso? If not, then don't stop doing it that way. If you start limiting movements you might just get some other pains hehe
Still, don't put off seeing a proffessional for too long :)
Me too!! I have this pain in my waist when I'm doing BC 48.. Especially T4&T6!!
Now I'm frustrated and don't know what's wrong.. >=(