Flat Abs with Slipped Disc

Question:

I am a 25 year old man that used to work out regularly, especially during my college years.

Now working, I am finding it very difficult to do even basic workouts, and to top it off I was recently diagnosed with a slipped disc in my back.

There is no way that I can now do the weights. My main concern is my abs, they have already started bulging out.

Please recommend some kind of stomach exercise that will help prevent me from getting a paunch. It would also have to be an exercise that won't hurt my back in the process.
 

Answered By:
Julian Brown ACE-CPT

Julian Brown Online Personal Training

 

I'm going to assume that you've slipped your L4 or L5 as they are the most commonly slipped/herniated discs. If you currently have a desk job where you're sitting all day, that is going to add to the problem because sitting puts pressure on your lumbar vertebrae. 

If you sleep on your stomach, that puts pressure on your lumbar vertebrae as well because it puts your lower spine in a hyper lordosis position. Also, excess weight around the abdominal region will add to your back troubles as well.

If you're sitting at work all day, try to find a chair with arm rests if you don't already have one. Placing your arms on the arm rest will place some of the load on your thoracic vertebrae and ease the pressure off the lumber region where your slipped disc is.

 

When you sleep at night try to sleep on your back with a pillow beneath your knees, or on your sides with a pillow in-between your knees. This will help keep your spine in a natural alignment and help ease your back pain as well as maybe correcting a postural deviation.

 

When it comes to losing fat around the abdominal region there are many myths and misconceptions. The biggest one is spot reducing. Meaning, if you have fat around the midsection, doing thousands of crunches and sit-ups will reduce the amount of fat in the area. However, your body does NOT work this way.

 

Doing thousands of crunches, sit-ups, and side bends are all in vain if you don't change your eating habits as well. The body must be in a caloric deficient state in order for it to use fat as an energy source. There is no specific exercise that will make you lose fat around the midsection, but a good diet can help you lose weight which will result in weight loss from the midsection.

 

If you cannot exercise because of your work, I recommend getting exercise in around your daily activities. For instance, park in the back of the parking lot at work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to wherever you're going when possible, take in your grocery bags one at time, take frequent water/restroom breaks at work, walk to a co-worker's desk instead of calling or emailing. These things in combination with calorie restricted diet can help you lose excess body fat around your midsection.

 

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