As anyone who has thrown their back out and needed physical therapy will tell you, bending over feels rough for several days after.
Putting on socks and even sitting down is uncomfortable as the body attempts to prevent the lower back from moving, especially into flexion.
Flexion of the spine is commonly the most aggravating movement for anyone experiencing an acute episode of back pain. In physical therapy we test this by asking our patients to touch their toes. Once the acute episode subsides, the next step is training and learning to tolerate slow, controlled movements of the spine.
When tolerated well, the reverse crunch is great drill to teach this quality and can be used effectively as a warmup in the gym.
Oftentimes this is where the injury rehabilitation process stops. At this point the body can tolerate all normal daily activities however it has not learned to manage rapid movements of the spine, such as those that occur in sport or in the gym.
The Med Ball slam is a great drill to train the spine to tolerate movements that involve rapid spinal flexion. This drill should be pain free before attempting any heavy Olympic lifts like a clean or a snatch.
Also, remember to avoid using a ball that bounces as we don’t want any broken noses from this drill!