LBP Part 2 – The ‘Damage Control’ Routine Video

DISCLAIMER: Do not use this routine if…

  • You just injured your back and you know there is some severe tissue damage eg. you’re squatting and you fail and get crushed by the bar
  • You know you have a spondylolisthesis or other extension injury (if you don’t know what this is, you probably don’t have it)

Doing so will make you worse!

But, if you’re one of the guys who simply wakes up stiff in the morning, or if you hurt your back tying your shoes or bending over doing something light like brushing your teeth or just moving the ‘wrong’ way, this will be PERFECT FOR YOU.

Here are the exercises to do, in the proper order:

  1. McKenzie Pressups – 10 reps
  2. Hip extensions – 8 reps x 5 sec hold
  3. Birddog (aka Horse stance horizontal) – 4 reps x 10 sec hold
  4. Side bridges – 5 reps x 10 sec hold on each side

Might sound easy, but there are key details that you must know and do to make the exercises effective, for those, watch the video (and take notes or follow along as you’re watching):

Right Click Here to Save This Video (MP4)

Make sure you do everything right, like the breathing during the McKenzie’s, the glute squeeze and heel drive during the hip extensions, and the proper alignment during the Birddog and Side Bridges…

These details are as important as making sure you keep your hands up when boxing…

So if you have an incident where you throw your back out, do this right away and then another 2 times the same day…

Or if you have LBP now, do it 2-3 times a day.

Either way, leave a comment below with your results:

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Mattie
Mattie

Great routine! I just bought your low back program and I think Regis was listed on their but the link wasn’t working and today I get this email so I was excited! Loved the explaination of how the back tightens…I am a fitness professional myself and although I knew all of that I never put it together with what my body was doing. I teach yoga and a few weeks ago my back was so tight that I could barely go up into cobra position which I normally have no problem doing and my back just felt so tight, now as I look back, it was probably a sign to stop what I was doing because weeks later I have been in severe pain! I guess I need to start listening to my body more and hoping this routine can be a go to when my back flares up. I… Read more »

Mattie
Mattie

It was supposed to say this routine, not Regis 🙂 Damn phone

Mattie
Mattie

It was supposed to say this routine, not Regis 🙂 Damn phone

Carrie
Carrie

Hello Eric, Excellent information as always. I have a spondylolisthesis and while I am pretty functional I still experience issues on occasion. I am trying to figure out what to avoid (maybe forever) and what to continue to try to get back. McKenzie pushups and prone hip extensions definitely cause issues but beyond that I am struggling to come up with a solid, time-tested routine to help me so I stop getting flare ups. Do you have any advice on resources or routines that might be good for me. I just purchased your back program and have your hip program. Thank you,
Carrie

Jarrett
Jarrett

Hey eric, great video to help fight through a spasm. Trying to buy both your hip program and the bulletproof back as a package. Hit me back. Thanks

KillerCoder
KillerCoder

So I have DDD of the L5/S1 for about a decade. Some days its sore more than others, but for the most part does not limit me in any way. In an effort to try to increase my range of motion and flexibility I took a yoga call on Sunday. By the end of the class I couldn’t get off the floor due to severe back pain. Monday was better with rest, icy hot electric stim and pain relievers all day Sunday. But today the discomfort has returned. Following a light workout this morning I found it difficult to stand from the sitting position. Will this routine help, or should I stay way from it?

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Carole
Carole

Thank you for posting this video. I am on steroids currently for sciatica and I have fibro. but Fostering a baby and raising a 16 year old. Going to watch it tomorrow and try it again. Really just did it to see if I could do the movements. Praying

Brenda
Brenda

Hi! Would you please tell me where to find the link to download ‘The Damage Control’ Routine video? That’s an excellent idea to put it on my phone! Thank you very much! Brenda

Steve K
Steve K

Awesome. I’ve had low back pain for over a week now , for really no reason I can put my finger on….but after 3 days (2-3 x day) of doing this routine…my back is like 90% back to normal!! Thanks Eric !

Nigel Griffiths
Nigel Griffiths

Brilliant! I am doing these as part of the HFS system.fantastic!

Paul
Paul

Just started the lower back excercises. I have a trapped sciatic nerve and this has locked my lower back and hips. Any tips would be appreciated

carl
carl

Hey Eric, I kinda pull my back while deadlifting 3-4 wks back. Right now I still can’t deadlift properly because everytime I try to pull, I feel this pain shooting down my butt. I feel it when I squat too when going ATG. Will these exercise help? I tried it and doesn’t seem to be doing much. Should I be seeing a doctor or chiro or someone?

Thanks!

justin
justin

I noticed that in your version of Birddog, you raise your hand outwards at a 45 degree angle instead of straight ahead. Is there any difference between the 2?

Eric

The 45 degree angle engages the lower trapezius more than straight up, which engages the upper trap and levator more.

The lower trap is a muscle that is often dormant and weak so we might as well use the opportunity to get some more work done, especially since low load isometric holds are how to train it best and it doesn’t change the work for the core.

Basically, you get more bang for your buck.

colin tame

Your program has s thoughtful and professional input to it.

A DESIGN STANDARD HAS NOW BEEN SET BY YOU.

Anything else is ordinary.

Eric
Eric

Why thank you sir.

Nadine

I myself thought that by stretching it would help relieve back pressure. Who would think the opposite. Very valuable work outs, they actually worked and my lower back feels so much better. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and making it available.

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Leah
Leah

Hi I picked up my son and my back is suddenly killing me. I was able to complete all the excerices with minor pain…..I have a bikini comp in less than 4 weeks and I can’t afford to miss any workout days..Any suggestions..thx

Eric

Suggestion #1: post some of your pics. 😉

Suggestion #2: Do this routine each day – or if you’re working out, before and after.

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[…] >> Get Rid of Back Pain NOW […]

Jesse
Jesse

Hey Eric, I’ve been following your damage control routine for about a week now and it’s been working out great. I would like to go for the whole package (Bullet proof back), But I’d first like to know if I need access to a gym?, I currently only use Kettle bells (10,25,35,45lbs.) at home. Thanks, JG

Mike
Mike

I have never had back pain and complained about a sore lower back. Guess what, I pulled my back today… my back was getting a little sore as the day progressed… nothing alarming but I noticed it. I sat down in a chair for lunch and when I got up I couldn’t walk. I’ve been in agonizing pain since. Nothing sticks out in my mind that would have caused it – other than getting out of the chair.

I tried the Mackenzie press-ups and could barely get through one (partial extension… i maybe got 2″ of the ground). I feel a little worse actually.

Should I try again in a day or so?

Eric
Eric

Try all the exercises, but don’t do any that aggravate.

Although the Pressups will aggravate at first – I’m guessing you tried to pull too much with your back muscles.

They should be done by pressing with your arms only. If you don’t have the strength or motor control for this to really relax the arms, just try the other exercises.

Paul
Paul

Almost forgot – I’ll let you know if this routine helps me in the short term! Thanks!

Paul
Paul

This Damage Control routine looks like it may be just what I need in the short term. I’m interested in prevention also for the long term. Over the last 20 years I’ve had 4 or 5 major tweaks on my back, the kind that have taken many months to recover from. Over the years I’ve just gotten into the habit of being super careful whenever bending over or picking things up, using something nearby for stability or being very slow and cautious. It’s helped prevent major tweaks, but I still periodically have small tweaks (just bending slightly to get something, or even standing up to quickly) that can hurt and severely restrict my mobility for a few days to a week. The hardest part I have when this happens is preventing further tweaks while healing. I’m hoping this routine helps prevent those and heal faster. What I really need, though,… Read more »

Paul
Paul

One other question. Most of the time when I do tweak my back, it’s first thing in the morning after I’ve woken up. No matter how hard I try to be careful about what I do until my body has warmed up, I seem to manage to tweak it somehow. So the short term question would be – do I risk tweaking by trying these exercises first thing in the morning, or should it be safe to try them and hopefully it’ll help prevent the morning tweak? 🙂

Carlton
Carlton

Good luck trying to find a solution. I had back surgery in 1995 and it has plagued me every since. I can however tell you that eating right and losing weight is the first step. I switched to a semi-paleo diet 9/12 of this year. Started at 231 lbs and as of this weekend(12/1), it’s 215. My plan is to get down to 185ish and stay there. Height is 6′ 1″. But the bad news is, even with losing weight, eating right, stretching and maintaining 100%. My lower back still swells up 3-4x the normal from bending over or maybe trying to get up from a seated position. This has happened over and over again since the surgery in 1995. Everyone throws up their hands and comments “I don’t know how to help you”. We are almost in 2013 and the doctors act like its 1910. When my back spasmed… Read more »

Eric

These exercises will minimize tweaking of your back.

Definitely do them first thing! Report back!

Carlton
Carlton

Hey Eric,

What type of surgery did you have on your back?

Carlton
Carlton

Eric,

My lower back blew out yesterday and the area is swollen. I can’t stand up straight and it’s difficult to walk. I’m afraid to try and get to the floor.

When you say damage control, does it mean to do these exercises in my case? I know you had a theory of “tricking the mind”. I just wonder if this will make it worse.

Eric
Eric

Maybe give it a day but try it as soon as you feel you’re ready. The sooner you can do it the better.

Carlton
Carlton

I was able to get down and do the mckensie but could barely lift my upper body up. Maybe 2-3 inches off the floor.

My lower back feels like 2 golf balls on either side of the surgery area.

Will have to try the other exercises later or tomorrow. I made an appointment with a local PT and going to take your suggestions in with me.

Hopefully this will allow me to manage these massive flare ups. The military messed my back up from the surgery in 1995. No one has ever been able to tell me how to keep it under control.

Thanks Eric.

Mike
Mike

Thank you for this! Just had a bad back tweak. It took me a few minutes to get to the floor to start the exercises, but I really feel quite a bit better already after one round. I have an alarm set to do another round in three hours. This is a lifesaver!

Carlton
Carlton

I have a supposed sports hernia on my right side in addition to my lower back surgery in 1995. Are these exercises ok to do with the above? The doc checked me recently and said “I don’t feel a hernia, but am sure it’s a sports hernia”.

Eric

In that case ask your doctor.

john
john

hi eric,
i have been battling LBP for years – sciatica and a herniated disc is my problem. i completed the first phase of your bulletproof back program last week. within the first couple days, i felt better about my LBP. however, recently, it has been difficult for me to sit down, and as a result have stopped the back program. i have been doing this damage control routine the past week or so. i feel better immediately after, but the pain still persists. any suggestions?? i would assume i should continue to do this damage control routine and hold off on the bulletproof program until the pain is gone…? pls let me know! thanks.

Eric

Hey John,

Yes, continue to do Damage Control routine until pain is gone.

What happened that made it difficult for you to sit down? Do you recall anything?

What issues did you find during the assessment?

john
john

hey eric, thanks for your reply. there was no particular event that occured to cause pain when i sit. I really dont know how it happened, but it seems to have subsided a bit since doing this routine. After my assessment, your conclusion hit it dead on – i have sciatica related to a herniated disc (this was confirmed when I had an MRI done 3 years ago). So, i have been doing and will continue to do this routine, as well as the stretches in my assessment in which i failed the test. It has been almost 3 weeks, its so hard to be patient! I want to get back into the correction phase. My cousin is progressing nicely in phase 3 of the bulletproof program and he had the exact same problem as me (did not sit for 2 weeks). it gives me motivation! thanks again eric, and… Read more »

brandon
brandon

Hey, I got really bad muscles spasms in my lower back and neck just wondering if this well heal my backpain. I think it’s from slouching. I remember looking in the mirror and forcing myself to stand up straight and around 2 or 3 days of that my muscle went into very tight spasms. I have had xray and MRI done on my spine and doctors looked at it said everything is normal, so will this work for me, I didn’t get in a car accident or fall of of something all I did was slouch and try to force myself to stand up straight and my muscle in my back went into spasms. It been like this for 4 years and something months

thank you

prettyboy
prettyboy

Haven’t tried the lower back routine yet, but thanks for the tips. You got anything for the knee’s?

Dan
Dan

Great find on this one…. going to give this a go and let you know how it works for me….. Been having back spasms for years…. Thanks

Marios
Marios

Hi Eric. Thanks for the routine.
I am right now in the Power Phase of your Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program and while I was doing the box jumps and felt a little pinch in my lower back. I continued and finished the workout, with no pain. A couple hours after the workout I was doing some chores around the house and I felt the pinch again when I bent my waist to reach for something. This was to my left side. The pain subsised a couple of days later, but I would like to ask whether your routine would help in this case. Thanks

Eric

YES – definitely give it a shot – it should help!

Marios
Marios

Thanks for the reply Eric. Will do

Meg Griffin
Meg Griffin

Me again but oh my word i just tried your video and it’s amazing! I feel so much better thanks a bunch!

Rena

Thanky Thanky for all this good infromtiaon!

Josemm
Josemm

Hey Eric thanks for this man I actually have this problem I get injured every time i try to reach and twist at the same time just like when you tried to reach something in your car same thing this will help me alot. Also I Need Your Help I hope you could answer this and im sure a lot of guys need to know too!!!! WHAT DO WE DO AFTER WE GOT AND INJURY? I got an injury training I got caught in a triangle choke I was on my knees and he was standing so he jumped to my shoulders and then he drag me to the mat so all that movement with his weight fucked up my shoulder it has been 4 weeks and still hurts and i didnt know what to do so i used ice etc and i found some stuff over the internet but… Read more »

Alex
Alex

Bump.

I too have lumber spondylolisthesis and would like to know your thoughts on managing it.

cheers!

Eric

@ Rommel

Awesome to hear man – glad I could be of service. It is like a miracle, eh? 🙂

If you know of anyone else who has back pain probs, direct them to this article!

Rommel
Rommel

Hey Eric,

Ive had a persistent lower back issue which tweaks on average once-2wice a year for the past 20 years. My latest episode happened New Year’s. It was basically from the result of a hard sneeze, which had me frozen in pain for a great 5 minutes. To make a long story short, I was in a slow moving state for a good 2.5 weeks. I just saw your video tonight, and performed the exercises you demonstrated. All I want to say is thank you very much!!! I actually feel like going for a run right now due to the no pain feeling in my lower back!

Thank you!
Rommel

Also, I plan to use these exercises to help with prevention, as well as incorporate it in my Muay Thai teaching and fighter coaching

Chris

I’ve had the “tweak” that you describe, on and off, for years. You hit it on the head: “Brushing your teeth wrong.” Yeah, it’s that stupid. Anyway, the most recent was driving home from Thanksgiving yesterday, got out of the car “wrong.” Kaboom.

Just ran through the routine for the first time, and I already feel a lot of relief. Going to run some errands, and then do it again. I have high hopes.

My other top-secret technique is to put a pair of tennis balls in a sock, and tie a knot in the sock just above them. Then I lay on the sock, with one ball (har har har, I said “balls”) on either side of my spine. My girlfriend laughs as I scoot around on the floor this way, but it’s the best deep tissue massage ever.

Thanks man!

ruddy
ruddy

Hi eric
je t ai regarde un video comment! je suis bien fier de toi
thank you !

jorge gutierrez
jorge gutierrez

SORRY I COUDNT SEE THE DAMAGE CONTROL FOR LBP VIDEO
MY SCREEN JUST DEEMS

jorge gutierrez
jorge gutierrez

HI ERIC, I CANT’T SEE THE DAMAGE CONTROL FOR LBP VIDEO MY SCREEN JUST DEEMS COULD YOU UPLOAD THI VIDEO IN YOU TUBE.
TKS

Bob
Bob

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! AND THANK YOU AGAIN! I’ve used this exercise on a few occasions but thankfully haven’t needed it as of late. I was recently lifting to start training for an mma smoker fight on an already sore, from work, back. as I lifted the bar off the rack to squat if felt like I could barely stand. I ended up barely being able to walk with no training or lifting for the past two weeks and today I am starting to do some simple drills at my house to make sure theres no pain. Before I did that I performed this routine and the slight discomfort that was there completely went away. Thanks for the routine Eric!

Eric

THIS IS WHAT I LOVE TO HEAR!!

Thanks for the feedback Bob… Hopefully you’ve inspired people to actually DO this routine when their back goes out…

The key is in the details – watch and follow along with the video to make sure you’re doing everything in proper technique, and you’ll get instant decrease in discomfort if not 100% relief.

PEACE

Eric

Josh
Josh

Hey, I have had lower back pain on and off for about a year now and most recently pulled it really bad. My body actually went wonky; I thought it was due to muscle spasm. Anyway I went doctors and they told me to rest, take anti flamentry tablets and get an X-Ray. I did this and a couple of weeks later the pain was gone. Then I did a couple of light tecnique sessions and the pain is still there slightly. The X-ray showed a slight curve in my spine but that must of been there sinse I was born and don’t explain my muscle pain. I just had an MRI scan and have to wait another week before I get results. Do you think I should keep waiting, all whilst I’m getting weaker and weaker from nearly a month of no training or should I use this routine… Read more »

Eric

Hey Josh,

Really sorry about the late reply… Didn’t mean to not reply to this, because it’s an important message.

Anyway – how is everything going now, and do you have any questions?

Eric

Josh
Josh

Hi, yeah since that post I recovered from my injury but now have it on the other side of my back. I frequently have back pain on and off and I don’t know why? I am an actual qualified fitness Instructer so I know I’m doing all exercises right. I think its caused more by MMA training etc. more so then weights. Anyway, I’m going to a physio next week so hopefully that should help.

Thanks.

Dan
Dan

Hi Eric,

I’m really interested in checking out this routine but am having trouble. I’m using firefox with adobe flash installed but when I click on the video the screen slightly dims but the video won’t play. Would you consider uploading this video to youtube?

Thanks,
Dan

Eric

OH man, sorry Dan.

I will upload this to YouTube, good idea!

Rocci Williams
Rocci Williams

Hi Eric, just recently I got a low back problem, which occurs when I throw a strike from the right handside the pain is also on my right side, the strange thing is that it doesnt really hurt during wrestling only hitting pads or sparring, I have been following your routine, what are your thoughts on the injury?

much appreciated

Rocci

BrianC
BrianC

Unfortunately I couldn’t. It wasn’t bad in the morning, but as the day progressed it got worse. The nature of my work so has it that sometimes I’m on the road all day, and there is nowhere to stretch. I wish I did, though. By the time I made it home I had a hard time getting out of the car and walking all twisted. I did the exercises in the evening several times, and ones in the morning. There are a couple of additional exercises I also do that seem to loosen up the lower back muscles a bit and opening the hip, such as single knee raises (laying flat on the back and gently pulling the knee towards the chest) and front bends sitting on the floor (one leg is straight and the other is bent touching the thigh, kind of like a half lotus, and then slowly… Read more »

Eric

Brian,

Sorry for the late reply – hopefully you check this out – as it’s VERY IMPORTANT…

I’m guessing your back has probably gone out a few times since you posted that message, and I’m guessing you didn’t use the routine as I’ve outlined…

First of all – use the routine!

Second of all – I know exactly what’s going on with your back – if you get this, send me an email.

Eric

BrianC
BrianC

Thanks guys for the tip on viewing the video (for those who get an ‘error on page’ message). In the ‘Tools’ tab in your Internet Explorer click on ‘Compatibility View Settings’ and add the site. That should work.

Good I got the video working today. Just this morning as I was dropping off my kids at school I bent over to give them a hug and my lower back just ‘went out’. Oh how I hate when that happens.

Eric

OK – so did you use the tips in the video?

This routine is designed for precisely this situation – use it right away after this kinda thing happens!!

Post your results after.

Jeff
Jeff

Great stuff- I do a lot of these as part of my yoga routine and it has really helped my back. Keep up the good work and thanks again!
-Jeff

Mirko
Mirko

Hi Eric,

I tried everything to open it, but to no avail. Even the things the guys mentioned here before didn’t work for me!

Greetings
MIRKO

Eric

Try downloading Mozilla Firefox and use that as your web browser – I’ve never had a problem with it…

http://www.firefox.com

Make sure you install Adobe Flash Player after you install Firefox.

Matt
Matt

Hey Eric, I’ve never had any back injuries, so i was wondering if it would still be beneficial for me to use this in my mma training. My back does get stiff in the mornings sometimes, but thats usually from the practices from the previous days. Would it be ok for me to use this routine? or could it be harmful since im kinda trying to fix something that isn’t actually broken

Eric

Yeah man – it’s a good little preventative routine, again you can do it daily, only takes like 5 minutes…

Matthew
Matthew

Hey Eric
Really interested in this one, my girlfriend has a herniated disc and suffers from pain quite a bit. We both do kickboxing but she has had to slow down a lot since the injury. Sounded like you said this would be a good exercise for an injury like this, and I just wanted to confirm that. ?
Thanks a lot

Eric

YES – definitely good for this… tell her to do it up – daily is best if she’s got a confirmed herniated disc…

Matthew
Matthew

Super, thanks a lot!

Really loving the blog and all the info btw!!

Eric

Hey matthew – got some feedback from using this routine for me?

BrianC
BrianC

Hi Eric,

I’m unable to view the video you posted about ‘Damage Control’. It is giving me an ‘Error on page’ message. I had this with several of your posted video’s in the past as well. Can these be viewed in a different format?

Thanks,
Brian

imrev
imrev

BrianC, maybe the problem is in your browser. I have the same problem and error mess… on my desktop(Int.Explorer 8) than I tried to view on my notebook and it was OK(int.explrer 7). Do not know is the problem in settings or browser version.
Regards

hayden
hayden

Try turn on compatibility view, it worked for me