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Building glute muscle

For various reasons, I've had to give up lifting altogether and haven't lifted now for about 8 months. I've lost both strength and muscle which is to be expected. Recently (at the suggestion of Doctor and physio) I've been doing swimming and pilates and trying to walk more plus some resistance band exercises (I know none of those things will build muscle but I'm hoping I might at least regain some strength and preserve the muscle I still have) This has helped legs and upper body but I'm appalled at my droopy glutes which, at the age of 64 are not a pretty sight and I've also noticed an increase in lower back pain.
Any suggestions regarding exercises which might help strengthen and hopefully lift my bottom? I can't use weights and have been told not to do squats. Help please!
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Replies

  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,082 Member
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?
  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?

    Pretty much, yes. I have various conditions - severe degenerative disc disease, hip bursitis, osteoporosis in the lower spine and hip and was injuring myself frequently whenever I followed a lifting program, despite being very careful about warming up, correct form etc. I now find any kind of lifting is painful and s makes things worse, so the advice is to stop it altogether (though I might be able to resume at a later date) But I'm finding the loss of strength and muscle quite depressing!
  • wiigelec
    wiigelec Posts: 502 Member
    Unfortunately many medical professionals are ignorant when it comes to the how's why's and what's of a properly applied strength training program in the masters population so their default position is to not lift.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwNjgwAS3wBBxcwouQz5J9w

    My guess is that while you were doing your best to maintain proper form without a trained eye it was not as good as you think. I would suggest consulting with a knowledgeable coach:

    https://startingstrength.org/site/coaches

  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    wiigelec wrote: »
    Unfortunately many medical professionals are ignorant when it comes to the how's why's and what's of a properly applied strength training program in the masters population so their default position is to not lift.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwNjgwAS3wBBxcwouQz5J9w

    My guess is that while you were doing your best to maintain proper form without a trained eye it was not as good as you think. I would suggest consulting with a knowledgeable coach:

    https://startingstrength.org/site/coaches

    Thank you, yes I agree their default position is often, stop what you were doing
    You are probably right about form as I was working out at home, in front of a mirror. Apparently I have "hyper mobile" hips - I don't know if that's part of the problem or even if it's a thing!
  • Scotty2HotPie
    Scotty2HotPie Posts: 140 Member
    For various reasons, I've had to give up lifting altogether and haven't lifted now for about 8 months. I've lost both strength and muscle which is to be expected. Recently (at the suggestion of Doctor and physio) I've been doing swimming and pilates and trying to walk more plus some resistance band exercises (I know none of those things will build muscle but I'm hoping I might at least regain some strength and preserve the muscle I still have) This has helped legs and upper body but I'm appalled at my droopy glutes which, at the age of 64 are not a pretty sight and I've also noticed an increase in lower back pain.
    Any suggestions regarding exercises which might help strengthen and hopefully lift my bottom? I can't use weights and have been told not to do squats. Help please!

    Can you do hip thrusts?.... Unweighted?

    Copy-of-Management-Skills-page-1-Presentation.jpg
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,082 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?

    Pretty much, yes. I have various conditions - severe degenerative disc disease, hip bursitis, osteoporosis in the lower spine and hip and was injuring myself frequently whenever I followed a lifting program, despite being very careful about warming up, correct form etc. I now find any kind of lifting is painful and s makes things worse, so the advice is to stop it altogether (though I might be able to resume at a later date) But I'm finding the loss of strength and muscle quite depressing!

    I see. I'd hazard more than likely the severe degenerative disc disease is at the top of concerns. The others would be more of a discover the proper volume/intensity/frequency that works best for you as a individual.

    May I ask what was the lifting program you were running? What was your experience with it for warm-ups to working sets? Was at any point any of the lifts tolerable where pain didn't get worse or perhaps better as the session continued?
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?

    Pretty much, yes. I have various conditions - severe degenerative disc disease, hip bursitis, osteoporosis in the lower spine and hip and was injuring myself frequently whenever I followed a lifting program, despite being very careful about warming up, correct form etc. I now find any kind of lifting is painful and s makes things worse, so the advice is to stop it altogether (though I might be able to resume at a later date) But I'm finding the loss of strength and muscle quite depressing!

    I can't speak to the others... but are they seriously recommending no lifting at all for the bursitis and osteo? I have bursitis and osteopenia, and the PT I'm working with *highly* recommends lifting and weight training as part of core and glute strengthening. To the point that we do it during sessions.

    If you're not seeing a PT -- physical therapist, not personal training -- see if your insurance will cover one. Mine has been really good so far at finding ways to strenghten, which in turn helps the bursitis.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,280 Member
    When you are able to lift again, you might want to look into Arnie and Franco era programs. When I started lifting the focus was much more on isolation movements than the compound moves that are fashionable now. I think it is a lot harder to get injuries with isolation exercises.

    If you want glutes, do your cardio in the form of skating. Inline, ice or quads.
  • Niki_Fitz
    Niki_Fitz Posts: 943 Member
    My experience lifting with structural back issues: I have a disc bulge and SI joint problems but wanted to continue lifting. I saw an orthopedic doctor who gave me this assessment. He referred me to physical therapy and communicates with my PT when needed.

    The PT gave me corrective exercise and reviewed my lifting plan, told me what to avoid and what might be safe and helpful.

    I have been following this advice successfully.

    Maybe this is a path to pursue: orthopedist referral to physical therapy, and finding out from a PT what might be safe for you.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 39,861 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    When you are able to lift again, you might want to look into Arnie and Franco era programs. When I started lifting the focus was much more on isolation movements than the compound moves that are fashionable now. I think it is a lot harder to get injuries with isolation exercises.

    If you want glutes, do your cardio in the form of skating. Inline, ice or quads.

    Arnie and Franco did a lot of compound movements...compound movements aren't something newly fashionable...they've been at the foundation of weight lifting since weight lifting became a thing. You're actually more likely to get overuse injuries doing a bunch of isolation work, particularly if it's high volume like a bodybuilder like Arnie or Franco would have done. Compound movements with proper form and load do not result in injury. Issues would be caused by improper form or a load that isn't commensurate with skill.

    That said, I probably wouldn't get under a barbell with severe degenerative disk disease and would just follow my physio's advice.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,280 Member
    I am not recommending trying to follow an Arnie and Franco routine, but just the lifting program of the era where it is easier to achieve perfect form due to the simplicity of isolation moves. When I first started lifting I followed a progrm from a Rachel McLish book.
  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?

    Pretty much, yes. I have various conditions - severe degenerative disc disease, hip bursitis, osteoporosis in the lower spine and hip and was injuring myself frequently whenever I followed a lifting program, despite being very careful about warming up, correct form etc. I now find any kind of lifting is painful and s makes things worse, so the advice is to stop it altogether (though I might be able to resume at a later date) But I'm finding the loss of strength and muscle quite depressing!

    I can't speak to the others... but are they seriously recommending no lifting at all for the bursitis and osteo? I have bursitis and osteopenia, and the PT I'm working with *highly* recommends lifting and weight training as part of core and glute strengthening. To the point that we do it during sessions.

    If you're not seeing a PT -- physical therapist, not personal training -- see if your insurance will cover one. Mine has been really good so far at finding ways to strenghten, which in turn helps the bursitis.

    Thank you. Yes, for quite a while both doctor and physio were encouraging me to continue with lifting.
    The issue is that I keep injuring myself and it seems to happen after apparently innocuous movement (eg I'm currently in pain after wrenching a calf muscle just from coming downstairs!) I have other long term health issues, one of which means I've been on steroids for over 15 years (a separate issue I won't go into now) which may be exacerbating things. I don't think anyone is saying, never lift another thing ever again! But current issues make it very painful, and certainly seem to make lower back pain much worse and I have finally realised that smiling through the pain is not the answer
  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?

    Pretty much, yes. I have various conditions - severe degenerative disc disease, hip bursitis, osteoporosis in the lower spine and hip and was injuring myself frequently whenever I followed a lifting program, despite being very careful about warming up, correct form etc. I now find any kind of lifting is painful and s makes things worse, so the advice is to stop it altogether (though I might be able to resume at a later date) But I'm finding the loss of strength and muscle quite depressing!

    I see. I'd hazard more than likely the severe degenerative disc disease is at the top of concerns. The others would be more of a discover the proper volume/intensity/frequency that works best for you as a individual.

    May I ask what was the lifting program you were running? What was your experience with it for warm-ups to working sets? Was at any point any of the lifts tolerable where pain didn't get worse or perhaps better as the session continued?

    Initially I was doing strong lifts, it became unmanageable (even with frequent deloading) and not only made existing pain worse but caused new pain in shoulder, neck etc
    I switched to a bodyweight program for a while but even that was causing pain.
  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    Niki_Fitz wrote: »
    My experience lifting with structural back issues: I have a disc bulge and SI joint problems but wanted to continue lifting. I saw an orthopedic doctor who gave me this assessment. He referred me to physical therapy and communicates with my PT when needed.

    The PT gave me corrective exercise and reviewed my lifting plan, told me what to avoid and what might be safe and helpful.

    I have been following this advice successfully.

    Maybe this is a path to pursue: orthopedist referral to physical therapy, and finding out from a PT what might be safe for you.

    Thank you, I'll look into it!
  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    For various reasons, I've had to give up lifting altogether and haven't lifted now for about 8 months. I've lost both strength and muscle which is to be expected. Recently (at the suggestion of Doctor and physio) I've been doing swimming and pilates and trying to walk more plus some resistance band exercises (I know none of those things will build muscle but I'm hoping I might at least regain some strength and preserve the muscle I still have) This has helped legs and upper body but I'm appalled at my droopy glutes which, at the age of 64 are not a pretty sight and I've also noticed an increase in lower back pain.
    Any suggestions regarding exercises which might help strengthen and hopefully lift my bottom? I can't use weights and have been told not to do squats. Help please!

    Can you do hip thrusts?.... Unweighted?

    Copy-of-Management-Skills-page-1-Presentation.jpg

    Yes! That's one thing I can still do!
  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    Thank you for all the replies, I'm very grateful
    I think, as someone has said, that even though I have tried to follow correct form, it's likely that I haven't!
    I'm not someone who gives up easily and I've tried hard to persevere, but currently I'm in more pain and am less mobile than ever before. I have a couple of other chronic conditions, and long term use of meds such as steroids probably haven't helped.
    I am finally starting to feel a return of movement and flexibility - I think pilates and swimming have helped - and am really hoping I can eventually get back to lifting but at the moment it's out of the question. I just want to make sure I don't lose any more muscle, having worked so hard to build it, which is no mean feat in your 60s.
    Thanks for all the suggestions and I will look for a local physio who can advise me on form and suggest an individually tailored programme. I'm in the UK so physio is free on the NHS but in my experience they can only offer limited help because they are over stretched.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,280 Member
    Good luck with finding the right physio. Here is an example of an old fashioned lifting program where perfect form is relatively easy to achieve. The lower back and leg day in particular looks quite safe.

    http://rippeder.com/content/rachel-mclishs-workout-routine

  • comptonelizabeth
    comptonelizabeth Posts: 1,689 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    Good luck with finding the right physio. Here is an example of an old fashioned lifting program where perfect form is relatively easy to achieve. The lower back and leg day in particular looks quite safe.

    http://rippeder.com/content/rachel-mclishs-workout-routine

    Thank you so much, I'll definitely take a look x
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,082 Member
    edited July 2019
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are you restricted weight loaded training entirely?

    If so, why?

    Pretty much, yes. I have various conditions - severe degenerative disc disease, hip bursitis, osteoporosis in the lower spine and hip and was injuring myself frequently whenever I followed a lifting program, despite being very careful about warming up, correct form etc. I now find any kind of lifting is painful and s makes things worse, so the advice is to stop it altogether (though I might be able to resume at a later date) But I'm finding the loss of strength and muscle quite depressing!

    I see. I'd hazard more than likely the severe degenerative disc disease is at the top of concerns. The others would be more of a discover the proper volume/intensity/frequency that works best for you as a individual.

    May I ask what was the lifting program you were running? What was your experience with it for warm-ups to working sets? Was at any point any of the lifts tolerable where pain didn't get worse or perhaps better as the session continued?

    Initially I was doing strong lifts, it became unmanageable (even with frequent deloading) and not only made existing pain worse but caused new pain in shoulder, neck etc
    I switched to a bodyweight program for a while but even that was causing pain.

    Stronglifts isn't a great program as written. Being a LP and requiring excessive deloading that won't promote progress withIn that program as written is just a recipe for "wrong" unless the person is untrained. Though there are modifications that would make it okay for those who deal with chronic pain. Of course that also means it's no longer that program anymore so why not just find good programming.

    Pain is very complex and more details are needed.

    I would suggest a consult with either Dr. Derek Miles or Dr. Michael Ray over at Barbell Medicine. I believe they are capped at the moment but you can join the waiting list for a consult and one month programming.

    I would be more than happy to help you out otherwise but more info is needed and I don't believe MFP allows me to reach out to you in a way to obtain that info outside of the forums which isn't optimal for that purpose.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    Thank you for all the replies, I'm very grateful
    I think, as someone has said, that even though I have tried to follow correct form, it's likely that I haven't!
    I'm not someone who gives up easily and I've tried hard to persevere, but currently I'm in more pain and am less mobile than ever before. I have a couple of other chronic conditions, and long term use of meds such as steroids probably haven't helped.
    I am finally starting to feel a return of movement and flexibility - I think pilates and swimming have helped - and am really hoping I can eventually get back to lifting but at the moment it's out of the question. I just want to make sure I don't lose any more muscle, having worked so hard to build it, which is no mean feat in your 60s.
    Thanks for all the suggestions and I will look for a local physio who can advise me on form and suggest an individually tailored programme. I'm in the UK so physio is free on the NHS but in my experience they can only offer limited help because they are over stretched.

    Definitely ask your physio to help you with form -- they'll do it! I was shocked at how during my session today, we literally spent half of the time working on my squat and deadlift form, so that I could go home and do it, and improve my glute strength. I never would have thought physical therapy could do that!