Weightlifting & Exercise/Home Workout


Hi there,

Got a really annoying problem that I feel I should bring up. Used to use weights at home and created my own home workout that I did for a couple of years. However, after a while I felt my general back and neck health markedly deteriorate.

I then switched to the gym and used mainly machine equipment. I eventually moved onto free weights and I thought my neck ache and back problems were way behind me.

However, after months of health with frequent trips to the gym I stopped going (busy work schedule) so I reverted back to a home workout.

However, almost immediately I started doing a generic home workout I used to get neck ache. I reckon I know what it is, (sit ups) but even when I correct my technique it still seems to hurt the next day. I wake up in the morning feeling like a 70 year old man!

I'm really worried, because I don't want to screw up my back for the future.

Where do you think I'm going wrong?


Boy oh boy can I sympathize with you. After having a herniated disc as well as two partially herniated discs, I know all about back pain. And I mean pain where I had to eat my dinner on the floor like a dog and be chauffeured around lying down in the back seat of a car. Ok I am going to go on what I think is possibly happening but it would help if I knew where the pain was located in your back and neck, what it feels like and what you are doing when it comes on. You mentioned it could be sit-ups and if you are pulling on your neck and doing ballistic type movements that very well could be. Make sure you do crunches, where you feet are not secured down, but rather curled up or over a bench. Make sure your fingers are on the sides of your head, not cupped around the back of your neck. Also, your abs alone should be what is pulling you up, do not pull on your head at any time. Some other thoughts are that you may be doing the techniques improperly, have a trainer or experienced person show you correct form for each exercise. You can also watch videos on YouTube that will show the correct technique (assuming you pick a video where someone knowledgeable is teaching the technique.) Some machines are difficult to crawl into so that could be a reason as well, whereas free-weights let you move in a less complicated area. Another thought Jonny is that if your push muscles (triceps, pecs and deltoids, primarily anterior deltoids) are more developed and stronger than your pull  muscles (Lats, traps, rhomboids etc.)you may have a muscle imbalance where the weaker muscles can't sustain the support needed for the said exercises, thereby causing a muscle strain. If this has been plaguing you for awhile I would recommend seeing an Orthopedist or Physiotherapist as they can do advanced assessments that could identify the underlying problem. If you feel there is a muscle imbalance, strengthening the weaker muscles would be ideal. Lastly you may have a pinched nerve or slipped disc that very well could be the culprit.
Jonny I hope this helps point you in the right direction and that you find relief soon. If I can be of further assistance please let me know. Take care.


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Greg Hoppe


I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.


I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

ISSA, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

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