Hi, my name is Kevin, I’m not a power lifter, but love building strength and am a former competitive BMX bike rider. After 3 years of a back injury from bmxing (made worse by poor spine hygiene and working out with poor form) that made me flexion and extension intolerant, in April of 2017 to December 2018, I had finally developed enough pain free tolerance and strength to start make significant progress at the gym and was riding my bmx again for short periods of time with a more neutral spine posture mostly pain free. In December I was feeling so great that I started pushing myself really hard at the gym, shovelled a ton of snow early in the morning, and had a near-fall on some ice where I didn’t slip but engaged my back to what felt like 100% in some extension. To nobody’s surprise, my intolerance to flexion and extension returned in January with a vengeance and some sharp pain as well as some sciatica. Though I have made some progress since then after reading the Back Mechanic, I never fully embraced the desensitization period. I continued to do some push-ups, dips, body weight rows and squats twice a week in addition to the walking program and the big three daily and my back as stayed quite sensitized. After a couple weeks of feeling much better I tried some pull-ups that only resensitized my extension intolerance, I realized that I need to put my ego away and give this a real shot. So, for the last two weeks I have been doing only the big three (with quite a modified bird dog, as anything more than raising my arm in front of me causes pain) walking and practicing as much spine hygiene as I possibly can as a kindergarten teacher.
My plan is to continue doing this indefinitely until I have enough tolerance to make progress with the big three, but I am curious as to when I can start adding push ups, bodyweight rows and squats, as I know my tendency is to jump the gun. Should I be completely pain free throughout my entire day before trying them? Or is it okay to integrate them if they are pain free and do not agrevate my back during and after?
Thanks in advance

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Brian Carroll Answered question July 2, 2018