One of the exercises I'm doing as part of strength training is the overhead press (sometimes called the "military press", or simply "the press"). Here's how it works. (No, I'm not lifting nearly as much weight as shown in the video! I'm just a beginner!)
I'm following that instruction, and doing the overhead press at least once weekly as part of my workout routine. However, my spine is fused right at its base, where it joins the hips (the L5-S1 vertebrae, to be precise). That means I can't do the "hip thrust" Mark Rippetoe mentions without that fused joint acting up. Also, even if I leave out the hip thrust, my lower back protests vigorously as I add more weight to the barbell, feeling very unsteady and unstable and "wobbly". I'm making good progress in other types of lift, but I just can't seem to get that part of my back to "go with the flow" of the overhead press.
That's where I'm turning to you, dear readers. I know (from past comments and correspondence) that some of you have also had spinal fusions (sometimes multiple ones), and are also involved with weightlifting. Can you offer any advice, from your experience, on how best to overcome this hurdle? How can one strengthen the muscles around a fusion site like that, perhaps the most critical "hinge joint" in the body, so that one can make progress with the overhead press? Ideas and suggestions are welcome. I'll run them past my instructor, and we'll see what might be able to work for me.
In the interim, as soon as my new bench gets here, I'm going to concentrate on modified (and lighter weight) overhead presses at home, using dumbbells. Here's how that works. No, I don't look nearly as "buffed" as the man doing the demonstration! Sorry about that . . .
That should provide enough support that my fused lower spine won't give me the same problems. One can do the same exercise using an EZ curl bar (video at the link). I have a curl bar, so I'll probably try to incorporate that in due course, too. If I find everything goes well, I'll probably start doing seated overhead presses with heavier weights at the gym, too.
(I deliberately limit myself to lighter weights at home, because of the risk of injury if something goes wrong. At the gym, I can have a "spotter" if I need one, and can work out inside a rack [the iron framework shown in the first video clip above], where I can position crossbars to catch a barbell if I fall, preventing it landing on me and injuring me. I don't have any of those precautions at home.)
Thanks in advance for your input.