Candidate Q: Lower Back Strain?

Candidate Question:

I am considering entering OCS in the summer of 2012, and my biggest question/concern is this. How much strain gets put on your lower back during OCS? I have experienced some slight muscle soreness more often in my lower back over the years, and I’m just concerned that it might be an issue. I really want to get through OCS but also I don’t want to majorly screw up my back. I’m going through a strengthening program for my back right now but just wanted to hear what you think.


Great question. The lower back stress is brutal. Between marching with lots of weight, and holding your rifle out in front of you for a long time, your lower back bears the brunt of it. You need to be doing heavy lifts–squats, deadlifts, heavy lunges–to build your entire core. Knees, hips, shoulders, it’s all part of the chain to bear the stress. Get strong and stay motivated.

Consider augmenting your current workout routine with the following techniques:

  • Heavy compound lifts for strength and core stability
  • Try Yoga for lower back flexibility, strengthening and improved circulation
  • Get a backpacking backpack, fill it up with weight and do some conditioning marches for yourself!

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