Lower back pain isn’t the result of doing something wrong once during a single exercise. It’s an accumulation of constant stress and tension from MANY exercises on the lower back without ever taking the time to loosen up the area. Even if you don’t have pain now, if you’re not performing these stretches and exercises before and after your workouts your lower back is a ticking time bomb of pain waiting to happen. So save yourself from having to rehab an injury and smash that thumbs up button if this video helped you out!
Whether you’re doing deadlifts, squats, overhead pressing, rowing or even curling, many of you are finding it difficult to lift heavy weights, or increase the intensity of your workouts, because of lower back pain. But that doesn’t mean you have a weak lower back. Granted, there could be some form issues here that need to be dealt with on some of the exercises I just mentioned, but any part of your body is going to start bothering you if you are constantly abusing it with training, and neglecting recovery or stretching.
Constant abuse equals tight muscles, and it’s that constant tension that’s causing all kinds of issues for you, as well as your lower back pain. So I’m going to provide you with two easy fixes that everyone can do before and after your workouts to open up and relax the lumbar spine as well, as the surrounding muscles, so that you can progressively overload with heavier weights without worrying about taking a trip to “snap city”.
Fix #1: Taking The Lower Back Through Its Natural Range Of Motion
This is important because if your lower back does not have full mobility across all planes of motion (this means flexion, extension AND rotation), training with these limitations can lead to a serious injury. So with that in mind, I want you to drop to the floor so you can perform an Alternating Toe-To-Hand touch, followed by a Scorpion.
To do a toe-to-hand touch, start off by laying with your back on the floor. Next, lift your right leg into the air and then twist and rotate your right leg towards your left hand, while trying to keep your torso in contact with the floor the entire time. Try to REALLY feel the twist and stretch across the lower back and mid back while opening up your thoracic spine. Repeat this movement with the opposite leg and continue to go back and forth for 10 – 12 reps, always staying in control of the movement.
As soon as you are done with the alternating toe-to-hand touch, you are going to roll over to your stomach and perform the same movement of trying to bring your left foot to your right hand, and then alternating with that same motion using your other leg. This is called a Scorpion, and you will again repeat this movement for 10 – 12 reps.
This combo of rehab-prehab exercises is going to get some blood into the area, warm up the lower back muscles, and take away any tension that you might be holding in that region. Remember, you are to do this for 1 – 2 sets BEFORE and AFTER training.
Fix #2: Learning How To Activate The Glutes Properly
Now that your lower back is stretched out and not tense anymore, it’s time to fire up your glutes and hamstrings the way they were meant to be trained. The problem is, however, that most people’s lower backs are far too powerful, tensed up, and end up overtaking any movement which is causing pain and discomfort. This is why you usually see people’s hips SHOOT UP first when they deadlift, versus lifting the barbell by pushing through the legs and hips. What you need to do instead is learn to activate your body’s most powerful muscle group, which is the glutes/hamstrings combo. For this fix, you’ll utilize an exercise that is also present in my “Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt In 3 EASY STEPS!” video, and here’s how you can do it.
Lie on your back with your feet on the ground and make sure there is no gap between your back and the floor. Once in place, push through your heels and extend your hips towards the ceiling, flexing your glutes and hamstrings as much as possible. As soon as you extend your glutes, you’re not just going to stop when your body is in a straight line, you’re going to flex as hard as you can and get a slight hyper extension at the top of the movement.
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