Low Back Pain SUCKS…
Let’s face it. There is nothing worse than chronic pain. I mean pain that disrupts your job, your hobbies, and most importantly your time with your loved ones. Throughout my coaching career I have met several individuals who literally have to change the activities which they do with their children because of low back pain.
The worst part may come when you decide you want to make a change. You want to take control of your health, lose weight, and become fit. However, as soon as you start you are stopped by low back pain. What are you going to do about it? If you push through it, it’ll most likely just get worse. So you do what any normal person would do. You stop. This kills your momentum and halts your weight loss progress.
I don’t want this to happen to you, which is why in this article I will be showing you how to manage and hopefully eliminate your low back pain. Now, don’t get me wrong. There could be a hundred different reasons of why you are experiencing low back pain and of course I do not know YOUR exact reason. So, I definitely recommend that you get with a coach like me or a professional who can help you figure out what is going on. But first just try out this mobility routine and see if it can help you!
Step One: Get Warm
A warm body is a body that will respond better to mobility work. I recommend that you spend 5-10 minutes getting warm. If you are at a gym, then use a tread mill. If you are at home you can march in place or perform Jumping Jacks (if it does not aggravate your back).
Step two: Self-Myofascial Release
9 times out of 10 when I have a client who is experiencing low back pain it is due to tight hips. Tight hips can come from sitting for long periods at a time or if you find yourself in a job which requires a lot of picking things up and putting them down. These repetitive movements (or if you are sitting- lack of movement) can cause the Fascia (tissue which covers your muscle fibers) to get knotted up. These knots can wreck havoc on how the body moves and your ability to actually stretch a muscle. So before we stretch the first step is to get your fascia tissue to become supple.
You can do this through foam rolling or trigger point therapy.
Quads- Move from pelvis to knee
Adductors- Move from groin to knee
Piriformis- Lean into the hip that is crossed
TFL/IT Band- Roll from hip to knee
Step three- Lengthen
Now that we are warm and have massaged out knots in the muscles which surround out hips, it is time to stretch. Think of it like this. If you have tight hips, then it will force you to accomplish most movements, like a squat, with a compromised low back. So, we want to make sure all of the muscles involved in hip movement are lose and supple.
Couch Stretch-This one is brutal but, if done correctly can really ease back pain. Start in a table top position, then hike one leg up against the wall. Step into a lunge with the opposite leg and slowly raise your back towards the wall. I will be honest you may not be able to come up all the way at first. This is okay, just keep doing this until you can get your back flat against the wall. Hold for a min of 2 minutes on each side!
Piriformis Stretch- A tight glute is no good for proper movement. Hold this stretch for 2 minutes on each side.
Lizard Lunge-Another great stretch for the hips. Now i will be honest you may just start with the first phase of this stretch. As you gain more mobility you should be able to transition into the final phase.
Step four: Strengthen your core
Pallofs: Make sure the outside hand is gripping the band and the inside hand is cupping the outside hand. Brace your core and pull the band so that the handle is inline with your sternum. Pull the in towards the chest and then punch it back out. You should feel this on the outside oblique. You can use any type of band. It does not have to be a cable machine
Ol Fashioned Plank- Okay, this can either make or break you. It is IMPORTANT that when you hold your plank you have a neutral spine, braced core, and are squeezing your glutes TIGHTLY. If you feel pain in your low back, then you need to immediately modify. Just google plank modifications and you will find a bunch
Glute Bridge- This one will not only help you with your low back, it will strengthen and shape your hips as well!
I can not stress enough that your posture is going to play a huge role in dictating your mobility. So ultimately how you move is going to decide what you feel. Start with just using both legs, then increase resistance by alternating legs (as in the picture below)
I can not stress this enough: Ultimately your posture will dictate your movement. Improper movement leads to pain and injury. So Start working on being aware of your daily positions. Ask questions like:
- Is my core braced while squatting or sitting
- Am I hunched at my desk or do I have a tall spine
- Am I sitting for most of the day without getting up, stretching, and moving
- Am I moving properly right now
I hope this helps and don’t forget you can always come and check out our mobility class here at the gym! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any additional help!