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Thursday, September 5, 2019

⚠️Why you're low back is sore....😳(and what to do about it)

Quadratus Lumborum Tightness(QL)

⚠️What is it?⚠️

One of the deepest abdominal muscles, used to sit, stand, extend and serve as a synergist for the GLUTES. Yes, you heard that right! Many people develop LOW back pain and immediately start stretching their backs when it could very well be the culprit of tight hamstrings. 

The QL has attachments at the pelvis, lumbar spine, and ribs…making it essential to not be over-worked or stressed to keep a healthy body!

Most often, when the QL is tightened it shortens which causes the spine to go into lateral flexion(not a good thing) and the lumbar spine into extension(again, not a good thing). 

This tightness can give you a “false sense” or hip extension where you are doing certain exercises like deadlifts, RDLs, Band Walks, Bridges, etc with using more the low back and less of the glutes. 

A perfect example? 

Think of the last time you did back squats….maybe some residual low back stiffness but nothing out of the normal….

Now….load up and go heavy on some BOX SQUATS. Let me know how that booty feels! It’s pretty incredible the roll of the glutes when it comes to not only extending the hips but ALSO stabilizing! 

🔑Another key point to think about is that the glutes work in all three planes of motion! Not JUST ONE….which is why runners tend to develop overuse injuries if they dont spend time working in those other planes! 

The glutes are key is eccentric control, and since we don’t have much muscle below the knee….the glutes become prime examples of the muscle that has to eccentrically stabilize, reduce internal rotation and flexion. 

So, case in point today for my knowledge bomb….DO NOT forget about you glutes. They are the largest muscle in your body, and 9 times out of 10….when you are hurting somewhere along the posterior chain, it’s related to them.

Watch my videos below for a couple exercises to cue glute activation, while SMR and deep tissue can be a life savor for the QL tightness if you notice the area in red(pic above)very tight on you!

Hope this helps!

Bowler Squats

Great exercise to incorporate a strong glute contraction at the top of the exercise in a transverse plane of motion. Great for queuing the QL and glutes to contract and support.

Prone Hip Extension

Activate the glutes by having a slight bend in the knee and tighten your abdominal muscles. 

Quadrupled Prone Hip Extension

*Note: These are not donkey kicks. I am not a fan of them simply because they tend to go past end range of motion, causing you to lose tension in glutes and arch the spine. This serves no purpose for glute activation.

Single Leg Glute Bridge

This is a great exercise that I see most commonly butchered. WHY? MIND/MUSCLE connection. It simply is NOT good enough to go through the motion mindlessly without squeezing and activating the glutes! Drive your heel into the box and have a STRONG contraction and you will quickly see what I am talking about!

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