One of the reasons why your lower back hurts…
The glutes, we all have them, some people have great ones, others not so much. But did you know that if yours are weak or inactive this could be the reason why you have lower back pain.
The glutes are responsible for stabilising the pelvis with pretty much every movement you do. Walking, going up stairs, picking things up and standing to name a few.
However, if the glutes are weak or inactive then they can’t hold your pelvis in the right position which can lead to increased stress and load on the lower back as it becomes over worked. Why?
Sitting is the new smoking
Well to be quite frank we sit on our arse way too much. Either behind a desk at work, driving, or when we get home for the evening. When we sit we put the hips into a forward tilted position, which causes the hip flexors to shorten and thus tighten over time, essentially switching off. At the same time this will cause the glutes to lengthen which cause the fibres to weaken and deactivate / switch off, this is known as reciprocal inhibition.
Think of it like this
When the bicep is flexed the tricep is unflexed and vice versa, over time being in one position over another for long periods of time will cause the opposite muscle to become weak.
With regards to the glutes this can have a significant effect on your posture. Without being able to stabilise the pelvis coupled with rounded shoulders, you will constantly be in an anterior pull when performing daily tasks. Because of this the lower back has to jack up in order to keep our centre of mass balanced and you on your feet.
As of yet our bodies haven’t evolved enough to adapt to our current lazy lifestyles, so in order to stay mobile, function efficiently and avoid pain and injury, we need to exercise to get these muscles working again.
How to fix your back issues
The human body is highly adaptable and by using the right activation drills and workout exercises, overtime you can fix these issues. Trust me I did it.
The video below is just a basic 3 minute activation drill you can do before training your lower body. It involves using 2 resistance bands as shown with one placed around the lower thigh and one around the ankle.
- You are to separate your legs to create tension in the bands.
- From here perform 5-10 glute bridges driving your pelvis up to the ceiling contracting the glutes hard at the top without allowing the pelvis to go into extension.
- After this you should now perform a clam, again 5-10 reps per side separating the knees, keeping the ankles together, feeling the tension in the outer glute. (External rotation of the hip)
- Next, do a reverse clam, keeping the knees together and separating the ankles, for most of you this will feel weird.
- Once you have completed this circuit both sides jump up into an athletic position and set your pelvis in neutral. Again separating the the legs to create tension, (don’t allow the knees to collapse in) perform 5 very small lateral steps, repeat the other way and then work forwards for 5 steps and finally backwards.
By this point you should begin to feel the glutes burning. Typically I would perform this after a mobility warm up and then repeat it either in between lower body exercises or again at the half way stage during your sessions.
Remember though this isn’t an actual exercise, it’s an activation drill only. You must add overload in order to really strengthen the glutes and by this I mean lift some fucking weight.
Let me know how you go if you use this circuit 👍 Enjoy!
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