We value correct form and positioning in the gym (one of the important reasons having a trainer is so helpful!) and one of the most corrected positions tends to be anything associated with the back. We want to protect that spine and all the big and small muscles supporting it as much as possible! Nearly everyone reading this, ourselves included, has likely dealt with low back issues at some point or another in life and you know firsthand was a pain it (literally) is.

There are lots of reasons for this and, though we’re careful not to diagnose or treat anything out of our scope of practice (we’ve got wonderful physical therapists and chiropractic friends to refer out to) we found that some of the most common reasons people experience discomfort in the lumbar area are weak, inactivated glutes (butt) andtight hip flexors (muscles that vertically cross the front of the hips). When this is the case, the pelvis is tipped forward, putting an excessive curve into the low back, which pulls on all of its supporting muscles. Furthermore, if the large glutes aren’t firing like they should (you may remember us talking about this in our We Like Strong Glutes And We Cannot Lie article) those tiny low back muscles take the load meant for the larger glute muscles…chronically over-straining the lumbar area. Yeeeouch!

We do a lot of work to “undo the sitting position” in the gym in order to get the pelvis in a more neutral position, which equals a happier low back. Sometimes, adjusting the body position during an exercise can make all the difference in relieving low back discomfort(remember, discomfort is different than pain…stop immediately if there is pain).

One hack we use in exercises that require weight to be pulled from out in front of the body is the passive lock position. In the picture below, when Joe elevates his front foot during a Bent Over Row exercise, his pelvis is shifted into a more neutral position, the curve in his lower back is diminished and, with some good cues, he’s able to keep a perfectlystraight spine by pulling his shoulders back and keeping his chest open. See the difference versus hanging with a hunched back? The tweak of simply elevating the front foot helps take load or moment out of the lumbar spine as he pulls the weights up and helps the larger muscles do the job they were meant to do.

Try this hack the next time this exercise makes the low back a little angry and see if some good relief is found.

Cheers to happy, strong bodies!

One Comment

  1. Książki Psychologia November 1, 2021 at 6:03 am

    As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you

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