By Marcin Makselan NASM – CPT, CF – Lv 1
We are introducing a new series of weekly tips that will answer some of the most common questions that our trainers encounter. This week we will be discussing a condition that affects over three million people each year, but is usually self-treatable. Lower back pain affects some of our clients and even trainers, but is preventable by focusing on proper stretching before and after exercise. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for low back pain. It takes time and effort to rid yourself of it, so prevention is key.
One of the main reasons people hurt or injure their lower back is because they are not taking the proper steps towards prevention. Although we always warm up the appropriate muscles before work-outs with dynamic stretching, you should consider static stretching a part of your homework. Static stretching is best done while the body is at rest and therefore not associated with a work-out. Just like your school work, this homework can also be checked and graded during your performance in the gym (overhead squats, I’m looking at you). Lower back stretches not only improve your health, but can also help to improve your posterior chain mobility.
For those that already suffer from chronic low back pain there is help for you as well! The best way to start to rid yourself of pain is to strengthen the antagonist to the affected muscle group. For your low back, these would be your T.I.R.E. muscles, or your abs. There is no quick fix for this though. Just like any good work out routine, it will take time and consistency to see results.
Here are some lower back stretches that we love:
Thread the Needle Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTWSSlIk1Ak
Seated Hamstring Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnHPMDDRMzQ
Pigeon Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v4BFOQ58F8
Cobra Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDcdhTuycOI