Collin Dawson

A maybe-not-so-quick guide to a healthy lower back.

This is for you if: Your low back aches and you want to do something proactive. Or, you like keeping your low back healthy and want to prevent any aching from occurring. I’m going to try to be brief on this one, but there is a ton of information and many muscles and complexes that I’m leaving out for the sake of simplicity.

back-pain-san-diego-person-trainer-injury-prevention

Your lumbar spine (lower back) health is directly impacted by the length and strength of the muscles that support it. Imagine your spine is a main character/hero in a movie, and the muscles that surround it are the sidekicks and villains. Villains hurt the back when they are tight, whereas the sidekicks help the back when they are strong. Let’s consider this as “mostly true” for the sake of this post.

The hip flexors are the biggest villains as they are the most likely to antagonize the hero. They pull the spine into an arched position. The lower back muscles work with the “evil” hip flexor to keep the back in that arched position.
The rectus abdominus (6 pack muscles) work really hard to help fight against the “evil” hip flexor and try to make the lower back muscles elongate. The (6 pack muscles) are not alone in this. They are helped by the mighty Gluteus Maximus (yer bum), and working together, they force the hip flexor and the lower back to elongate (straighten out/ become less evil).

So, for the best remedy to low back pain:
Strengthen your sidekicks.
Challenge your Villains by stretching them.

3 sets of 30-60 second holds on the hip flexors and lower back stretches
And I like 10 sets of 10 second holds for glute contraction and abdominal drawing in maneuvers.
I’d also advise 5 mins of static stretching for every 1 hour of sitting. Maybe set a timer.
This is only the bare minimum I’d recommend. You will get a lot more out of your body with proper training, nutrition, and sleep.

Hip flexor stretch https://goo.gl/images/iNbSZ5 
Lower back stretch 1- https://goo.gl/images/pbfuc3
Lower back stretch 2- https://goo.gl/images/4izoLI

Abdominal drawing in maneuver- https://youtu.be/pqt1NcbH (you can do this whilst sitting in a chair).
Standing glute contraction/isolation- https://goo.gl/images/me5PcT (press your foot against the wall. Focus on your glute ACTIVATion).