The Cooper Institute
 

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH

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Low Back Correctives

Written by
Michael Harper, MEd
Posted in
Fit Tips

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016

Low back discomfort is often due to muscular and flexibility imbalances, however, the location of the discomfort may not be the actual culprit. Issues in the low back are often attributed to strong but inflexible muscles on the front side of the hip combined with weak muscles on the back side of the hip. Together these can cause extra strain on the low back causing discomfort.

To combat the aforementioned issues, corrective exercise utilizing self-myofascial release, similar to those taught in Functional Movement Screen (FMS) training, can be used if the individual has been cleared for activity.

To perform self-myofascial release, points of tenderness or tension are located by rolling on a foam roller, or other similar item, ideally after a dynamic warm-up. Slowly roll forward or backward centering the body weight on the desired area until a point of tenderness or tension is found. Hold that position using the body weight to create the desired amount of pressure until a 75% reduction in pain is felt. Then slowly roll forward or backward until you find another tender or tight area and repeat.

To perform on the hip flexors:

  1. Place medicine ball or basketball under the body while on hands and knees.
  2. Lower the body to place the left hip on medicine ball or basketball and the forearms on the ground.
  3. Bend the right knee placing the toe on the ground in order to roll the body forward and backward.
  4. Slightly shift the body to the left.
  5. Gently, roll on the front of the hip until you find a pressure point.
  6. Hold the body weight over the trigger point until there is a 75% reduction in pain.
  7. Repeat on the other side.


To perform on the quadriceps:

  1. Place foam roller under the body while on hands and knees.
  2. Lower the body to place the thighs on the foam roller and the forearms on the ground.
  3. Gently, roll the body forward or backward on the thighs until a point of tension is found.
  4. Hold the body weight over the trigger point until there is a 75% reduction in pain.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. To target one side more specifically, shift the body weight to that side and slowly roll until a point of tension is found.


To perform on the piriformis:

  1. Sit with the glutes on the foam roller with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Cross the right ankle over the left thigh.
  3. Grasp the right knee with the left hand pulling the right leg towards the chest.
  4. Place the other hand on the ground behind the foam roller for support.
  5. Shift the weight to the right and gently roll until a point of tension is found on the piriformis.
  6. Hold the body weight over the trigger point until there is a 75% reduction in pain.
  7. Repeat on the other side.