Ever get to the gym to do a workout and as soon as you do your first lift, you feel one side of your low back seize up? Or maybe set your alarm early so you can get up for a lifting session but as soon as you stand up from your bed you feel a tightness in one side of your low back?
This can be a result of an overactive quadratus lumborum (QL). This muscle attaches from the rim of your pelvis and attaches to your L1-4 vertebrae and your lower rib. When it is tight or overactive, it can give you the sensation of general one-sided low back tightness. If it contains active trigger points, it can refer pain towards your tailbone or into the outside of your hip. On top of restricting your mobility; it can make it difficult for your glutes, hip flexors, and obliques to fire properly.
If you are dealing with this problem, try this 5-step routine to help improve performance during your lift and get the results you want:
◾ QL Releases (find 1-2 spots) – 45-60 sec, along with deep diaphragmatic (“belly”) breathing
◾ QL Dynamic Stretch – 10x 5-10 sec holds
◾ SL Bridges – 15-20 reps (focus on glutes)
◾ Side Planks – 3x 10-20sec (focus on underside abs/obliques)
◾ Bird Dogs – 10-15 on each side (focus is on keeping back straight!)
Take your time with the routine and you should find that your lifts will be smoother and more balanced.