Monday, April 14, 2008

Weak Glutes Causing Low Back Pain?

Question:
Hello John, I suffer from alot of lower back ache which is caused and relieved by hamstring stretching. I've read that the cause of an increased lower back arch and tight hamstrings is weak glutes. I exercise my glutes with rock bottom squats which I feel hits them hard, yet the tight hamstrings and resulting bad posture continue. Is there some other way to tackle this? Thanks for any help!

Answer:
"Are your glutes sore after your "rock bottom" squats? Or are your quads sore? If glutes are weak, it may be because they do not fire when they are supposed to. It may be difficult to target your glutes with squats because you may already have compensatory patterns (that's why you already have weak glutes). In order to get your glutes to "fire", you need to isolate them and then integrate them into an exercise like the squat. To activate the glutes, I suggest lateral band walks, clam exercise, fire hydrants, or bird-dogs, and hip bridges. (Google these exercises if you are unfamiliar)
You may also need to examine the hip flexors. If the hip flexors of the front thighs are overly tight, they will inhibit the hamstrings and glutes. Hamstrings that are tight are not always strong. You may need to perform some flexibility exercises and foam rolling for this area.

Foam Roll (Self Myo-fascial Release - SMR)
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Glutes

Stretch

  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors (Psoas, Quads)
For intervention, follow these steps:
  1. Follow the steps above to help alleviate the discomfort
  2. After 3 weeks of following these steps (minimal 5 days/week), seek out a licensed massage therapist (LMT). Have deep tissue or trigger point therapy performed. In most cases, this can fix your problem.
  3. If the problems persists, seek out a medical professional.
Hope this information helps.

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