We have covered how important the feet and having good toe dexterity is for everyone, especially tactical athletes. In this post I’d like to consider another major part to the human body: Core Stability and Strength.
A large percentage of humans have lower back pain due to a number of different reasons. Most look to get the back fixed or stretch out the hip flexors to help loosen up the lower back and relieve pain.
Well guess what? You're doing it all wrong. See, our body is full of systems that keeps us in-sync. When one system is weak and not used much, the other systems have to work harder to create compensation, which leads to the pain you feel as a result of that.
Understanding What Causes Low Back Pain
But we need to look deeper and see where the root of the problem really starts. The first thing we must look at is that the body wants to create stability through the spine. The spine is one of the most important parts of the body; if we were to have an injury to our spine it can be life threatening. The spine is looking at all the other muscles and internal systems to help with aiding in that stability.
When we look at the surrounding muscle around the spine the biggest muscles we have are the abs. The abs have the stability and strength to help provide the stability the spine requires. The problem is that most humans don’t have very strong abs (their core) at all. This leads to the pain and overcompensation of the other muscle groups and systems of your body.
The most common problem areas are in the hip flexors. The hip flexor muscles are attached to the lumbar spine which help create stability from the bottom up. Often the core is not strong enough to support the stability required, so the hip flexors end up being overworked causing the pain. The problem we see here is that most people will go and stretch them out or do more strength exercises for the hip flexor.
Well, that isn't correct! Why? We have to understand that we are over training and using that muscle when it already is in a state of overuse. We need to train elsewhere so that we are able to provide recovery to the hip flexors. That is where the core comes into play.
Ab Exercises To Relieve Low Back Pain
There are a number of core exercises that use the hip flexors as their main movers. Lower ab exercises are usually the ones that end up causing a lot of pain in the hip flexor. I can hear you thinking, wait, you just said if we strengthen the core it will take the pain away! Yes and no; these exercises need to be done correctly so that we are not again overusing the hip flexors. We want to teach the body how to fire the other muscles groups to start using the core and not rely on just the hip flexors.
Here are a few ab exercise that you can do to help relieve this pain. These can be done as a simple warm up or cool down. Do 3 sets of the following:
Upper T-Spine Sit Up x 8-10 reps
Half Kneeling Pallof Press to Overhead x 5-8 per/side, slow and controlled movement
Half Kneeling Pallof Press w Rotation x 5-8 per/side, slow and controlled movement
Single Arm Farmers Carry x 50 ft per/side, maintain a strong / neutral posture and no leaning.
Rest no more than 2 minutes between exercises and sets.
Look to perform these ab exercises 2-3 times a week in your training program. They will create better movement and a healthier lifestyle that lets you live pain free in your lower back.