7/19/2007

I recently attended a series of seminars and completed a certificate in Corrective Exercise Strategy for the Low Back, and will be sharing some of that information below along with an illustrated program for core and corrective training.

Beware ...the Arched Lower Back

Poor posture, especially while weight lifting, is a set-up for a back injury. Injury can be immediate, or cumulate over time. There are for different postural distortions that are most common in people with lower back pain, all of which we look for when we conduct a squat assesment:
- Excessive forward lean at the shoulders/head
- Low Back Arches
- Low Back Rounds
- Assymetrical weight shift at the hips.
...the desk job In my experience with typical gym members, the arched lower back is the most commonly seen problem. If you think about your jobs - sitting at desks hunched over computers all day long - it is not surprising that the hip flexors and lats get tight and the glutes, hamstrings and deep abdominal core gets weak. The lower back muscles can tighten as a result. Pain results, sometimes caused by muscle and ligament strain, sometimes nerve impingement, and sometimes by damage to a disk.
...poor weight lifting technique Lifting weights with an arched back is a recipe for disaster, especially overhead lifting. Ditto for pulling exercises. When the spine is in an arched position there is pressure on the disks which can easily lead to herniation or ruptures. Your powerful pectoral muscles or shoulder muscles may be able to handle the weight, but your disks can't.

Want to lift more weight safely without arching your back? Strenghten your core.

Core and Corrective Training Program for Arched Lower Back

The following are some general guidelines and a training program that applies to most people, a more specific program might be developed following a fitness assessment.

Stretch With an arched lower back, the typical tight or overactive muscles are the hip flexors/quadriceps, latissimus dorsi and erector spinae (lower back).

Strenghten The gluteus maximus, hamstring and core stablizers muscles are underactive and need to be strenghtened and activated. Traditional abdominal crunches can actually work against you here - they can train the external abdominals to active before the inner core muscles.

Click here for an illustrated guide to core and corrective exercises that you can incorporate into your training program.