Avoid Low Back Pain
Video by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Why the Side Walks (Should) Begin
Low back pain is one of the most prevalent issues that the US deals with on a yearly basis. Millions of dollars are spent every year on different treatments to help people get through the next day. Unfortunately, too few get to the root of the problem…movement. Besides getting joints moving (GET ADJUSTED!), there is a stabilization and strengthening of surrounding muscles that also needs to be incorporated to not only get rid of the pain but keep the pain from coming back. One of the major problems arises from the lack of glute activation. There are three muscles that make up the gluteal group: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. These muscles help stabilize our hip and are the main hip extensors in the body. When these muscles don’t fire properly, it puts more pressure on surrounding muscles and causes compensation for our movement patterns. Most of the weakness develops from us sitting too much and not keeping these muscles strong.
Cue the Side Walks.
While there are many exercises to strengthen the glutes, the side walks are one of my go to movements. The proper motion should involve a partial squat with an upright back. The focus should be on keeping the body upright while stepping left or right. This will help keep the glutes firing while not adding to compensations through the low back paraspinals and hip abductors. Essentially, this means it keeps it easier on the rest of the body and can help with the low back pain by not allowing more strain through muscles being used in ways they aren’t accustomed or made to hold us. Plus, when you start strengthening the muscle group, it becomes easy to progress and further strengthen them by adding different levels of resistance bands around the knees.
Try adding in a few sets of these with your next exercise and start to feel the burn (in a good way) as you help not only your hips and butt, but also take pressure off of your low back to Avoid Low Back Pain!