You may have weak hips!
It is common to see people with back pain also have weak glute muscles. These people can have a harder time coordinating and contracting these muscles. As a result, people will instinctively use their hamstrings and low back muscles more to create hip extension which can place excessive stress on the spine.
So what is the answer? Try these two exercises to target the glute muscles and help increase their strength.
Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Step 2: Squeeze your butt muscles FIRST and THEN lift your hips from the ground. Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can in this bridge position for 5 full seconds before relaxing back to the ground.
DEEP SQUAT WITH ISOMETRIC HOLD
Step 1: Hold a weight in front of your body and perform a deep goblet squat.
Step 2: Brace your core in this bottom position and drive your knees to the side while keeping your foot in an arched position
Step 3: Rise a few inches and squeeze your glutes tightly. Hold this for 5 seconds before dropping back down. .
This translates the glute activation from the previous exercise into something functional that mimics your squat technique.
These are great supplemental exercises that are a great addition to your lower body routine. Try them out and let us know what you think!
I often have patients admit to me that they don’t stretch, and they typically seem ashamed or act like they believe they should be stretching. Well, guess what. I don’t either - and I have yet to ‘pull’ a muscle.
**SPOILER ALERT** - static stretching doesn’t do what most people think it does and it's largely a waste of time. There are much better and proactive ways to spend your time.
There has been plenty of research that has shown that stretching doesn’t warm you up, it doesn’t prevent injuries or soreness, and it isn’t likely to enhance your performance. And furthermore, you can’t actually make a change in the length of muscle.
Now, with that said you can improve flexibility, at least temporarily. But you won’t see any long term change in the muscle. The changes we see are likely due to a neurological response.
Bottom line: if you like stretching, have at it. But if not, just know that you aren’t missing out on much and there are better ways to spend your time.
What are your thoughts? We want know!
Dr. Ladd's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.