Monday Mobility – Lumbar Spine [Victoria BC CrossFit]
Lumbar Control and Stability
Kirby Bohan, BHSc; Coach, Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer has previously spoken about the importance of neutral spine, the lumbar spine is often the biggest weak point for a lot of people when it comes to maintaining lumbar control. Today we are going to go through some important key features of lumbar spine mobility.
People will often stick their butts out to try and “accentuate” their curves and make their butt look bigger. However, this is not the case. This is just putting an unnecessary amount of load through the lumbar segments of your spine and weakening your core stabilizers. It also does not make your squat any better.
We are constantly telling you to squeeze your glutes when squatting, this is for a very good reason. It helps keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the squat movement.
Having an understanding of lumbar control and stability (together with thoracic mobility) will also help you avoid the “butt wink” that so many of us experience at the bottom of a squat.
These are a great place to start to gain a good understanding of the proprioception of the lumbar spine:
- Starting in a 4-point kneeling position
- Slowly arch your back up (hollowing your body out) and tuck your chin to your chest
- Then going in the opposite direction, start to flatten your back out and go into a reverse arch, lifting your head and bum up.
- Repeat movements 10-15
This is an important plane of movement that we shouldn’t forget about, this scorpion stretch is a great one to do:
- Laying face down with arms out wide to the side
- Take one leg up and over the opposite leg
- Aim to keep your shoulder mostly on the ground
- Repeat side to side
- The goal is to try and get your foot to touch the ground and as high up to your arm as you can
If you are a person who wakes up in the morning with a bit of a stiff lower back this is a great exercise to do before even leaving your bed!
- Laying on your back with legs up and feet placed flat on the bed
- Place your hands on your hip bones (feel the bony prominence at the front)
- Slowly tilt your pelvis up down toward the mattress and feel the space under your lower back open up
- Then tilt your pelvis up toward the ceiling and feel that space in your lower back close
- Repeat these 30 times before standing up