I was lucky to be alive. I don’t remember much the night of the accident but when I regained consciousness, I was surrounded by policemen and doctors as I lay unable to move in the hospitals finest floral-print backless gown.
As the pieces started to fall into place, I had been run over by a car and was badly injured. I remember not being able to move my arm and legs-You can imagine the thoughts spiraling through my head at this point. Fast forward to six weeks later and I’m learning to walk all over again through Physical Therapy and finding out just how important my Core Stabilizer muscles are in basic movement and also in the fight against low back pain (LBP).
See, the Core is made up of several different muscle groups including the Transverse Abdominus (TVA), low back and pelvic floor; to name a few. Any time you pick up the kids or roll over to hit the snooze button, these Core muscles are responsible for stabilizing your entire body and protecting the lower back. When one or more of these muscle groups are weak it’s the low back that pays the price, and the rent ain’t cheap!
If you’re struggling with LBP there might be an answer that doesn’t involve expensive medications or surgery. Before even considering those I suggest trying these 3 crucial movements for a month and see how much better you feel. As a Post-Rehabilitation Specialist, I see LBP almost daily and I want to share my top secret solutions that I used following my accident and those I use in my daily practice. Queue drum roll…
Solution #1: Thank the Planks
Surrounding your mid-section is a group of deep-underlying core muscles called the Transverse Abdominus. These muscles act like a corset to help keep your upper body straight and upright. The key to a perfect Plank is to keep your entire body parallel to the floor without any movement. Start with 30 seconds and work your time up to 3-4 minutes. Don’t move a muscle!
Pro-Tip: Breathe Deep-avoid shallow breathing. Don’t allow your hips to drop below your shoulders.
Solution #2: Deadlift
If I could only do one exercise for the rest of my life it would be this one. The Deadlift works just about every muscle in your body and focuses on strengthening the low back and hamstrings. Rarely do I see this one done correctly so allow me to set the record straight, once and for all.
My 3-Step Program for Deadlift Mastery
Solution #3: Front Squats for the Win!
Unlike traditional back squats, placing a kettle bell or barbell in front of you at chest level does wonders for reducing torque and compression on your spine. This challenges the core and low back to work even harder. Here’s how to do it:
Here’s the deal…If you’re reading this article, I can almost guarantee that you have 5-10 minutes each day to practice these movements and work towards becoming free from LBP. We shouldn’t have to live with low back pain just because “it’s always been this way” or “I’m too busy to take care of it”. Don’t have access to a gym? No problem. Substitute barbells for your toddler or even grab a rock from the backyard. Make time and take care of your body, it’s the only place we have to live.