Straightening Things Out: Dealing with Lumbar Lordosis

Feb 20, 2024
 

Lumbar Lordosis, or an overly pronounced curve in the lower back, can cause pain, soreness and even fatigue. Often impacting day to day life. The good news is with better understanding and some practical exercises, you can live better with Lordosis in the longer term and even overcome many of the symptoms you’re experiencing. But it’s not just about stretching exercises, as you may have been lead to believe.

In the tutorial above I focus on the 3 things you need to do before you begin those exercises:

 

  1.  Foam rolling the anterior parts of the hip

With Lordosis, it’s important to understand that the main culprit is the psoas muscle. This is the one that joins onto the spine, pulling it in to create that inward curve. The anterior pelvic tilt we see actually comes as a secondary effect, caused by your body compensating as it moves.  And this often results in tightness through the front of the hip.

This is the bit we can access with foam rollers.

...

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Unlock Your Core Potential: 5 Exercises for a Rock-Solid Torso

Jan 15, 2024
 

In this month’s blog I am talking about how you can unlock your core potential. To do that we’ll look at the different components that make up core training as well as five exercises to help you build a robust core, giving you the strength, endurance and stability you need

Exercise 1 - Core Endurance – Side Plank

When we want to build the core, we don't just build core strength, we don't just build

core stability we need to build all the different components. So for core endurance we use the side plank because it’s a relatively simple position to hold, yet it gives us the ability to challenge the muscles over a prolonged period of time.

When we’re performing the side plank we want to imagine a straight line all the way down the body. Don’t allow the hips to hike up or sag, try to create a nice straight line going through the two shoulders. As we do this on both sides, we’re able to challenge the right side, the left side and a portion of the...

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Stop looking for a one size fits all program

Dec 15, 2023
 

Are you looking for a package or product that’s going to fix your lower back pain? A specific exercise perhaps? A few rules to follow? A magic wand to wave?

There are plenty of people around who will try to give you the answer. “Do this stretch,” they’ll say. “Try that technique.” And while these may be things that have worked from some people in some circumstances, and while they may be science-backed, to some extent at least, the suggested exercises will often be generalised. And just because a certain technique is better for lower back pain than another, does not necessarily mean that it’s the right thing to do for your lower back pain.

How to know what will work for you?

As there are so many different suggestions floating around, it can be hard to really set up a routine that works over time. Simply trying different things here and there is unlikely to help. And even if it does seem to, it will be near impossible to unpick what’s...

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Learn the Turkish Get Up with these steps and modifications

Nov 17, 2023
 

The Turkish Get Up is a perfect exercise for core stability and joint mobility, however it can be difficult to get to grips with. That’s why I wanted to create a tutorial to go through some of the tips and tricks I share with my clients to help them build up to the full exercise. And hopefully this will help make things easier for you too.

Prerequisites for Turkish Get Up beginners

If you‘re coming to the Turkish Get Up as a beginner, and you’re looking for a place to start, let’s talk about some prerequisites.

  1.  Hip extension

The first thing you’ll need for a smooth Turkish Get Up, is adequate hip extension. When you’re lifting up from the floor to the correct position, you need the hip to be extended rather than flexed in order to be able to get your knee underneath your body. You’ll find that successfully mastering this first part of the move comes down to glute muscle strength as well as range of movement.

  1.  Hip and shoulder...
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When overcoming low back pain, this doesn't get talked about enough

Oct 17, 2023
 

This might not necessarily be something you think is important. But it is. It’s something that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. That’s why in this tutorial I wanted to go back to basics and  show you why, if you are struggling with lower back pain, you should be rethinking everything you do. 

So, what is this untold secret? 

It's small movement errors, the things that happen when we lift or twist, when we’re in a rush or not thinking. It’s the fact that just a little more concentration on the way we perform these everyday adjustments could make a very real difference on the recovery or recurrence of our lower back pain. 

Let’s get more specific:

 

  • Rounding the lower back 

 

When we get ready to lift something, we naturally round the back. Particularly when it’s something we don’t view as ‘heavy’. The problem is this rounding puts extra stress on the discs of the lower back. And...

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Exercising Strategies for Alleviating Lower Back Pain

Sep 15, 2023
 

When I speak to people struggling with lower back pain, they often ask the same questions: should I continue to exercise? What exercises should I do? And how do I make sure I don’t make it worse? 

In this tutorial I want to set out the journey you’ll go on and what you should be doing. As well as how I can help you to implement lots of positive changes, step by step without aggravating your lower back pain.

 

The importance of understanding lower back pain

The first thing I want to say here, is that your lower back pain is specific to you, you will have your own triggers. There will be specific postures, and scenarios that make it better or worse. The first step is to get to know and understand your own lower back. Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to learn how to do the right thing for it. 

When you join one of my online programmes, or work with me face-to-face, the first step will always be an assessment of your lower back pain. This...

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4 ways to prevent your Hip or Butt Wink

Aug 16, 2023
 

In this tutorial we’ll look at what is a butt wink or what is a hip wink then we'll look at why it's a problem. Finally we’ll cover four ways we can prevent it happening if you’re struggling with lower back pain.

 

What is a butt wink or hip wink?

A hip or butt wink is when the pelvis tucks underneath as you go down into a squat or into hip flexion. It's only a small movement but just tucks under as you get to the lowest part of the movement. We don't want this to happen as it’s a problem when it comes to muscle activation, as well as contributing to lower back pain because it's irritating one specific part of the joint. 

 

How can you tell if what you’re feeling is a hip wink

A hip wink is actually a very subtle movement that might be confused with your shorts being pulled tight. You can tell if it’s the hip winking by putting your hand across your back. Place your little finger on your pelvis and your thumb on your lower...

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One of the best stretches for Lordosis

Jul 18, 2023
 

If you have an excessive lumbar curve and you need help to reduce it, there are a number of stretches you can use. Here I want to talk about one of the best ones to use and give you some tips to make sure you’re getting the best out of it. 

Stretching to improve excessive lumbar curve

You may already be familiar with this stretch, and you can tune into the tutorial above, around 0:35, to see an image of the position. But in summary, go down onto two knees, place one foot flat in front of you, so your knee is at a right angle. Then with the leg at the back, hook the foot up on a raised surface, i.e. a bench, so that only your knee is on the floor, creating a V-shape behind you. Place your hands on your front thigh, towards the knee, and lift your shoulders back, keeping your back straight. 

Here, we’re concentrating on the anterior line, adjusting to feel the stretch in the back leg. This stretch is primarily for the rectus femoris muscle, but depending on where...

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What's the fastest way to strengthen my core?

Jun 22, 2023
 

It’s a question I’m often asked by clients: ‘How can I strengthen my core quickly?’

Here, I want to share five things to focus on if you’re keen to build your core in the right way, fast.

  1.  Build your entire core, don't focus only on the abdominal wall

For true core strength, you’ll need to focus on building those deep core muscles, not just the rectus abdominus and the obliques. The diagram on the tutorial above gives a good overview of the muscles involved, from the thoracolumbar fascia at the back to the abdominal fascia at the front. For core strength, stability and endurance we need to make sure all these muscles are working as efficiently as they can, in a balanced way, front to back and left to right.

You can work on this using static exercises like the plank, side plank, bird dog and bridge.

  1.  Start making your exercises dynamic

Once you’ve mastered the exercises in step one, start making these same exercises dynamic so...

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What is core endurance and why is it good for low back pain?

May 15, 2023
 

What is core endurance?

Core endurance is the ability to maintain a position or perform multiple repetitions. It’s when we’re lacking this core endurance element, that we can find lower back pain creeping in if we’re performing exercises repeatedly or over a period of time.

Why not core strength?

Core strength gets talked about a lot in these conversations. People often say, ‘I need to improve my core strength,’ ‘I need to run to improve my core strength,’ etc. The thing is, I know plenty of people who can lift heavy weights but still have bad backs, and plenty of people who can’t, and yet don’t.

The fact is, back muscle strength has not been found to be a significant predictor of first time injuries. Put simply, the issue isn’t strength.

The strength aspect is literally the ability to contract the muscles and get into the position to lift the weight and to perform the exercise. The endurance part is the ability to...

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