Listen up! I get way too many emails talking about how people are correcting their movement mechanics but still experiencing lower back pain when bending, lifting etc. There is a missing link. It’s called abdominal bracing! This week I wanted to cover not only how to brace your core to protect your lower back but how to do a simple test to make sure you’re bracing correctly.So, I wanted to start off by first showing you a simple way to see if what you’re doing for “bracing” is sufficient enough to protect your lower back during daily activities and time in the gym. Proper bracing is paramount to protecting your lower back. You can hip hinge until your blue in the face but if your core isn’t braced properly, the protection you need isn’t there. This is why so many people still experience back pain while doing small things such as rolling over in bed or bending to grab their socks off the floor. Your spine needs stability, so brace it!
A common false sense of stability
Before we move on, I wanted to make a point that I wish someone would have told me years ago. A common issue I have seen over the years with clients is having a habit of getting into this chest out, butt out, over extended posture to perform whatever activity they are trying to do. This only gives you a false sense of stability and ends up overloading the lower back and facet joints. Your core may be slightly contracted but the majority of the force is going into your lower back and not being evenly distributed over the trunk and hips. This was me 100%. When I was deadlifting over 400lbs this was my default position. Thinking about strategically bracing my core before a lift was an after thought. In my head, as long as I felt “tight” I was fine. A ruptured L5-S1 later proved me wrong.
Moral of the story, focus on bracing. Make sure you’re doing it right even if that means tuning back the weight and making adjustments to your volume and frequency.
Start here and test yourself first!
Once you have established what a good brace and bad brace feels like, let’s now talk about how to apply this proper brace while we are standing and going through daily movements. Pairing the hip hinge with a proper brace is two of the most influential things you will ever do to protect your lower back.
No matter what you’re doing at home, at work or in the gym learn to brace your core. I can’t emphasize this enough! Without marrying these two things properly, you will be missing a key element to getting relief from your lower back pain.
Apply this to your own life. Think about what activities you do the most on a day-to-day basis that causes you lower back pain. Add these techniques to your mechanics before you complete that task and see how it makes a difference.
If this helped leave a comment below and let me know what activity you were doing when you tried it!
If it helped you I am confident it can help someone you know! Be sure to share the wealth with someone you know!
Talk to you soon