Coach Mike’s Son and Dad – thanks for all the work you did on Sunday to make this comp AWESOME! Also a shout out to Jimmy D. – you to have helped so much – thanks guys!
Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner
Now it is time to take a look at your lower back. Your lower back is of huge importance to those both working out and those that are not. You lower back is one of the most important parts of your body because it connects your lower extremities to your trunk which ultimately connects to your upper extremities. Any lower back discomfort can really limit not only your working out capacity but also you daily activities. Taking the necessary steps to keep this part of your body healthy is of the utmost importance.
Your lower back is made up of a variety of structures involving many muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. We will be taking a look at a few of the major structures and how you can take care of these on your own to prevent tightness and ultimately injury. You will see some similarity between these protocols and the hip protocols that were mentioned in an earlier blog. If you combine the two you will have great plans to not only take care of your hips but also your lower back.
Foam Rolling / Manual Therapy – One of my favorite kinds of maintenance therapies because it helps get the adhesions/knots out which prevents against injury.
- Foam Rolling = focus on your lower back muscles (the muscles just above your hips and just below your ribs). Also don’t forget about your glut. max, glut. medius and piriformis. It is a great idea to work on these before heavy leg days and clean days.
- Manual therapy = this is a little tricky because you are going to work on your back but not impossible. A lacrosse ball can be a great tool to hit the deeper lower back muscles and a broom stick can be used to work those same muscles while standing.
Strengthening/Stablization Exercises – proper lower back stabilization is one of best ways to prevent injuries. This starts with a strong core.
- Superman / Boat = we have done these in the past and are great tools to help build your core and prevent lower back exercises. Start with 10 reps of each holding each for 15-30 seconds. This will be hard and should be.
- Bird Dog Exercises = these are done starting on all fours. Start by raising your right hand and left hand separately. Next lift your right leg and left leg separately. To complicate things start to lift and hold your right arm and left leg. Again try to do 10 reps of whatever you can perform with good form and hold for 15-30 seconds. You might not be able to hold for any length of time when you start but that’s ok. Build up to it.
Taking care of your back and your core will not only prevent against injuries but will also help perform your Olympic lifts. Try to incorporate the above into your weekly plan to ensure that these muscles stay strong and supportive.