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Sidely Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch
This is intended to be a stretch for your quadratus lumborum muscle, but can certainly stretch other tissues located in your lower back, glutes and thoracic spine. If your QL is shortened and feeling tight and you are aligned properly during this exercise, you should get a really nice stretch into the side of your lower back with this.
Transverse Abdominis Activation
The “transverse abdominis” or TA is a crucial muscle to be able to use. We often find that the TA is inhibited, especially in people who have had low back pain. This exercise is often combined with other core exercises, so it is crucial to mast this before moving on.
Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) Release
This video demonstrates the tensor fascia latae (TFL) release using a lacrosse ball. The TFL muscle is located in the front of your hip, and just off to the side. It is a strong hip flexor, abductor and internal rotator. It also forms a very strong connection with the IT band and contributes to tibial external rotation and knee flexion. Needless to say, this is a very important muscle!
Gluteus Medius Activation
This exercise is trying to activate a very important glute / buttock muscle, your gluteus medius. This muscle is very important and is often underactive, overlengthened and weak. The gluteus medius can also be a substantial source of low back, buttock and hip pain.
Bird Dog Series
The Bird Dog exercise is fairly well researched and known to activate key muscle groups in your core and lower back. These muscle groups are usually found to be dysfunctional in individuals with lower back pain and restoring their function through exercise can help a lot of people.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This video demonstrates the kneeling hip flexor stretch. In general, the hip flexors are a muscle group that is over-shortened, most often from sitting all day! This stretch looks easy, but there is a trick to it that you need to do to ensure you get the right stretch. The other version to this exercise is the Standing Hip Flexor Stretch, which targets the exact same muscles but in a different position.
Glute Rolling – Floor
This exercise is trying to “loosen up” your glute muscles by rolling them with a ball! The floor version is usually performed when you can tolerate much more pressure, and you need the extra pressure to release the glutes more appropriately. This requires some extra mobility and strength compared to the wall version.
Glute Rolling – Wall
This exercise is trying to “loosen up” your glute muscles by rolling them with a ball! This version (the wall) is usually performed when pain is more severe and floor version is not tolerable without a lot of pain. This may also be recommended if you have mobility issues.
Modified Front Plank
This video demonstrates the modified front plank. This is an excellent starting point and can build you up to being able to perform the full front plank.
This video demonstrates the full front plank. If this is too difficult for you, the modified front plank is a very good way to build your strength and coordination in order to do this version.