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Mobility Techniques for Low Back Pain

(Episode Transcribed Directly from Video)

Hey guys, welcome to Episode 11 of MOB of the week. In last week's episode, we talked a lot about alleviating lower back pain and I encourage you, as always, to work your mobility systems both up and downstream. So, if you go back to previous episodes, you'll see what we did working out the T spine and the sides of the back, so the next progression naturally is to work downstream. So, we're going to bust out on the lacrosse ball and do some smashing, flossing and contracting and releasing of the glutes, so let's get right to it.

Last week, we finished up with our feet up on the box doing a low back smash or pressure wave with the lacrosse cross ball, now we're going to use three different techniques with the lacrosse ball today, starting with a pressure wave where you're applying steady pressure across or against the muscle fibres, we are going to be doing flossing where you tack down your weight bearing on top of the object, in this case the lacrosse ball, and then moving your joints into flexion, extension or internal/external rotation, so just move your body around the object instead of the object around your body and then the third technique that we will also be practicing is contract and release. If this is all new terms for you, go back and watch episode number one where we identified the vocabulary and an introduction to mobility.

So, let's get right to it. I'll drop down onto my low back, I'm going to position my feet up on my box. Now, again, last week we focused lower back but today we're going to start with the high glute, so the area on the high glute outside of the sacrum right here, okay? Again, big yellow ball on my big black bud, so you can try it right there. Now, we're going to position the weight down, we're going to start with the pressure wave, okay, so I can bear down on my right heel and go side to side looking for any garbage, any knots, any tension, okay, you don't have to be too specific looking for any one particular point, everybody's going to adhere and get tacked down in different places, so you really just have to go searching for those pain points. Now, this is your pressure wave and you notice something man that's really tight, that doesn't quite feel right, you need to relax, let your weight bear down into your lacrosse ball, tack it down and then floss, so we can pull that knee into the chest, so we're not moving the ball anymore removing our body or you can go into external rotation and back up and back out and back in, so those are two different things that you can do, the third being of contract and release. So, if it's just not letting go, it's not allowing you to bear into your lacrosse ball, you can contract your glutes as best as you can, try to squeeze those muscles and then relax and then contract and then relax, each time digging for that really gnarly spot, contracting the muscles and then relaxing. So, there it is, technique number one or position number one for the high glute.

Alright guys, second position is going to go from high glute, down into medial glute. So, we'll start by putting our lacrosse ball right smack in the middle of your butt cheek and then, pick yourself up so, you can drop your weight down on the ball. Now, this might be an eye opener for if you haven't been in this position before but that's a lot of weight depending, bearing down on that small surface so, be ready for that. So, we're going to start with the tack and floss so, I'm tacking down that tissue in my glute and I'm going to floss that area by letting my knee drop into external rotation, meaning, down towards the floor and then, pulling that knee back up toward my midline; in towards my knees. So, external and internal rotation, tacking and flossing and once we've started to loosen that area up, we can go back into our pressure wave, working across those muscle fibres and I'll tell you what, I've been doing a lot of stair work so, I'm absolutely feeling this right now, it's been nice heavy step up gesture there and those glutes are locked down. And that's the point, okay, we're trying to release any tension or build up any sliding surface dysfunction that may be occurring in that posterior shin from your facial tacking down and those muscles nodding up. So, just working that side-to-side pressure wave, we can go into a North and South pressure wave and then, if you got something that just won't release, that's where we're going to work our contract and relax. So, you can contract your glutes and then, relax your glutes and then, contract and hold for a few seconds and relax. Each time you're relaxing, you're trying to sink deeper down into the ball, allowing those muscles to relax and loosen up. So, there you have it, position number two, the medial glute.

Alright, the third position we're going to work on today is outside the hip, rolling into the hip flexors. Now, this is probably the most painful of the three that we're discussing so, just be forewarned. The way this is going to work is we're going to start in a similar position to the high glutes, high up on the glute but just to the lower, outside of the hip bone, okay and what we're going to do is we're going to position that ball right there, kind of, up and behind the top of your pocket, if you have your shorts have pockets and we're going to roll across the side and into the front of the body looking for those hip flexors. So, I'm up here on my side and I'm going to rock and roll, dropping my chest down towards the ground until that ball rolls into the top of the hip flexors and then, I'm going to slowly roll back, okay. And again, this is probably one of the most painful ones so, just be ready to hide the pain face because it might look pretty embarrassing. Luckily, I've already done some rolling today to help loosen me up for this so, we're going to go side-to-side and from here, after we've done some pressure waving, we can certainly bear more weight down, we can tack and floss, okay, this is a really great one like extending that leg back and forward, hinging at the knee and just really going in and out of the pressure wave side-to-side, front to back, contract and release, working through those three different techniques.

So, there you guys have it; three different positions, three different techniques, one tool, all you need is a lacrosse ball and some floor space so you can start relieving some tension in your glutes. And why is this even important? Well, this is going to help us with a hip external rotation a hip extension and flexion of the trunk and of course, lower back pain, ties right into what we talked to you about last week. Those different positions, we've got the high glute, the medial glute and hip smash and then, we've got the three different techniques, being the pressure wave, the tack and floss or the smashing floss and then, the contract and release. So, if these terms again are new to you, go back and watch episode one, if you're really digging what you're learning with us here in this series, continue watching, we'll be right back at it again next week, continuing to work down the chain so, we can get you firing your best.

Now, one last thing before we go, always test and retest. So, I will challenge you to spend 5 minutes per cheek and find out if you can get some added mobility and some more power production out of your glutes. So, spend 5 minutes on one side, stand up, squeeze your butt, relax, squeeze your butt, relax and you should feel a significant difference from one side over the other, it should feel like you're getting a much more powerful contraction and if that's the case, hit that other side and you're going to notice a lot more power coming out of the bottom of your squat and getting you into better fully extended positions. So, that is what we're going to end on, you guys have a rocking day, do your mobility work and we'll see you next time. Aroo!




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