Have back pain? There could be several reasons why, such as a herniated disk, degenerative disk disease, muscle strains and sprains, bone fractures, poor mechanics in your golf swing or some other poor repetitive movement. Another reason could be Lower Crossed Syndrome. This is a group of weak muscles combined with tight muscles of the hip and low back that can lead to significant muscle imbalances, which can cause injury. This problem is usually is associated with what we do every single day for 8 hours or more - sitting! Sitting puts certain muscles in a lengthened position and others in a more shortened position. Doing this 8 hours a day five or six days a week, year after year can cause these imbalances.
When sitting, the Iliopsoas (hip muscles on the front of the body or hip flexors) is in a shortened or contracted position, while the gluteus maximus, (hip muscles on the back of the body the or hip extensors) are in a lengthened or stretched position. The Erector Spinae (a group of low back muscles) is shortened or tight, and the Abdominals are lengthened and weak.
The problem with the having weak Gluteus Maximus is that they are powerful muscles we need to squat, sit, stand, walk, and run. In the golf swing the Gluteus Maximus is called the “powerhouse of the golf swing”, which gives you the ability to hit the ball far. Having weak abdominals or core means that other muscles must try to help stabilize the trunk with movement, activity, or exercise causing dysfunction and potential problems. Having tight Erector Spinae and Iliopsoas muscles limits movement of the low back, making it difficult on the down swing to get the pelvis in the proper position. This can lead to swing flaws leading to more low back problems.
So what can you do? These imbalances can be corrected. In the world of Physical Therapy in general we say “if it’s tight stretch it, if it’s weak strengthen it.” So in the case of Lower Crossed Syndrome we would stretch the hip flexors and erector spinae muscle group, and strengthen the gluteus maximus and abdominals.
“if it’s tight stretch it, if it’s weak strengthen it.”
Here are few stretches you can do at home
HIP FLEXOR STRETCHES
LOW BACK STRETCHES
Exercises you can do at home
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS EXERCISES
The Gluteus Maximus is called the “powerhouse of the golf swing”
ABDOMINALS AND CORE EXERCISES
By doing these stretches and exercises will do several things:
1. Allow the lower back to not be in such an arched or (lordotic) position.
2. Decrease of nerve impingement or pinched nerve due to excessive low back arch or (lordosis).
3. Allow the pelvis to move more freely in the golf swing, especially in the downswing when power is being generated.
4. Strengthen the glutes which can develop a more powerful golf swing.
5. Stabilize the core to help prevent excessive rotation of the low back or lumbar spine, decreasing the chances of low back pain.
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