Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lordosis, another problem I have due to excessive couch sitting

My lower back has been hurting a lot lately, especially when I read on my stomach in bed, or spend a long time sitting on the couch. I asked our trainer for the rugby team what the deal was and she says I have lordosis, which is an excessive inward curve of the spine. She gave me some stretches to do and I'm not sure if they've helped, probably because I haven't been doing them as often as I need to.

Here are the causes:

  • Tight hip flexors
  • Weak core muscles
  • Poor exercise form (or no exercise form)
  • Weak gluteal muscles
  • Obesity (of course)

I have noticed lately that my core muscles have gotten noticeably weaker and also that my hip flexors are sometimes pretty tight. So those seem to be relatively easily fixed problems, and they would aid in my overall goal of getting stronger and fitter this rugby season.

I've found some good stretches/exercises to incorporate into my life while I'm watching the daily TV show. They're not unpleasant like running while watching TV (which I can never seem to do) so I think I'm more likely to get them done.

And they are the following (from www.stronglifts.com):

  • Bridges. Glute activation & strengthening exercise. Raise your glutes off the floor by squeezing them as hard as you can. 3 sets of 10 reps.
  • Birddogs. Single leg glute activation exercise. Brace your abs & keep your spine neutral. Push back with your heels. 3 sets of 10 reps both sides.
  • Hip Flexor Stretches. Use padding for your knees. Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor & your lower back neutral. Think upper leg back, not going down. Squeeze the glute of the back leg. 3 sets of 10 secs each side.
  • Hamstring Stretches. Leg Swings. Chest forward, shoulders back, lower back straight & knees unlocked. Look forward. Move your legs, keep your pelvis still. If you can’t get high: keep working at it. Flexibility will come. 3 sets of 10 reps each side.
  • Strengthen Abs. Turkish Get-ups are my favorite. 5×5, increasing the weight every session.

And some more from Livestrong:

  • Hip Flexor Stretches. You can also manually stretch your hip flexors by standing up, bending your knee and holding on to your ankle. Tilt your pelvis forward as you pull the leg back. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.
  • The Pelvic Tilt. The pelvic tilt position is the opposite of an arched back. If practiced daily, it can help correct a lordotic posture. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, tilt the lower part of your pelvis from the floor, forming a hollow bowl between your pelvis and your navel. Perform about 20 repetitions daily.
  • Stability Ball Bridge. The stability ball bridge strengthens your gluteal muscles. Since the ball is an unstable object, it requires deep core activation. As such, this exercise will work your butt and your deep abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your calves draped over the ball. Begin with the pelvic tilt. Then, squeeze your butt until you are in a bridge position. As you roll down, try to feel each vertebra touch the floor. Make sure that the lower back touches the floor before the pelvis. Perform 12 repetitions every day.
  • Stability Ball Crunch. Strengthening your abdominal muscles is essential for correcting spinal lordosis. Performing your crunches on a stability ball will make use of your deeper abdominal muscles. Position yourself on the ball so that you butt, lower back and mid-back are against the ball's surface. Rest your fingers at the edge of your head. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, curl your upper torso so that your rib cage moves toward your pelvis. Perform 20 repetitions daily.
  • Knees to Chest Stretch and Heel Slide. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift both legs from the floor, and draw your knees to your chest. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Then, lower one heel to the floor. Keep the opposite knee close to your chest. Slide the other heel along the floor until the leg is straight. Keep your back flat on the floor the entire time. Perform eight repetitions on each leg.

So I think the plan will be to do a combination of these every day as well as some general strength and endurance training. More on that later.

1 comment:

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