Tag Archives: abs

The shoulder bridge: gluteal engagement

Lie on the floor with your knees flexed (feet on the floor) and stick your fingers into the meat of your ass.

Squeeze your ass cheeks together as your method of engaging them  and not by trying to over extend your hips or play with your pelvis; keep that neutral.

Once that is mastered,  bridge the torso off the floor. At this stage, you , a friend or your trainer needs to feel your hamstrings. People who are “hamstring dominant and gluteal deficient will engage the hamstrings prior to moving” (McGill: page 195 Ultimate back Fitness).

This is the wrong pattern. The glutes should drive this action. To help  we can put our foot against your toes, and whilst asking you to squeeze your ass, we  can help your quads engage by lightly cueing from the knees ( so either a finger hook under the knee to gently pull them up, or if you know each other, a quad stroke ( to encourage the hamstrings to switch off) ).

Once you get  your  ass  engaging, “Boom” your back gets  a bit more resilient  and your squat gets better!

shoulder bridge

Turn the pain into science

So, you have tweaked you back again!  Now your whole day consist’s of finding positions of comfort and seeing what moves hurt.

Don’t think of this as suffering,  Think of this an an experiment. Of course you are the only participant so no drug company can use your results, ( without re validating them) but, its interesting science nevertheless.

if you have been reading this blog you will have had several bracing strategies discussed. You probably ignored them or just skim read them.

Now its time to experiment. Does bracing your abs stop the pain: is sucking you abs in or pushing them out pain relieving. If so, how much in and how much out. Is it mild engagement or hard engagement ? Experiment with the anti shrug. Does pulling your shoulders down help?

Now, if possible get up and walk, swing your arms.

Move.

Does that help?

Do you find that if you lie down or lean against something it helps, but its a bit of a pig to get moving again?

What back movements hurt or help: does moving into flexion hurt, or extension? Can you find a neutral spine? does it help.

Now pay attention to your bum. Does one cheek hurt more than the other. Does it feel dull?   Is one leg sore compared with the other

What movements create pain. if theses are limb movements can you reduce the pain by  bracing your abs more, because, if you can, you could well have discovered, that for example, every time you move your leg, you actually move your back too! Thats a lot of work for your poor back.

Observe, experiment, record.Learn.

Unless your doctor has diagnosed “cancer of the back”, the chances are that the  LBP you suffer from is what 98% of others suffer from. You can fix it!

As always if you cannot find a  position of ease  check out  RED FLAGS , so see your doctor who may want to screen you for other possibilities. but if you simply have LBP, start to sort the issues.