Why You Have Lower Back Pain, and How to Fix It

The lower back is a part of the body that plagues a vast number of people. Whether you’re active or not, the lumbar spine is a common source of pain, and for a multitude of reasons that mostly extend from the extremes of sitting all day and/or overexertion. This makes sense when you think about it—if you’re mostly sedentary during the day (at a desk job, sitting in traffic, etc) and then go to the gym and suddenly start throwing your body into these big intense exercises, something is bound to go wrong.

This is a perfect example of how P.volve is a method that benefits your body far beyond the gym. By focusing on alignment and creating constant engagement, P.volve sets out to address all possible causes of lower back pain and to eradicate it from your life, now and forever. We do this by not only stretching the spine and opening the hips to ensure your lower extremities are mobile and functioning properly, but also by activating and strengthening all the muscles, ligaments, and fascia that surround that lower back region.

The big culprits are the abdominal muscles consisting of the obliques, the inguinal ligament, the transverse abdominus, and the rectus abdominus. Equally important muscles to target are the back’s rector spinae, serratus posterior, and thoracolumbar fascia (try saying those 5x fast). All of these muscles support the lumbar spine-- without their assistance, the lumbar spine is in big trouble.

I see the most amount of injuries to the lumbar spine occur when someone is in the hip flexed, bent-over position. This happens both when working out (squatting and deadlifting) and in everyday life when reaching to the floor to pick something up, or even light running or biking. The aim is to get all the muscles working together as a team and getting them strong so we can avoid any possible injury or pain. 

There are numerous ways we stimulate these muscles and force them to get strong but perhaps the most prevalent way is through the P.sit. Now, I tell you to keep this move small for a reason; this tiny little motion is meant to force you to slow down and tune into exactly what is going on in your mid-section. In performing more traditional squats, you blow right through the motion and put your body though a shock that gradually creates pain over time. But with the P.sit, we are connecting the mind with the lower back, and listening to its condition. 

If your core can’t support the mass and momentum of your body twisting, pulling, and compressing the spinal vertebrate, your body will let you know right away with a sudden ache or pain. In P.volve, I like to say that the test is the exercise and the exercise is the test. So many of the exercises in this method (if not all) are designed to create better communication between you and your body, and let you know the status of your physical condition so that we can improve upon it.

The idea is to learn to stay within the range of motions that your hips and muscles will allow you to go through within the limits of the lumbar spine. You always want to take it as far as you can without pushing into the pain zone. As you do this (and as you do with all other exercises), you want to move slowly and focus on activating all the muscles in your core necessary to support your back. This takes focus and a mind-body connection, so don’t rush the process. Whenever a client complains of lower back pain during this method, it’s always because they are trying to bust through their range of motion before they are ready. Your P.sit can be as small as a half-inch and as big as a 5-6 inch drop, but it completely depends on where your body is at, and know that you will build up the strength and range of motion as you progress.

This is also why we always come back to the P.sit. Over time, as we do thousands of P.sits your core strength will improve, your range of motion will improve and in turn minimize that pain zone. Adding equipment to the workouts will also challenge these same muscles in all different ways. But the beauty of this method is that you don’t have to worry about planning out your “lower back day,” “leg day,” etc. I have built all the necessary movements into the workout, building up your strength in a holistic way so that all you have to worry about is perfecting your form, connecting with your body, and enjoying the results.

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