Most of us have had some experience with lower back pain, whether it be severely debilitating where sitting or standing is already causing you excruciating pain, to just a niggle in the lower back that’s constantly there throughout your day. We can all agree that, YES, the pain is annoying and very frustrating, but it’s worse when it prevents us from doing what we love – for some it’s running or lifting weights, for myself it’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
BJJ is a grappling martial art and combative sport, which involves controlling and submitting your opponent with pressure, chokes and joint locks, often this is happening on the ground with you crunching up and on your back. This position can lead to the front of your hips, abs, chest and neck muscles to become very tight, while back becomes stretched out and weak. This combined with the fact that a lot of us spend most of our day sitting, can lead to muscular imbalances in our bodies, which not only has a direct impact on our performance but can lead to issues like low back pain.
What can I do about it?
To get relief and correct those muscular imbalances you want to stretch out the tight muscles at the front of your body and strengthen the muscles at the back.
Here are my THREE GO-TO stretches and exercises that I do in all my warm-ups.
It’s also important to off-set all that sitting we do at work, so every hour get up and spend 30-seconds on one of the follow stretches or exercises:
All of these stretches and exercises should be pain free. In addition to the above, if you have access to weights, try to front squat 3x a week to strengthen all those back muscles. Personally I prefer using the barbell as it encourages you to extend through the mid back which can get extremely stiff after prolonged sitting, which in turn had a significant effect on my ability to invert as I transitioned into different positions.
Give these exercises a try and watch your body and game thrive. Oss!
Paul is a senior physiotherapist at Activ Therapy Casula
He trains at Absolute Fighting Arts and holds the rank of blue belt.
Paul's special interests are in recovery and perfomance for combat sports.
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