As we near the end of this current pull-up and deadlift cycle, you’re probably feeling lower back soreness, tightness, maybe even pain or "tweaks", in that general area. That’s great news!! This means you’re pushing your body to extents that you haven’t recently experienced.

It could, however, also mean that there is some room for improvement in your form on a few of the movements we’ve been doing, after all, who doesn’t have room to improve?

We’ve put together some videos which help illustrate that movement economy will allow you to do more work, and simultaneously reduce this soreness and pain you might be experiencing.

Check out these videos, and if you still need to feed your inner fitness geek, scroll to the bottom for some extra knowledge.

 

Watch how his knees bend slightly, and how he locks out each swing with full hip extension...

Some Science...

Deadlifts and kettlebell swings are nearly identical, physiologically, and are comprised primarily of a "hip-hinge" type movement. Whenever you hear cues like "vertical shins", "stick your butt out", or "drive your hips forward", the goal is increased glute activity and hamstring loading--two of the three primary muscle groups responsible for a hip hinge-type movement.

The third muscle group to note, is your "erector spinae", a dense muscular structure that spans the length of your back, on either side of your spine. The function of these muscles, is to extend the spinal column, and they oppose the abdominals--which flex the spine.

When we are sitting down for hours on end, a few unfortunate things happen: our glutes quite literally turn off (turning your bum into a cushion), your adductors (inner thigh muscles) shorten and tighten, and your erector spinae work over time trying to keep you collapsing in on yourself.

If you sit with good posture, your erector spinae work very hard to help you maintain it.

If your posture isn't so hot, your shoulders slouch, internally rotate, and the erector spinae become lengthened and weakened.

They end up working to counteract the internal rotation and abdominal/hip flexing that also takes place, but since you're neither moving nor providing any external resistance--your muscles aren't getting any training benefit whatsoever. They just get TIRED.

If you ONLY feel your deadlifts OR kettlebell swings in your lower back, instead of in your glutes and hammies as well, it's possible tightness elsewhere in your "system" may be restricting full range of motion. Not only that, but you might find the muscles that you've been using all day long (without even knowing it) are desperately in need of relief. 

This results in energy leaks, and instead of economizing energy, our body starts to fight against itself--in order to avoid injury or further discomfort. 

I’d love to work with you on improving your ability to load your hammies/glutes, especially after spending they behind a desk. Ask me next time you see me!

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