T Nation

Back Tightness After Jogging


#1

After jogging a little bit, my lower back gets ridiculously tight. I'm sure some of you have experienced this also, how did you correct it and what's its cause?


#2

Generically, it might be a combination of weak hip flexors and poor glute activation.

Maybe


#3

u might just have to stretch your back out before hand. i get the same thing if i dont stretch it out…


#4

Which muscles are the hip flexors–the quads?

I do a ton of squatting so my leg muscles should be fine, as well as my glute activation.


#5

My back gets tight when my hip flexors are tight.

The things that help me the most are foam rolling, front to back leg swings and this one…
http://www.dietsite.com/dt/exerciseplanner/stretch13.asp

I’ve tried stretching my lower back in every imaginable way but it never seems to do anything.

The image in this one too, but it can get pretty painful…


#6

There was a thread on exactly this topic not too long ago: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/back_cramps_and_running

Incidentally, Jim Schmitz says here (http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/ironmind/Lifts/lifts23.html):

Something that I learned many years ago through my own experiences, and those of the many athletes I?ve coached over the past four decades, is how running and weightlifting use the low back muscles differently. In weightlifting we use both sides of our low back (erector spinae / spinal erectors) muscles simultaneously, but in running they contract and stretch alternately; the result is low back soreness when you first start running. If you start slowly and easily, your low back muscles can adapt (and they will, I assure you) and the low back soreness common in the beginning will go away.


#7

I didnt know jogging was a strength sport?


#8

OK - this is all internet speculation so take it FWIW but I think aut-x-rs is right in that if you take it slow and work up gradually your body will probably adjust to the different types of strains you put on your body.

But you may be running into a point where your lower back is doing work the muscles in your hip and leg should be doing.

If you look at Haille Gebrselassie run, you’ll see that his spine doesn’t really move and his hips stay really level:

If you watch most people run, they aren’t nearly that efficient. Their hips aren’t stable and their lower back compensates. You can see the general idea here:

You can see the difference between the hip movement and the use of the hamstring in the two frames.

What you may want to do is make sure your running form is correct, that your hip flexors are strong enough to lift your leg for several hundred strides, and you are using your hamstring (heel to butt) at the back end of your stride. Which means we’re back to working things up slowly.

That might limit the stress on your lower back.


#9

Being inflexible is the main problem. Stretch starting with your calves (both the gastroc and soleus separately) then move to your hamstrings. When stretching the hams many people tend to bend way over from their backs to try to get the stretch. You can really stretch them by just putting your leg up on something and tilting your pelvis back like you are trying to stick your butt out then if you need more of a stretch just lean forward slightly in this same position. Next stretch the quads then you can add some toe touches with a neutral spine to get some blood flowing to the areas.


#10

Being inflexible is the main problem. Stretch starting with your calves (both the gastroc and soleus separately) then move to your hamstrings. When stretching the hams many people tend to bend way over from their backs to try to get the stretch. You can really stretch them by just putting your leg up on something and tilting your pelvis back like you are trying to stick your butt out then if you need more of a stretch just lean forward slightly in this same position. Next stretch the quads then you can add some toe touches with a neutral spine to get some blood flowing to the areas.