T Nation

Chronically Tight Obliques

Hey, a while ago I posted about a chronically tight quadratus lumborum…

I sucked it up and paid for a physio (a spine specialist) to have a look at it, and she said my quadratus lumborum was indeed tight, and it was caused by thoracolumbar facet joint dysfunction. Nothing major, she said, perform some stretches she gave me, it will go away in 2 weeks.

(If you’re interested because you’ve also got an irritated quadratus lumborum, she prescribed: 3x30secs hamstring stretch, 3x30 seconds hip flexor stretch, 3x30secs ‘child’s pose’ stretch, 3x30secs ‘side-leaning child’s pose’ quadratus lumborum stretch.)

However, as I was doing the ‘child’s pose’ one, I needed to really crunch my abs to get my chest to my knees as my spinal erectors were so tight. After doing this, I noticed my right (and also left, to a lesser extent) obliques started getting really chronically tight around the ribs.

I would expect a ‘strain’ like this to go away in a few days, but it’s been here for 3 weeks now. It’s pretty uncomfortable when I sit or lie down on my back, but it’s better when I stand.

Has anyone experienced anything like this - and how did they make it go away? I’d appreciate if you guys could help me out as I’ve just seen a physio for one problem, and it looks like it created another!!

You get the best injuries.


Alternate, you need to take a serious look at what you are doing in the gym. A guy your age shouldn’t be so fucked up all the time.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
Alternate, you need to take a serious look at what you are doing in the gym. A guy your age shouldn’t be so fucked up all the time.[/quote]

I stay away from squats and deadlifts because I don’t want to take risks with my spine.

My main mass-builders are;

Weighted chin ups, press up variations, inverted rows, pistols off a high box, kettlebell swings, walking lunges, glute-ham raises and planks.

those are good exercises. If you want a hip-hinge exercise then hip thrusts will work in place of deadlifts.

why are you just doing press up variations? Let me guess… shoulder injury?

Have you tried front squats at all?

I notice a lot of bodyweight exercises. Do you not have access to weights?

There are many cases of tight quadratus lumborum muscles caused by a weak core (having to overcompensate), just saying…

OK, let me explain what brings about the tightness sensation under the ribs.

Well it is there most of the time, but more noticeable when lying flat on my back. Not very noticeable when standing up.

I can bring it about even more by bending towards my right side at the same time as bending forward. Also when I ‘suck my stomach in’ the sensation gets much more prevalent.

Is it likely a back problem like a slipped disc or slipped vertebrae causing some diaphragm or rib issue? I have no back pain, however.

Alternate we’ve been over this, you don’t have a slipped disc.

I’ve said this before on this forum and I really hope you take it to heart this time:

Buy a copy of Athletic Body in Balance by Gray Cook, perform the movement screens (which you will fail) and then work through the progressions until you pass them.

trust me, this will clear up all your issues.

hey rds, thanks for advice, I bought that book.

Scanning through it, I noticed it doesn’t have a ‘deadlift’ or ‘hip hinge’ motion regarded as essential.

The author seems to say the 3 basic ‘foot positions’ are: squat, hurdle-step and lunge.

There is no illustration of any deadlifting in the book. I have seen videos of Gray Cook demonstrating deadlifts, so did he just change his attitude towards the deadlift since that book was published?

if you fix your toe touch progression, deep squat progression and get your active straight leg raise up to snuff, you’ll be deadlifting like a trooper in no time.