Sorry for such a long post!..I have some strange, and now chronic low-back and spine symptoms and I am wondering if anyone has had similar issues and/or if anyone knows any remedial exercises to help alleviate them. Basically my spine is very concave (and tight) at the lumbar region and when I try to consciously tuck it in to be more flat or slightly convex I feel an unpleasant domino effect go up my spine which causes some nasty crackles and alerts me to several “kinks” along the whole spine, my neck also juts forward in the front and when i try to consciously adjust it back it is a similar effect just from top to bottom!
Obviously this is poor habitual posture, but maybe worse? I’ve tried some exercises to help, and a while back I tried the “neck bridge” propagated by that fat douche bag Matt Furey and I think those helped fuck me up far worse even though I had the strength to do them no problem, or so it seemed.
Also I’ve noticed my abdomen is chronically out of alignment too and I have trouble flexing my abs flat and continuously(I used to have no problem at all with this, in fact my abs were very flat and tight before my long hiatus from working out), it is distended and seems to be restricted strongly by my back and spine, basically when I try to flex properly my back rounds and gets very tight and feels like the spine is resisting like it needs to be cracked or like my stomach is gonna pop open, either one!
As for the abs, does anyone think “vaccums” would remedy that? And is there a key back exercise to help my back get straight/loose? Last thing lol…I’ve ordered a Hip Belt Squat Belt from IronMind, cuz of my back complaints and my drastic need to squat heavy to get back power and lean mass, but I’m unsure how to best establish a home method for using it that would allow me to use maximum weights, Ive read an EZ curl bar is good but idk. Thanks for any/all concern! :)[/quote]
Your description is sort of vague, but it sounds to me like you have anterior pelvic tilt. The pelvis is high in the back and low in the front, leading to an over-arch effect in the back and forcing your low abdomen down and out. This will cause your low back to be tight and painful. When you get up from sleeping or sitting and then bend over, you can hear/feel the lumbars opening up and the spine popping.
This is very common and is mostly caused by prolonged sitting. The tight muscles are hip flexors, low back, and quads. The lengthened muscles are your glutes and hamstrings. You want to lengthen the tight muscles and tighten the loose muscles.
I have found the following to be helpful outside the gym:
I stretch my hip flexors twice daily, first thing in the morning and again after coming home from work (I have a desk job and sit all day). I do this by placing the top of my right foot on my coffee table, then take a lunge position (as if I were in the bottom of a bulgarian split squat). I hold the stretch for awhile, then do the other side.
I foam roll my quads after the hip flexor stretch.
Strengthen the glutes. I prefer to several sets of the sideways “shuffles” with a band around my ankles. Lying “clams” are also good. I do a few of these after the hip flexor and quad lengthening stuff.
I have started doing bent-leg situps. The key with these is not to have your back flat as you do them. You should not feel as though your waist is a hinge. Rather, I focus on curling my torso up so that the low back is rounded. It is a rather surprisingly small ROM. Then, and this is important, I focus on slowly uncurling back to the floor. I usually do more hip flexor stretches after the situps.
I also bought a BALANS chair for the office. Google it. I definitely feel as though this chair is better for my posture than a traditional desk chair. At least, my low back does not get achy after sitting in this chair like it does with traditional chairs.
In the gym, I focus on strengthening the hamstrings and glutes. Someone mentioned reverse hypers. Excellent idea, since it “opens” up the lumbars with a traction-like effect and strengthens the glutes. A properly performed GHR is good as well. Bulgarian split squats are also good because they stretch the hip flexor and, with a long enough stance, will target the glutes.