T Nation

Lower Back and Arch


#1

Hey everyone,

I am usually a lurker, but I thought I would step out and ask for some help with my lower back.
My lower back has been very tight for a long time and as of late, I have been working to stretch, foam roll and loosen it up a few times throughout the day. Does anyone have any ideas/ stretches to help loosen up my back a little?

Also, and I think these are probably connected, my bench arch is tiny. I would love to be able to arch more, but my back is so stiff. What has worked for you to increase your arch?
Any and all help is appreciated...


#2

Work your hip and hamstring flexibility and mobility too. I though my lower back was tight a while ago, but it loosened up from improving hip and ham flexibility.

For back and hip flexors specifically, I like to have my heels 6 or so inches from a wall and lean back and put my hands up and back and walk down the wall as far as I can and hold the position for time. Also just standing up an bending back far. I actually do that latter after DLs or GMs about 10 times so the fluid in my disks remains where it should be.

For bench, you can try using pvc pipe under your back when you warm up. Never tried it myself, but I've heard of people having good luck. I've seen boards used too. Just be careful not to do too much too soon because it is possible to tweak your back from benching.


#3

I quit worrying about my arch years ago. Now I just focus on pressing with what I got. I can arch over a 4" pvc pipe. No matter how I stretch, bend, twist etc. I just can't get any more. Just dig your traps into the bench, get the leg drive and go on with it. IF you get more arch good..if not so what.

My motto is arms are never long...just chests are too short. Yopu put 3" on your chest and that'll more than make up for a semi good arch. Got me?


#4

Stretch your hip flexor complex as much as possible. Hamtrsings, glutes all of it is good but the hip flexor is usually the main culprit.


#5

Thanks for the help guys...
I don't know why I didn't think about the hamstrings before. Sometimes they cramp up when I try to pull my feet too far back. This could certainly be the problem.
Thanks again...


#6

Take the two pronged approach and work the mobility and make your glutes bigger (it'll help your squat too).


#7

And making the upper back thicker too. Getting that bigger and stronger should go quite a ways for the other 2 big lifts too.