T Nation

Overactive/Painful Erectors

Hey My name is Andrea. And I’m dealing with lots of muscle imbalances, and am basically learning on my own because of my personal trainers have not helped me. My question as a new member, is how can you search a forum, so that you don’t always have to make a new topic???

My question is this: I need to strengthen my hamstrings, especially the medial part, but I can’t do any knee bending due to to patellar tendonitis right now. So I’ve been shown to do straight legged deadlifts. They were ok for the first month, but now every time I do them, my erector spinae tightens up big time and starts to hurt, spasm, etc. My personal trainer I had last said my form was fine, but either way, does anyone know why this is happening and what I can do to correct it?? Thanks so much!

[quote]mamaherrera wrote:
Hey My name is Andrea. And I’m dealing with lots of muscle imbalances, and am basically learning on my own because of my personal trainers have not helped me. My question as a new member, is how can you search a forum, so that you don’t always have to make a new topic???

My question is this: I need to strengthen my hamstrings, especially the medial part, but I can’t do any knee bending due to to patellar tendonitis right now. So I’ve been shown to do straight legged deadlifts. They were ok for the first month, but now every time I do them, my erector spinae tightens up big time and starts to hurt, spasm, etc. My personal trainer I had last said my form was fine, but either way, does anyone know why this is happening and what I can do to correct it?? Thanks so much![/quote]

do you stretch your glutes? I found that when my lower back is spasming, that stretching my hams and glutes helps to relive the pain. you should also do some foam rolling if you arent already, you need to realize that you are working a specific area of your body that you havent worked out prior, and you need to pay special attention to rest and recovery in addition to your training.

alternating ice and heat really helps also once the pain reaches a certain threshold. don’t be afraid of the pain, but learn to manage it and get through it - and you’ll be better for it in the end~

does this help?

Oh Erectors…sorry…was going to tell you to enjoy them while you can and to stay off my lawn Sonny.

I do foam roll and stretch everything. I have read that people like me with anterior pelvic tilt, tend to have overly strong erectors and weak abs. So I’m wondering if maybe when I try and to straight-legged deadlifts (which totally brings this lower back pain on right away) is not a good move for me since it does work the lower back? ? But if that’s the case, what other hamstring exercises are out there that don’t require knee bending and don’t use lower back? What gives me most relief, is when my husband works out those muscle knots (almost like ART) but it hurts so bad when he does it. And then it gets better, but if I try straight legged deadlifts again, it comes right back on. Also, when I try and run, it comes on.

If stiff-legs are aggravating your lower back then take them off your exercise list for now. There are other options.

The best back friendly, no knee flexion option I can think of is single leg deadlifts with either dumbbells or kettlebells. You can do them with a weight in one hand (as in the video) or in both hands. If you struggle with balance don’t worry about it, it will get better.

And make sure to stretch your hip flexors. Tight flexors can cause low back pain. As for foam rolling, make sure your are not just rolling but rather moving at a slow pace (inch or two a second) and sit on trigger points for 20-30 seconds. Think about relaxing the area being rolled. If it is flexed or contracted (a natural reaction if it hurts), rolling is a waste of time. Breathe into it and relax.

Good luck with your tendonitis.

This is really simple learned this in kinesology class my teacher is a 35 year veteran of the powerlifting bodybuilding scene, he corrected my posterior tilt and has given me several points to increase my lifts. PROMISE YOU this will work. Basically its like this

if your erectors are tight means they are short
which means your abs are long.
Hip flexors are short
hip extensors are long

WEll what do you do? you strengthen your abs and hip flexors, and make sure your stretching the short muscles every single day! Instead of working around the pain fix the cause of the pain and then you have no limits on what you can do.