T Nation


When I run/jog my lower back begins to hurt after a couple of minutes. This lower back pain however does not occur when I do sprint work. I have a strong lower back (my hyperextension, deadlift, power clean weights are all good)

So I guess I have to questions why does my lower back get sore when I run jog but not when I sprint? My initial thoughts were that it would probably be worse when sprinting!
Why would it get sore at all if my lower back strength and posture are ok??
Im not fat or anything probably around 10% BF

I’ve had the same problem for the last couple years. I’ve had a significant background in running (I’ve done a couple marathons, and several years doing triathlons). Here’s my theory: While running, you are basically holding a near-isometric hyper-extension to get good leg push-off (good pelvic tilt). Even when doing a 20-rep set of squats, you don’t hold this position for nearly as long as when running. Similarly, with sprints, you have rest intervals. I would suspect that this would diminish over the long term if you’re consistent with the running (I haven’t been for quite some time now).

Try stretching your posterior chain. Look for Ian King’s ‘lazy man’s guide’

It’s likely just a matter of simple fatigue. If you are doing extensive back work, and leg work on top of it, your hip extensors are fatigued everytime you run. A lot of lower back discomfort during endurance exercise can result from fatigue of the hip extensors at the origin as opposed to traditional spinal problems. When doing sprints, fatigue is not as much of a factor due to the short work bout and the recovery, so this would not be as evident.

There is probably not a lot you can do about it. Although you may be overtraining those muscles to a certain extent. Something that might help is stretching, with concentration on the hamstrings and glutes. Also, if you can get a massage, even using some sort of device (hand vibrator etc) this might help to a certain extent.

Check out the runnersworld website. They have tons of information on this stuff and they would be better equiped than a bunch of metal junkies to assist with this. That being said, it is your shoes. Get a good pair of running shoes. Get ones that compliment the makeup of your foot. Do you pronate, supinate, have high arches all those things need to be taken into account.

With all due respect to knuckledragger, individuals who have experience/expertise in both weightlifting AND running/endurance exercise would be more qualified than Runner’s world. I believe this is a case that is specific to lifters who run. As previously stated, fatique of the hip flexors that is associated with extensive back and leg strength work is often the culprit in this type of situation and would not be addressed in your typical running oriented faq.

Oops! Meant hip extensors in the second post.

That being said, shoes that address gait idiosyncracies might be of benefit also.

Strech your hammies. Poor hamstring flexability is the cause of most back pain. When you run your hammies are probably getting tighter, and that is why it starts to hurt more