T Nation

Spinal Erector Asymmetry Solution


I had a lot more than a problem with my spinal erectors being imbalanced. My anterior chain and posterior chain both had issues.

I think my problem should be called “contralateral asymmetry of the anterior and posterior chain”.

I wakeboarded and snowboarded for years. I did so in an imbalanced manner. I rode regular and never rode switch. Then after developing a bunch of muscle imbalances wakeboarding I lifted weights through high school and played symmetrical sports making the imbalances worse.

I’ve seen chiropractors, physical therapists and doctors. NONE OF THEM WOULD HELP ME CORRECT THIS. The sad thing is that if I was a personal trainer I doubt I could help people correct their asymmetries and muscle imbalances because it blurs the line between personal training and physical therapy. It’s a stupid system.

All that aside I believe I’ve found the solution to muscle imbalances around the hips. I thought inversion was the silver bullet to correcting my imbalances, but after a few month of inverting a few minutes every day things stopped improving. Inversion helps, but it requires corrective exercises and stretching also.

There’s a rather busy diagram from the top view of my muscle imbalances and the relation between my shoulders and hips before I started doing the corrective exercises.

Here’s my problem:

  1. left glute larger than right glute
  2. right hip flexors larger than left
  3. left spinal erector larger than right
  4. right rectus abdominis larger then left
  5. right oblique larger than left
  6. right hip farther forward than left
  7. left shoulder farther forward than right.

So here’s what I think the solution is to my muscle imbalances:

  1. wakeboard in the direction that activates the smaller spinal erector and not the larger one
  2. stand on a total gym like I am in the pic of me standing on a total gym for sets of 30 seconds
  3. use inversion to get the hips level
  4. stretch the larger hip flexor for sets of 2-4 minutes throughout the day
  5. stretch the larger hamstring for sets of 2-4 minutes throughout the day
  6. stretch the larger spinal erector for sets of 2-4 minutes throughout the day with knees to chest with the legs twisted to the side of the larger spinal erector

I saw Nick Tumanello say in men’s health that twisting the torso and hips in opposite directions is a bad idea, but if twisting in one direction more than the other is what fucked me up in the first place then twisting the opposite direction is my only option.

I saw an almost immediate improvement in glute function and posture once I started doing these corrective exercises my lower back pain also improved. The trick is I have to do them every day or everything regresses.

I just want to say the physical therapist I saw after my back started hurting can go to fucking hell for dismissing my spinal erector imbalance saying “It’s normal”.

This solution will only work if the imbalances are muscular. If the skeleton is FUBAR then there’s no hope for you.