How to fix the back, one of the most common chronic injuries. Also featuring one of the best home exercises to strengthen the back.
When it comes to your performance, health and overall fitness, your lower back and spine in general are some of the most important areas to take good care of.
Lower back injuries and chronic pain in the back are common but they don't need to be. Pain is always a sign that something is wrong in the body and in most cases this can be fixed or significantly alleviated.
Lower back pain basically means that your body has stopped supporting itself properly and this creates strain in the back muscles and the spine.
In order to understand back pain, you have to take a holistic approach.
Back pain is almost never caused by just 1 thing. Everything is connected to everything and your pain can be caused by a number of different things.
Your back pain can be a result of tightness in the hips, weakness in the legs and muscle imbalances in the core. And obviously lack of mobility and stability in the back muscles.
It's also not just about exercises, but your general lifestyle. It's partly about your diet (how fit you are) but mostly about how you move in your daily life. It's how you walk, stand, study, work and sleep.
Back pain is largely about improper movement patterns and lack of strength in the supporting muscles.
You may want to take a look at your daily habits. Are you sitting in front of a computer all day? Maybe consider investing in a standing desk and taking frequent walks where you focus on walking upright with a good posture.
How do you squat down or pick things off the floor? Instead of always doing the same movement pattern, pay attention to how you do the movement and try to do it differently.
Your everyday posture and movement patterns will make a massive difference. Your posture is not a result of one exercise either - it's the result of your entire body mechanics and structural balance of the body.
For this reason, there is not a single exercise that will help to fix back pain just like there is not a single exercise to fix your posture.
For example, your hips determine the angle of your body and thus largely your upper body posture. To get a good posture, everything in the body needs to be balanced and working as the nature intended.
Everyone is different and one fix that works for someone may not work for someone else. What will work for everyone is improving your structural balance, joint articulations and daily movement patterns.
In the "Become an Athlete" article and video we talked about how the highest level you can achieve is the body that works naturally and as the nature intended: all joints have their natural range of motion and everything works as it is supposed to.
Body that works naturally is also naturally pain free. By developing all parts of the body with comprehensive and holistic training, the body will eventually heal itself.
Many members of Movement 20XX have reported that they have fixed their shoulder and back pains although the course has no specific "pain exercises".
The program helps because the exercises and mobility drills improve your structural balance, posture and range of motion of the joints.
Another thing that will help a lot with back pain is learning how to control your spine. This will help to prevent injury and keep the back in a good shape.
Below we have demonstrated an excellent exercise to develop control and mobility in the lumbar and thoracic spine areas. The exercise is fantastic and will help, but like said earlier: just 1 exercise likely won't be enough.
To fully fix the body, you need to take a holistic approach where you take care of the entire body. Regarding the back pain, training your core and hips are especially important.
Wall Deadlift (Home Back Pain Exercise)
Wall deadlift is one of the best back exercises you can do, because with the wall version it takes the hips out of the equation and allows you to solely focus on your spinal movement.
The wall deadlift targets muscles such as:
The reason why wall deadlift is massively different compared to the traditional back extensions or hyperextensions is that you are not using your glutes or hamstrings to extend the hips. The hips provide stability, but do not generate movement.
Although the hyperextension is an excellent exercise, it doesn't isolate the back like the wall deadlift. In the wall deadlift all movement should come from the spine and not the hips.
You start doing wall deadlifts against a wall by taking a high wide squat stance with slightly bent legs. You use the wall to eliminate the movement of the hips so you can fully isolate the back muscles and only perform spinal movement.
You lower yourself with control and then raise yourself up with the strength of your spine, segment by segment.
The common mistakes include:
In order to do the wall deadlift correctly, you have to stabilize the hips (no hip movement but engaged), activate and stabilize with the core and only arch and round from the spine.
In the beginning, just use the range of motion you have and don't try to overdo it. The purpose is to create mobility and learn how to control the spine.
Eventually you can use light weights like dumbbells and do the actual wall deadlift.
The wall deadlift can be done as a warm up or as a part of your core training routine. What makes the wall deadlift great is that it's also easy to do at home.
Train hard, stay safe.