Lower back pain often occurs for the reason that the iliac-lumbar muscle (essentially a hip flexor muscle, popularly known as the “sprinter’s muscle”) is under tension. The iliac-lumbar muscle is necessary for standing up from a sitting position, as well as for walking. If these muscles are stiff and do not bend, pain occurs in the lower back and causes tension on the entire back.
Below are some exercises to help with iliopsoas stiffness.
First, check the flexibility.
Stand straight with your feet together and stretch both arms towards the sky. Then reach back so far that your back becomes arched. Ideally, a C-shaped body is formed, there is no pain, stiffness or tremors in the abdominal muscles. Typically, people who don’t bend enough to do this movement start to bend their knees.
The following exercise selection helps to improve the flexibility of the iliac-lumbar muscle. You don’t have to do these exercises one after the other. You can start with one of these exercises, preferably the first one.
Place the leg on the side to be stretched behind. Activate the abdominal and gluteal muscles, the upper body is straight and hold the position. To get a stronger stretch, the weight can be moved a little forward. It is important to keep the abdominal and glute muscles activated throughout the exercise.
Single leg bridge.
With this exercise, you can move your iliac-lumbar muscles perfectly, while at the same time the exercise stabilizes both the abdominal and back muscles. Bring one knee to your chest, place your hands firmly down and lift your hips. The trajectory of the movement is not large at all, it is important to make the movement in a controlled manner – the body does not tremble, the neck is not stiff.
Raise the opposite arm and leg.
The purpose of the exercise is to stabilize the back and at the same time stretch the iliac-lumbar muscles. At first, extend the arm and leg of the opposite side, then bring the knee and elbow together.
Once the exercise is done, you can check your flexibility again. If flexibility is improved, great! If not, try another exercise from the selection. Of course, not all changes happen overnight. I recommend doing 3-4 sets of exercises every day and warming up before training. However, if there is unpleasant pain when performing these exercises, I recommend consulting a physiotherapist.