ironmaiden708 wrote:I tried touching my toes with a totally stiff/straight back. I couldn't do it. Not even close.
That's good to know. One thing that will help you a lot is to be extra conscious of it i.e. when you pick something up from the floor, don't flex the lumbar spine. Either move at the hips or if you can't get the ROM, do a single arm single leg RDL which is how most golfers will pick things up if you ever watch in on TV. Picking up and putting down weights, sitting posture, etc etc - sure you know what I mean. It's most likely all the little things that causing the most harm, as opposed to lifting form or anything like that.
Basically, you want to avoid lumbar flexion all together. There's probably always going to be times where you need to flex at the lumbar spine (think MMA and the likes) but if your always conscious not to do it, then it will always be minimal.
Deadlifts with good form is still one of the best things you can do to make your core work as it should and strengthen the posterior chain. Pull throughs with a straight back are also a great exercise for this.
It's also going to help you if have decent isometric strength in the core. As much as isometrics take a lot of stick, there are times when it's useful. Especially when you consider that your core and lower back especially is almost primarily there to transfer force from the lower to upper body (as opposed to creating force). So it makes perfect sense to do some isometrics.
Front and side bridges will encourage everything to work as it should. I've saw it being recommended that people with lower back pain should do front and side bridges every day. Also saw the same for stretching the hip flexors, quads, and activating the glutes. All of it makes sense.
In my opinion, one of the best exercises for strengthening the abs/core is over head squats. The first time I done this, the following day felt like I had dedicated the whole workout to abs, due to the pain I felt.
Again, this is all food for thought, a bit all over the place but the take home points is to stretch and mobilise the hips, minimise lumber flexion, target the core a little more (you could just add overhead squats somewhere), add in some front and side bridges (you can throw them in at the end). And as always, hammer the posterior chain.
It's really down to you how brutal you want to be with correcting it... If I were to prioritise anything it I would in the following in order,
1. Hip Mobility (including regular static stretching) - Amazing things happen when you loosen up the hips. You could hit the nail on the head and get Magnificent Mobility.
2. Ab / core and glute strength (to stop the need for compensation by the erectors). Think dead lifts, squats, over head squats, even reverse crunches, bar rollouts.. Isometric strength - front side bridges.
3. Foam rolling - your bound to have lots of tight muscles in and around the hips that would really benefit from foam rolling.
I always make these things sound like a lot more than they really are. It's just a few modifications / additions here and there.
Just so you know where i'm coming from with my views on this, here's a Cressey newsletter. It really all comes from Dr McGill. You can also find stuff on this site about him (lower back tidbits if memory serves).