Low back pain is a huge part of what we treat at Elite Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. Even folks coming in for treatment with knee replacement or shoulder pain (just a couple examples), will often complain of pain and tightness in their low back as well. Dysfunction and pain in the lower back can certainly contribute and cause problems in other areas of the body.
In the coming weeks I’ll be posting a series of articles written by Andy Barker (SportsRehabExpert.com contributor) and myself that discuss how to spare your lower back during the performance of popular strength training exercises. Hopefully you’ll find some good tips to keep that spine healthy all the while making great gains with your training.
Enjoy and if you have any questions feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Andy Barker PT
originally posted at SportsRehabExpert.com
I think we do a great job at cueing and coaching good pelvic position when using standing based gym exercises. Equally, cueing the same position in supine in an unloaded state we also get it right.
However, when adding load to supine based exercises good pelvic form is often lost.
A great example of this is the bench press. Often when the load goes up so does load through the back as compensatory lumbar extension assists the lift. This is especially so when the feet are placed on the floor either side of the bench.
One easy way to reduce the effects of possible lumbar compensatory extension is to raise the feet to put the pelvis into posterior tilt and hence out of lumbar extension. This is shown in the video below:
Feet Raised Bench Press
One potential problem with the above technique is that athletes may feel less steady with the feet not placed on the floor and hence unable to shift as much load. This might be particular so the wider the athlete and/or the narrower the bench used.
As a result an alternative way to increase support whilst also raising the feet is using plyo boxes to act as foot platforms. Using the boxes allows athletes to push into the floor, via the boxes, as they would in a standard bench press, although in a much better pelvic position. This is shown in the video below:
Feet raised bench press (plyo boxes)
Have a blast and let me know what you think
Andy is the current head physiotherapist for the Leeds Rhinos first team squad and has been involved with the club for the past six seasons.
He graduated in Physiotherapy from the University of Bradford with a first class honours degree which followed on from a previous Bachelor of Science degree from Leeds Metropolitan University in Sports Performance Coaching.
Andy currently works privately in addition to his sporting work and has also previous experience within National League basketball and professional golf.
Andy has a keen interest in injury prevention and the biomechanics of movement in which he is continuing his studies with the start of a MSc degree later this year in Sports and Exercise Biomechanics.
Andy is also the creator and author of rehabroom.co.uk. RehabRoom is a free online rehab resource site aimed at but not exclusive to physiotherapists, strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers. To visit the site, click here: www.rehabroom.co.uk