A blog all about the QL properly known as the Quadratic Lumborum. The QL is one of your deepest abdominal muscles located in your lower back on either side of the lumbar spine. It runs from the lowest part of the ribs to the top part of the pelvis. The actions of the QL are lateral flexion( bending side to side), assisting the obliques with rotation( twisting), flexion of spine( bending forward) and to help support the spine in an upright position. The QL keeps our spines tall, stable and strong throughout the day when trained properly.
Why are the Quadratus Lumborum prone to pain and tightness? Well, due to the function, position, and insertion/ origin of the QL, this muscle throughout the day get’s ignored and placed into cramped contracted positions. Which over time causes unwanted tightness and pain in our lower back and hips. I’d be so bold to say a majority of “Back Pain” in America is actually stimming from the QL’s.
Let’s take the most common American position: “sitting”. In this position the QL is contracted or shortened near the hips/pelvis and then is overstretched near the 12 ribs and lumbar due to hunching forward and round of the lower back. This position puts two different strains and your QL’s and sends mixed signals to the CNS( central nervous system) to activate and deactivate the muscle all day long. No wonder why ot backs hurt, it has no idea what you want it to do!
But enough about the cause and why… What’s the fix. Well, it’s quite easy actually, with proper core bracing, so easy stretching, and a touch of strengthening we can have you pain free in no time. No more chiropractors, pain medicine or constant stretching the wrong areas. Just follow this four basic steps in order as often as possible.
- Loosen Up Your Hips- I recommend doing 90/90 stretch, Pigeon Stretch or Couch Stretch. You can one or all each hit the hips a little differently. Refer to my blog
- Loosen Up The QL’s- Doing the QL Straddle is one of the easy and most effective. Again refer to the link above for this stretch.
- Strengthen Your Core- Getting your core structure stronger will helo you hold your posture longer and better. You can refer to my blog “ The Big Three of Core Stability”
- Lastly, strengthening our lower back and hip complex, and there is no better way than to get stronger than to DEADLIFT! Whether you are doing barbell or kettlebell, Romanian or Convention. The deadlift is easily one of the most beneficial movements to strengthen your whole back, core and hip connection.
If done properly and followed in this order I can promise you will reduce your pain as well as risk of injury in the future!