Stiff Back? You Might Be Hurting It By Stretching | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Stiff Back? You Might Be Hurting It By Stretching

May 16, 2013 | Kasey Esser

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Curing a stiff or achy lower back requires more than dropping back into child's pose.

It's a common misconception. Although a static backstretch may feel awesome, it's actually ineffective for stretching back muscles. This is due to the fact that you may just be stretching your neural tissues.

According to Dr. Stuart McGill, neural tension is commonly mistaken for muscle tension. Your nerves weren't designed to stretch but to slide and give. This is what allows movement. Based on McGill's research, from a neural perspective, static stretching "deadens" muscles.

Deadened muscle tissue could cause performance problems because it diminishes the stretch reflex, decreasing peak strength and power.

To avoid this potential issue, athletes must focus more on dynamic movement in their thoracic spine and hips. Increased mobility gives the low back stability.

Following the principles of Mike Boyle's and Gray Cook's "Joint-by-Joint Approach," you can reduce low back stiffness by including at least one thoracic spine and hip mobility drill in each workout.

Get started today with the following drills. I highly recommend them as suitable for any athlete.

Welcome to the new form of back stretching. At the beginning and end of your workouts, perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each drill.

Side-Lying Extension-Rotation

This active mobility drill will open up your thoracic spine. Just make sure to brace your abdominals to keep your lower back from rotating.

Split-Stance Adductor Mobilization with Foot Swivel

Adductor mobility is an often overlooked component of hip mobility. This drill attacks the adductors while forcing the hip to both externally and internally rotate as you move your foot.

Photo: wellnesscourier.com

Kasey Esser
- Kasey Esser, CSCS, CPT, is a trainer based in Beverly Hills, Calif. He formerly worked as an assistant strength coach at the University of Evansville.
Kasey Esser
- Kasey Esser, CSCS, CPT, is a trainer based in Beverly Hills, Calif. He formerly worked as an assistant strength coach at the University of Evansville.
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,285,230
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 83,227
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,307,131

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,672
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,618
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,880
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,427
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,006,048
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,635
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,529
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,176,187

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

Tips for Preventing Knee Injuries During the New School Sports Year By Jim Carpentier, CSCS Watching an athlete grab their painful knee on the turf,...

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

How to Train With Running Blisters

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises