3 Glute Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Secondaby low back pain, probably because of your buns, hun! “Your lower back muscles can and will compensate for inactive hips,” says Natalie Sampson, DPT, owner of Symmetry Physical Therapy in Calabasas, California. “The hips may be inactive because of weakness, or because they are tight or restricted.”

In particular, the gluteus medius, located on the outside of your hips, is one of the main pelvic stabilizers, and if it’s not strong enough or doesn’t have enough range of motion to keep your hips moving in place, your lower back will end up working overtime. “If you have a weakness on one or both sides, your back muscles have to overcompensate and work harder,” she adds.

Everyone experiences low back pain differently. It may feel painful or sharp. You may even find that your pain starts out sharp and then turns dull and painful. This is very individual, but any pain should be a reminder to pay attention to your body.

One of the most common times you may notice it is when you are walking. “When you take a step with your right foot, your left foot is off the ground. The gluteus medius on the right keeps the pelvis from sagging, and the lower back muscles on the left help,” explains Dr. Sampson. “It’s a criss-cross pattern. The right hip comes out and the left lower back comes out. If the right hip is weak, the left side of the lower back has to work harder to stabilize you.”

Of course, gluteal weakness is just one of the reasons why you may experience low back pain. Another common cause is tight hamstrings. “It’s called the glute-hamstring complex,” says Dr. Sampson. “if [your hamstrings are] Tight, you can’t get into your hips. They become disabled so your waist will make up for it. “

Dr. Sampson recommends these three exercises for activating and strengthening the glutes using resistance bands. You can do it yourself, but they’re also helpful to practice before walking, running, or hiking to get your glutes fired up before the activity so that once you’re on the move.

Ribbon Squat

The squat is a movement you may be familiar with. “Adding a resistance band allows you to activate the gluteus medius,” says Dr. Sampson.

  1. Place the resistance band on both calves. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart to create tension.
  2. Bend your knees to lower your torso, placing your weight on your heels.
  3. Cross your heels and bring yourself back to a standing position, squeezing your hips at the top.
  4. Do 10 repetitions 3 times.

Maintain tension in the straps throughout the exercise and don’t let your knees collapse.

Make sure your squat position is correct:

Band side step

“Sometimes your hips aren’t activated, and if you give them more range, they’ll work for you,” says Dr. Sampson. Lateral movements with resistance bands can help.

  1. Wrap the straps around your calves, starting with your feet hip-width apart. Push your weight from your heels back into a half-squat position.
  2. Go right five times, then go left five times.
  3. Repeat three times.

Make sure you “keep your torso off one side, keep your feet parallel, and use your heels to guide as you step out,” says Dr. Sampson. “If you can’t keep your torso from leaning, reduce the range of motion.”

Ribbon front steps

This move will increase your hip strength to prevent overcompensation.

  1. Start with the straps around your calves, with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Go forward five times, go back five times.
  3. Complete three sets.

Keep your knees on your feet and your legs parallel. “Make sure to stretch your feet back a big chunk,” Dr. Sampson said.

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