Intermediate Note 13

In regards to your lower back pain, the key here is to ensure you are breathing correctly to engage the abdominals, keeping the range small where you have control of the pelvis and also keeping the pelvis in neutral when chest lifting, 4-point kneeling or planking.

For any position where you are chest lifting with the small ball behind your back, place a small rolled up towel underneath your lower back to give you feedback and help you maintain a neutral pelvis. The key here is not about the height of the lift, but about breathing effectively to engage the abdominals and allowing the abdominals to lift the head and chest. The pelvis should remain still (not gripping or tilting to get height in the lift). It is important to move within pain free range, if you experience any pain or discomfort please limit the range, check your form or stop immediately.

The key to results and building strength is through your breathing and engaging your abdominals effectively. Here are my tips on breathing:

  1. Place your hands onto the sides of your ribcage
  2. Inhale – Breathe back and up into your ribcage – your ribcage should expand wider
  3. Exhale – Draw the ribcage back together and deepen down through the abdominals

This type of breathing means you breathe up and down rather than the belly going in and out.

Make sure you listen to your body, if you need a rest day – take one. Or do a stretching workout – your body will thank you for it!