I often hear people complain of low back pain or “achyness” when trying to work out, especially with runners and cyclists during or just afterward their training. Most people ignore the signals and keep pushing through the discomfort only to find out that they end up with a chronic throb in their low back day after day. This can be super frustrating as you are trying to make positive changes to your fitness. The solution?

Don’t quit yet! You just need to make a few tweaks to your program. Here are a few pointers for you to pay attention to that can become total game changers for you.

1) Pain and tension is there for a reason. It’s an indicator that something you are doing isn’t work. Pay attention and stop what you are doing – listen to your body for a sec 🙂

2) Pain in your low back (or most joints) is usually an indicator that something is tight or out of balance. The antagonist muscle that is supposed to help stabilize the area is not firing and something is taking over.

3) To keep this simple, common patterns we see are Transverse Abdominals (that deep layer of core muscles) are not firing so your back takes over as a “slave”. So..

4) STRETCH your back and start paying attention to fire your CORE muscles properly by breathing into your belly.

5) Tight Hamstrings can also become dominant and take over the work that quads and gluteus muscles (butt muscles!) should be doing. Pay attention if you know you have tight hamstrings/poor flexibility and stop as often as needed to STRETCH hamstrings so your GLUTEUS muscles and QUADS can work in sync.

6) Make sure to breathe deeply as you move through your stretches. Belly breathing allows your core to fire naturally and create support for your spine. You should always inhale fully as you expand and exhale fully as you contract. Try to link 1 breath with each segment of the stretch.

7) Make sure to stretch as often as you need to. It’s better to stop and stretch during a workout rather than pushing through and making something bad worse. You will only GAIN performance and reduce chance of injury!

8) Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting still and not moving is one of the worst things to do. Continue to move gently and try lowering the intensity of your program or run until you feel some relief.

Make sure to pay attention to each of these things and watch the tension and frustration disappear! If you’re at a point where you need help with your health and fitness, be sure to book a consult with one of our fitness professionals today!