Lumbar Lordosis: Stop Sticking Your Butt Out!
Written by Zach Erick
What is the Lumbar Lordosis? No, it is not the name of a character on Game of Thrones. It is actually a very common problem many clients may not realize they have.
This post hits home with me. Years of sleeping on my stomach and not activating my glutes have given me lumbar lordosis. What is lumbar lordosis? It is defined as “a condition in which the spine in the lower back has an excessive curvature.” If you know what to look for, it is easy to spot. Take your shirt off and look at a profile view of yourself in the mirror. If your butt is sticking out, along with your stomach, you’ve got it.
Lumbar Lordosis with a CrossFit athlete is most likely caused by a lack of glute recruitment while using the posterior chain. Think of a deadlift or back squat, for example. If you are not squeezing the glutes as the hips come to extension, you are missing out on a untapped power source – the booty! Years of deadlifting (or lifting anything from the ground), without contracting the glutes, will cause the spinal erectors to over develop (chronically shortening them), pulling the hips from underneath the body, making you look like you are sticking your butt and belly out.
How do we fix this? Luckily, the cures for Lumbar Lordosis are simple: Awareness and Exercise. Here are a few simple tests from Kelly Starrett’s “Becoming a Supple Leopard” to help you become aware of the positions you need to walk, stand, lift, and sit in, along with exercises to strengthen those buns!
- Bracing Sequence
- Side Front
- Monster Walks
- Banded Squats
- Clam Shells
- The Two-Hand Rule: This technique can be found on page 31 in Kelly Starrett’s book, “Becoming a Supple Leopard.” Place one thumb in the center of your chest and the other thumb on your pubic bone. When you squeeze your abs and butt the hands will create two parallel lines. If you are either over-extended or stuck in flexion the hands will not be parallel to one another.
Awareness is only half the battle though! Glute recruitment is extremely important to aid in fixing this problem. Remember, to always go through the bracing sequence before lifting. Not only will this set you up in a stronger position, it will also prevent injury.