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  1. #1
    Has Returned LUCKY_13's Avatar
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    Lower-Back feels very tight...

    My lower-back has been feeling really tight lately.

    I stretch it before and after working out but it still feels tight even on rest days.

    Is there a good stretch that you find really relaxes these muscles?

    Or should I be looking into something else?

    It's not painful, just tight...
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  2. #2
    grow stronger comrade rockhuddy's Avatar
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    You don't usually want to stretch your lower back because you want those muscles to be tight for strength and stability rather than loose (and therefore weaker). Just because it feels tight doesn't mean there's a problem, and usually when people have low back problems it's precisely because the muscles are too weak and flexible. Also, make sure your glute and hamstring strength is good so your back doesn't have to do all the work in the gym.
    "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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  3. #3
    The BACKMAN DJAuto's Avatar
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    Do you work the abs?

    It could be attributed to a slight pelvic tilt.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  4. #4
    Silverbar IronAbrams's Avatar
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    Hip mobility.
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  5. #5
    Registered User SlimHero's Avatar
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    I know your pain

    ^^ I'm also searching for a cure to this. Whatever you do, don't take to bed rest..too much bed rest will make it worse as the muscles will weaken. My chiropractor runs a vibrating muscle stimulating sort of tool up and down the sides of my spine and back of shoulders every visit. Superman exercises work the hell out of the lower back, but i've been afraid of it causing more muscle imbalances and injury. Hip mobility, like the guy above me said, and pelvic alignment exercises might be your cure. As long as you don't have sciatic pains going down one of your legs you know there aren't any pinched nerves, and the problem isn't too serious.
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    Registered Abuser tflee42's Avatar
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    Lot of good answers in this thread, but yea could be a number of things.. I used to have seriously tight hamstrings, and now just by loosening them up I have cleared up alot of my lower back pain..
    USMC '04-'08

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  7. #7
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LUCKY_13 View Post
    My lower-back has been feeling really tight lately. I stretch it before and after working out but it still feels tight even on rest days. Is there a good stretch that you find really relaxes these muscles? Or should I be looking into something else? It's not painful, just tight...
    I'm not sure whether or not stretching it before working out is a good idea (although warming it up probably is). As for doing it afterward, I'm curious what kind of stretches you're doing already. There are passive ones like forward bends (seated or standing) and there are also active stretches (which are probably a bit safer) like doing dangling knee raises (stretching the lower back by contracting the abs while the spine is under traction. Dangling knee raises can be done from a bar (hanging knee raise) or using ab slings, a captain's chair, dip bars, paralettes, or even with palms if you grab a couple cinderblocks to get a bit of elevation. Active stretches usually rely on reciprocal inhibition to make muscles relax, like how contracting triceps might relax elbow flexors.

    Originally Posted by rockhuddy View Post
    You don't usually want to stretch your lower back because you want those muscles to be tight for strength and stability rather than loose (and therefore weaker). Just because it feels tight doesn't mean there's a problem, and usually when people have low back problems it's precisely because the muscles are too weak and flexible. Also, make sure your glute and hamstring strength is good so your back doesn't have to do all the work in the gym.
    Stretching lower back sometimes goes hand in hand with stretching the hip flexors and strengthening abs/glutes for correcting anterior pelvic tilt issues.

    Plus if we don't stretch our lower backs, how can men become orally independent like Ron Jeremy?
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  8. #8
    Registered User poloralphloren's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockhuddy View Post
    You don't usually want to stretch your lower back because you want those muscles to be tight for strength and stability rather than loose (and therefore weaker). Just because it feels tight doesn't mean there's a problem, and usually when people have low back problems it's precisely because the muscles are too weak and flexible. Also, make sure your glute and hamstring strength is good so your back doesn't have to do all the work in the gym.
    You do want to have a stable core and a strong lower back, generally speaking, but stretching the lower back could be helpful if there is some lumbar hyperextension going on... Usually associated with anterior pelvic tilt. If it feels "tight", then it is not ideal -- tight is not the same as "strong". So I don't think stretching the lower back is a bad idea necessarily...

    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    I'm not sure whether or not stretching it before working out is a good idea (although warming it up probably is). As for doing it afterward, I'm curious what kind of stretches you're doing already. There are passive ones like forward bends (seated or standing) and there are also active stretches (which are probably a bit safer) like doing dangling knee raises (stretching the lower back by contracting the abs while the spine is under traction. Dangling knee raises can be done from a bar (hanging knee raise) or using ab slings, a captain's chair, dip bars, paralettes, or even with palms if you grab a couple cinderblocks to get a bit of elevation. Active stretches usually rely on reciprocal inhibition to make muscles relax, like how contracting triceps might relax elbow flexors.

    Stretching lower back sometimes goes hand in hand with stretching the hip flexors and strengthening abs/glutes for correcting anterior pelvic tilt issues.

    Plus if we don't stretch our lower backs, how can men become orally independent like Ron Jeremy?
    Some good ideas ^^^ here -- good point, pre-workout stretching can be counterproductive, I'd keep the stretches to post-workout, or on non-workout days only. A couple other good stretches I've done: Lying on your back, pull your knees in to your chest -- but let your butt lift up off the ground an inch or two so that you can feel the stretch in the lower back, rather than the glutes/hams. You can also do that one leg at a time. Or sitting on a chair, reach down underneath you (Ron Jeremy-style, as Tyciol alluded to, but further between your legs) til you feel a stretch. You can also lie on your back and twist your knees to one side, then the other. Also, try a foam roller. Or get a massage. Or yoga -- I had some really bad lower back pain for months, nothing seemed to help til I did yoga regularly.
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