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“I’ve got a monster of a lower-back stretch for you,” says Dr. Mike Wasilisin, founder of MOVEU. “It is stretching your quadratus lumborum.”
What is a quadratus lumborum, you ask? You probably know it as your QL, or the deepest of all the back muscles. Located on both sides of your spine, it connects the rib and hip. People frequently experience QL-related pain because this major muscle is used in many physical processes such as sitting, standing, walking, and of course pumping iron.
Since the QL is frequently taxed, people commonly suffer from pain in this area, but there are simple ways to keep your lower back in good check. One of the ways to release lower back tension is to perform this quadratus lumborum stretch.
Dr. Mike, through his popular social media posts, teaches his more than a million followers on Instagram straightforward ways to move and train safely, and this is great for avoiding unnecessary injuries and the subsequent need for pills and stressful insurance claims. In this latest installment of Form & Fixes, the MoveU maven provides an easy — yet difficult — demonstration on how to decompress the lower back by focusing on this stretch.
“You are gonna need to get in a door way,” he says. “Stand two feet from a doorway, or a rig [if you have one]. Take your outside foot behind your inside foot, into the doorway, rolling the outside of your foot.”
With feet in position, Dr. Mike illustrates with his subject that the inside arm should grab the door frame at nipple height, and the outside arm should move in front of you and also hold the door frame, this time at head height.
“Now, you’re gonna pull your hips all the way over,” says Dr. Mike. “Now you are going to turn your body (away from the door frame) and look through (the inside of your outside arm) and pull the hips over (away from the door). If you are doing it right, it is going to be lengthening this deep, deep, quadratus lumborum.”
He explains that the quadratus lumborum muscle is susceptible to knotting, adding that if you have pain in your QL, this can travel the length of the muscle and you can even suffer from deferred pain down your leg. The QL muscle can become incredibly tight, so: “By loosening this, you are going to decompress your back,” asserts the charismatic chiropractor.