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Essential Back Rehab Strategies – Category C – Hip and Upper Back Mobility

Essential Back Rehab Strategies

Category C

Hip and Upper Back Mobility | Strength Mobility

Now that we have re-established stability in Part 1 and started strengthening the erectors, hips and hamstrings in Part 2, we will begin to improve our hip mobility and upper back mobility.

It is important for us to focus on hip mobility because immobile hips cause huge issues in the kinetic segments above AND below, i.e. stress on the knees and lower lumbar.  Hip mobility means our ability to move our legs into extension, flexion, internal / external rotation, ADDuction and ABDuction; without restriction for a required activity.  Many times we can’t do this because we sit too much, we drive too much and after our workouts, we don’t include mobility work to negate the restrictions that are associated with recovery from strength training.

Upper back mobility is also very important.  Working our our thoracic mobility will improve our posture, ensure our shoulder health and will develop efficiency (without restriction) of movement by optimizing the structure of the diagonal fascial line running from each shoulder to the opposite hip.  This coordinated muscle action determines our ability to move and has a huge impact on how we transfer forces.

The final important piece of the puzzle requires us to strengthen these new movement patterns.  It is one thing to be mobile, but we must control and stabilize throughout the movement pattern.

Category C Strategies

For this fourth installment, we will focus on movements we can do in the gym before, during and after training to positively affect the mobility of our hips and upper back.  Then we will build strength mobility in these new ranges of motion.

Hip Mobility

Exercises:  Side to Side Hip Stretch, Lying Knee-to-Knee Stretch, Rear-Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch, Braced External Hip Rotation Stretch, Abducted Internal Hip Rotation Stretch

Upper Back Mobility

Exercises:  Lat Stretch, Band Shoulder Stretches, Thoracic Extension on Foam Roller, Shoulder Flexion | Extension on Foam Roller, Shoulder Flexion | Pec Stretch on Foam Roller, Quadruped Extension | Rotation, Deep Tissue Lacrosse Ball with Shoulder Flexion | Extension

Upper Back Strength Mobility

Exercises:  Maxwell Spinal Wave, Band Resisted Back Extensions

Phase 3: Hip and Upper Back Mobility | Strength Mobility

Category A Exercises: Pick 2-3 exercises; bridges, supermans, birddogs, planks, elastic band bracing

Category B Exercises: Pick 3-4 exercises; hip extension variation, RDL variation, back raise variation, hip thrust variation, glute bridge variation

Category C Exercises: Pick 2-3 exercises from each category; hip mobility, upper back mobility and pick 1 exercise from strength mobility

Volume: 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps or 60-90 seconds work for dynamic | static postures, 60-90 sec REST between sets

Duration: 2-3 Weeks (or until you feel comfortable and strong)

Sessions: 3-4 sessions / week


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By on May 17th, 2011

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