Lower back pain, hip flexor stretch question

kostya

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi all, I've started experiencing some lower back pain as I try to work more from a standing desk. Taking a look at my posture, I think my pelvic tilt might be contributing to this. To this end I'm trying to:
- Strengthen abs
- Strengthen glutes
- Stretch hip flexors

From reading Relax Into Stretch regarding hip flexors, the torso should remain upright during the stretch, which is achieved by tightening abs + glutes. After tightening the hip flexor, when relaxing into the stretch, how do you keep that upright posture? Do you try to keep your abs/glutes tight? I think when I'm relaxing into the stretch, the part that relaxes most is that lower back that starts to round.

Thanks all!
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
For how long have you been working from a standing position? Might just be too much too soon.

Have you read Deskbound by Kelly Starrett? It has lots of great advice on making the transition and on making it sustainable. He suggests switching the standing position every few minutes, for example with the help of tall stools, and a railing or box to put a foot on. And taking frequent sitting breaks and movement snacks - for example the "Couch Stretch" for hip flexors.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I've started experiencing some lower back pain as I try to work more from a standing desk. Taking a look at my posture, I think my pelvic tilt might be contributing to this.

It could be a lot of things, including just adapting to standing more. Maybe increase your time more slowly. But to your other question...

From reading Relax Into Stretch regarding hip flexors, the torso should remain upright during the stretch, which is achieved by tightening abs + glutes.

RIS pg 78, "Your torso and the front shin should remain upright for the duration of the stretch" - is that what you're referring to? It does not say "by tightening abs + glutes". I don't think the glutes are contracted at that point. It does say "flex your abs to protect your back".

I think when I'm relaxing into the stretch, the part that relaxes most is that lower back that starts to round.

Not sure how your lower back could round (flex) in this position. Your torso is upright? You look like Pavel on pg. 78?

As for "how do you keep that upright posture" - you just make sure that's where your body is. "You may spot yourself with chairs if you wish."
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
Any static or "prolonged" posture can be an issue and going from sitting too much to standing too much can overload the body—just in a different way.
Best option is to be able to change postures—sit for a bit and stand for a bit and walk around a bit.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
It does not say "by tightening abs + glutes". I don't think the glutes are contracted at that point. It does say "flex your abs to protect your back".

Ah, my mistake, I see it now.... Coincidentally, @Pavel Macek quoted this on Instagram yesterday. “It is essential, for safety and effectiveness, to keep your hips squared off during the hip flexor stretches… Contracting your glutes are helps to align your pelvis properly.” (Relax into Stretch)
 

kostya

Level 5 Valued Member
Not sure how your lower back could round (flex) in this position. Your torso is upright? You look like Pavel on pg. 78?

Sorry this was unclear - I meant the pelvis, which was straightened by keeping abs + glutes tight, upon relaxation goes back to the anterior tilt. If I relax the muscles, and try to increase the stretch, I imagine I should keep my abs + glutes tight and just relax the hip flexor. Otherwise, if it's all relaxed, the pelvis will tilt before the hip flexors stretch further.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
You could hang out in kneeling position of the get up. Focus on squaring the hips, glute squeezing, getting tall. Good for getting length in the quads. A problem with deep hip flexor stretching is other tissues need to be loose to enable a position where posture can be maintained....and the spot that makes up the range you seek is the lumbar region.
The kneeling position enables pelvic stability....maybe a progression to work on before going deeper?
 
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