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Mike McGurn Demonstrates "The Plank"



Lower back pain is often associated with trigger points in the Erector Spinae, Rectus Abdominis, Iliopsoas, Quadratus Lumborum, and the Gluteus medius muscles


Here are five great exercises that may help you avoid lower back pain, and obtain some relief from trigger points. 

1. The Plank


The basic plank exercise, also called a hover, is the starting place if you want to improve your core strength and stability. Here’s how to do it right.

• Begin in the plank position with your forearms and toes on the floor

• Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bendingfrom ears to toes with no sagging or bending

 • Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor

• Hold this position for 10 seconds to start

• Over time work up to 30, 45 or 60 seconds

How Often?

Repeat 4 times, twice daily


2. Bird-Dog


• Begin on all fours, hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips

• Keep head aligned with spine (to help avoid tilting head, look at floor)

• Keep buttocks and abdomen tight. Do not arch the back

• Lift one arm up and forward until it is level with torso. Simultaneously lift the opposite leg in the same manner

• Keep arm, spine, and opposite leg aligned as if they are forming a tabletop

• Balance yourself for 10-15 seconds then slowly return to starting position

• Switch sides and repeat

• Remember to breathe

How Often?

Do 10 repetitions each side, twice daily


3. The Bridge



• To improve core strength of several muscles in combination, try a bridge

• Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles

• Raise your hips off the floor until your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds

• Return to the start position and repeat

How Often?

30 times, twice daily


4. Lumbar Spine Mobilization


• Lay down on all fours
• Place one hand behind the back

• While the opposite hand remains on the floor

• Rotate the upper body (side that the arm is behind the back) with the elbow pointing to the sky as far as possible

• Return to start position

How Often?

Repeat 5-10 times each side, twice daily


5. McKenzie Extension




• Lie on your stomach, and prop yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine

• Keep your shoulders back and neck long

• Keeping your neck long, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands

• You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backwards

• Breathe and hold for 5 to 10 seconds

• Return to the starting position

How Often?

Repeat 3 times, twice daily




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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 




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