Fitness Friday: The secret to releasing your lower back

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The first time I worked with Laura, she had me put stickers on all my major joints (ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders) and then walk around and look at my alignment in a mirror as I did so. It was kind of amazing how those dots didn’t line up and jogged all over the place when I did something as simple as walk.

She watched me carefully for a couple of minutes and then said, “You didn’t crawl as a baby, did you?”

I was amazed! How did she know that? Indeed I never crawled. As a baby I was famous for sitting cross-legged (all lopsided) and “scooching” around. Apparently I was pretty good at it. I walked really late, and when I did it wasn’t pretty. My legs were all wonky and my parents were presented the idea of braces. They chose ballet lessons instead.

But that’s another story.

So here I am, working with Laura many years later, going through yet another round of crazy knee pain and lower back pain. And she asks me about crawling. I look at her and say, “You’re not going to make me crawl, are you?”

“You bet I am!” she said.

And she did. It was amazing how difficult such a simple action could be. I couldn’t get my legs to travel in a straight line no matter how hard I tried. It took every ounce of concentration I had in me. But once I mastered it (after longer than I’m going to admit here), I stood up and walked around and everything felt different.

Fitness Fridays with Laura Coleman: The secret to releasing your lower back |

You see, what Laura knew was that our hip flexors – vitally important muscles for moving forward (something we do a lot in this culture!) – are developed when we crawl as babies. That means that if you skip that step as I did, your hip flexors never fully develop and you compensate with other, less than ideal muscles, often straining the lower back in the process.

In this week’s installment of Fitness Friday, Laura teaches the skill of crawling. Don’t undermine it! You will be surprised at how hard it is and how much it can change your body.

Laura Coleman - Laura Coleman rocked my world a few years back when she helped me get to the root of all the knee and lower-back issues I’d had since my teens. In just a couple of sessions, Laura put me on a simple program of rehab exercises (unlike any I’d ever seen before) that brought my body back into alignment and actually fixed the problem that no physiotherapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor had ever been able to solve. I was hooked! We’ve been terrific friends and shared many clients since, and I’m delighted that she has offered to share her wisdom with all of you via this Fitness Friday video series. Laura lives in Portland, OR with her two gorgeous daughters. She works her magic at Club Sport and with clients all over the continent via the magic of technology (aka Skype). Check out her blog and website here.

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