In my in-home personal training business, all new clients of mine have one major issue: they have a tweak in their backs. Some have severe problems. Others have an issue with their backs that comes and goes, and some have a mild ache that’s there constantly. Back problems are a puzzle. In my personal training business, one of the major obstacles I must overcome is how to align and make my client’s back pain-free.
The back is located in the middle of our bodies. Here lies one of the issues with it being so vulnerable to muscular strains and aches. It is not only the spinal cord that is a major issue with back pain, but it’s also the pelvis, the lumbar muscles, and our lower legs. This is called the lumbar pelvic hip complex. In the personal training world, it’s called your core, which most people are familiar with.
Assessing Your Core
All my new clients are assessed to see how balanced their core is. One of the major muscle groups I check is the gluteal muscles, or better known as your butt. These muscles, if we don’t exercise them, become very weak. When they don’t work properly, it makes other muscles work overtime, such as the hips and your lower back. Now a few of your muscles have to do the work of others. This is where the imbalance issue is. Once I assess these issues and find out what the problem is, I design a fitness program that has some rehabilitation exercises incorporated with the overall workout. Now, these rehabilitation exercises might be very easy to the beginning, but over time, they become very aggressive exercises that help strengthen the area and develop it. One example I can give is my at home client in Delray Beach, Florida. As soon as she began having her lower back ache, I assessed her gluteal muscles and found out they were not firing properly. We started to do just a general exercise, such as laying on her back with her hands out to her sides, palms facing down on the floor. One knee was up. She would push on the knee that’s up and lift the opposite leg straight up 3 inches with her butt up, then 3 inches with her same side leg straight up. She would hold this for a 10-second count and lower it. We would do both sides four times each. Within one or two workouts, she noticed right away a relief of her lower back pain. This is just one of the many protocols the trainers have to help people with back issues.
Now, only a personal trainer who is knowledgeable and has the assessment capabilities to figure out the issues in the lower back is qualified. You cannot just give one exercise to fix all the issues. This is a puzzle that needs to be figured out through assessment and knowledge. But, just know that there is help available, and your back can be pain-free. You could move efficiently towards your exercise and fitness program goal.
Michael Metchikian CPT, NASM, CES, CNS
Michael is a lifelong fitness expert. He sees his clients in their private homes, apartment complexes, or the gyms of their choice. He practices many different modalities of fitness such as strength training, balance, and coordination, flexibility, making people pain-free through movement and rehabilitation. He also practices Pilates space moves and yoga-based exercises. He instills knowledge, nutrition, and lifestyle changes in all his sessions designed specifically for the individual client.