Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hi, I'm Ashley Borden, and welcome to Perfect Form. What if I told you that you don't have to live with lower back pain? Consider this the best workout you have never done. It will help get rid of lower back pain, prevent future pains and even flatten your belly. So let's get started. First thing I want to start with is myofascial release–releasing your psoas. We're gonna start with the red ball. And you can use–this is two pound weighted ball. You can also use a softball. But it's important that you have the height because that's what is going to help release the psoas. And the way you find it is: Finger on the belly button, finger on your hip bone and right in between that line is your psoas. Now, I'm gonna start on this side, so you can see what I'm doing. Put the ball there. You're gonna come–lie down all the way on your belly. And I'm sitting up because I need a little bit more pressure, but you can also start lying down and completely relaxed down. Or you can sit up. But it's really important that you just release your belly, release your glutes and let it kind of sink over the ball and sink in there. And I would hold this about a minute to two minutes on each side. And that will also really help to open up your lower back. The next thing I want to do is using the roller. I want to roll out your lower back and your hamstrings. Now, it's really important that if you have any type of structural issue with your lower back, I don't want you rolling it out. I'm using a soft foam for the roller back. If you're using a PVC pipe, or something at home, I wouldn't do your lower back with such a hard surface. But this guy's soft enough that it kind of feels good. So you're gonna start and just gently roll up and down on that lower part of your back. You can kinda go a little bit side to side. Keep the belly button pulled in. And then I wanna move to your hamstrings. Because a lot of times your hamstrings, when they're super tight, that also pulls on your lower back. So remember, it's not always the pain site of where the pain is. But your pain source can be from somewhere else. So that's why we're gonna start with the hamstrings. And you wanna start with that roller right–I'd say always like I'm sitting on a park bench, so you can get the position. Extend the leg out and then you're gonna pull back and forth from your core. So I pull back, go forward. And if it's not hard enough, and you can't feel it, cross one leg over. And back and forth, right on that hamstring. You can hold where you feel a sticking point. Side to side. Really chew it up. And if this position is too hard for you to get into, you can always put the roller on top of a bench and kinda sit to the side with one leg and roll back and forth on one leg that's on the roller. It's a better way to get into it, if this too uncomfortable for your back. Okay, so now that we've opened up the psoas, your lower back and your hamstrings, let's get into the stretch series for your hips and your legs and your lower back. First thing I wanna start with is Pigeon Stretch. Now Pigeon– it's important that when you get into the position that your knee is a little bit outside of your hip. You're gonna crawl that back foot back. Go on your forearms. Curl your back toe underneath. You have a good space between that first and second toe. And I want you to push that back heel. Squeeze the glute and then drop the knee down. So you're gonna push back through that heel, squeeze the glute, hold the belly in and then drop the knee down. So I'm pushing, squeezing. And again, I don't want you to have your head dropped down. Keep that head aligned with your spine. And you're gonna go 10 times on each leg. And again, if this is too painful, or you're feeling pain in your knee, go back, roll out a little bit and then come back to the position. The more you roll out, the more you'll get deeper into the stretch. Next stretch I wanna do is called a Cobra Stretch, and that's gonna help stretch all of your abdominal wall, which, also, when you're really tight through your abs, it can also hurt your lower back. So tight abs don't necessarily mean 'tight abs'. It can also mean 'tight' in a way that actually doesn't help the function of your body. So you're gonna start on your belly. Okay. You wanna have your thumbs right in line with the base of your chest, with your finger tips forward. My toes are down. My elbows are in and my shoulders are pushing away from my ears. I don't wanna see this position, okay? Because that just goes right into your trap. So I'm gonna tuck my tush underneath me, squeeze my bum, pull my belly in, pull my palms back and then push up. And I'm gonna hold. My eyes come up. I hold for about 5 seconds, with my glute tight, my belly pulled in and then bringing it back down. Reset. You wanna feel like you're trying to pull the yoga mat back with your palms, so it's kinda doing this, but, not literally. Shoulders away from your ears, squeeze your glutes, pull your belly in, reach up. And it's not about how high you go. It's about how connected you feel to the stretch. And then, bring it all the way back down. Very nice. Now, let's go to a Cat and Dog. So Cat and Dog Position also helps with the mobility of your spine, so you feel a stretch through your spinal cord. When you're in Cat and Dog Position, you want your finger tips to be very wide, you're hands are directly underneath your shoulders and your knee is directly in line with your hip. Toes are curled underneath you. So you wanna start with that pushing away from the floor. Your elbows are internally rotated. You're not sitting in this position, okay? You're gonna inhale through nose for nothing. And then, I want you to exhale. Tuck your chin to your throat. Push away from the floor. And notice how my elbows are rotating out. Hold. And then rotate the heart and chest up to the ceiling. So I'm still pushing my shoulders away from my ears. I'm not sitting lazy in my shoulders. And again, you're gonna exhale. Tuck your chin to your throat. Push up. Try to squeeze your glutes in this position. Push your toes in the ground. And then rotate your heart and chest up to the ceiling, pushing your shoulders away from your ears. So now that we've stretched, let's get into the strengthening part of it, so you can really connect to your lower ab and understand where that's coming from when you're engaging your core. I'm gonna use the roller. It's a great tool to help connect to that lower ab. You're gonna lie lengthwise on it, all the way down. So important, important tips: You wanna make sure your feet are not turned out, okay? Palms are gonna be up. And you are gonna have a natural curve to your back. I don't want you starting in this position, where your tailbone's tucked underneath you because you're trying to make it as flat as possible. All I want you to do is I want you to Kegel, which is, squeeze your p-hole muscle, okay? Engage that lower ab. And you wanna start with your eye line looking about–up and away kind of towards the top of the ceiling. If you're eyes are too far up, it closes your spinal cord. And if they're too low, it creates too much tension in your neck. So, eyes are just in natural position, looking up toward the ceiling. You're gonna engage your pelvic floor first by squeezing p-hole muscle, okay? You're gonna flex the foot as you lift. Bring it up. And then slowly bring the foot back down, without letting anything shift and without letting your back pop. So you're gonna Kegel. Flex the foot. Lift. Slowly bring it back down. And that's 1. Kegel. Flex the foot. Lift. Slowly bring it back down. 2. So as I'm going down, I am squeezing even harder with that lower ab. And then, you're gonna do both sides. You should feel–it's not the same kind of pain that you feel when you're doing a crunch, where you feel that contraction. But it's a deep muscle feeling in the lower part of your pelvic floor that you'll feel when you're doing it right. If you're doing it wrong, it will look like this. Okay? You're back's gonna arch every time you're coming down. So I like the roller because it gives you a little reference for your body, so you can feel engaged with that lower ab. And that's an excellent way to connect to your pelvic floor. Next thing I wanna do is called a Bird Dog Hold. Bird Dog is great because it works the lower back. It works your glutes. It works your entire core. You don't need any equipment. And again, you're gonna start on all fours–that same position. If you can, you know, use a mirror when you do it, so you can see that your position looks right–that your shoulders are lined up with your elbows, I mean, your shoulders are lined up with your wrist and the knee and the hip. You're gonna push away from the floor. Internally rotate those elbows. Pull the belly in. I want you to extend your back foot, but I'm not shifting all the way over. I'm still keeping my hip bone square to the floor. And then, I'm gonna extend my opposite thumb to the ceiling, as I reach out. And I'm gonna hold from there. And you wanna hold for about a 30 second hold, really maintaining that strong core position. Push your back glute. Squeeze your bum. Pull your belly in. And push that thumb to the ceiling. And then, you're gonna bring it down and repeat to the other side. It's such a good stabilizing exercise. It's so good for engaging your core. And a lot of people think: 'Oh, it' so elementary, I don't need to do it'. But it's an excellent part of your warm-up or part of your workout. Next thing I wanna do is an Alternating Marching Heel Bridge. Excellent, also, for your glutes. You're glutes are part of your core. It's not all just right up here. It goes all the way around. You're gonna start on your back. The way you find the position with the feet: Extend your fingertips out and have your heels just touch your fingertips. Feet are straight, again, not turned out. Palms are up. Same eye line position. You're gonna push your hips all the way up. Tuck that tailbone. Squeeze your glutes. If you feel any pain in your knees, walk your feet out just a teeny bit, or bring them in a little bit, just to kind of find a good position for you. Okay, you're just gonna give me teeny, teeny lift. And down. Lift, down. Lift, down. Now, notice when I'm lifting up that foot, I'm not dropping in my opposite glute, okay? So the key is when you lift that other foot with your little march–that you're keeping those glutes engaged and you're keeping that core tight. And then, if you need a little bit more advanced, you can lift up–extend and down, extend and down. Or you can do a leg press, up and down, through one glute. But I definitely love to start with a Glute March. And you can see, if you drop your hips down, you know that you have a little bit of a weakness in your glutes and you need to work on that stability. So that is your 3 part approach for your lower back and for your entire core. Go ahead and use this series on its own, or use it within your workout that you already have established. And remember, the most important thing: I want you to connect to your body.