From the desk of Victor Pride
Subj: How to heal lower back pain
Note: This article is not medical advice, it is quality of life advice
Do you have lower back pain and want to cure it?
If so, you aren't alone.
In private conversation, many men have told me they have lower back pain and it is causing them misery.
For a while I thought I was the only one, but so many have said the same thing to me that lower back pain appears to be an epidemic.
No one seems to know how to fix it either, probably because nobody is looking in the right place…
If you have lower back pain you will naturally think the cause of the pain is the lower back but this is wrong.
If you have lower back pain then it is NOT your lower back that is the cause, the pain is caused by the surrounding areas.
If the surrounding areas are weak, pain will manifest in your lower back.
To learn where the pain originates you will have to face a harsh reality… If you have lower back pain it is because YOU caused it.
(And you can fix it).
If you have lower back pain, it is because….
YOU HAVE WEAK GLUTES & WEAK ABS.
The reason you have lower back pain is you have weak glutes. Weak glutes are the #1 cause of lower back pain.
What causes weak glutes?
The primary cause of weak glutes is a sedentary, “sitting down” lifestyle. It is this lifestyle that causes your lower back pain because it is this lifestyle what weakens your glutes and abs.
Pictured: An x-ray photograph of your glutes rotting off.
Sitting down too much causes weak glutes.
To get rid of your lower back pain you have to strengthen your glutes. To strengthen your glutes you have to go the gym and train them the same way you train biceps, triceps, deltoids, shoulders and quads.
Many people will train nearly all of their muscles except for their glutes and that is a big reason why lower back pain is so rampant. Glutes are a big muscle group and they need to be trained like any big muscle group.
So many people are afraid of looking silly in the gym by training their butt, but you will look even sillier as an old man who cannot walk because of intense lower back pain.
It is weak glutes that cause your lower back pain and if you do not train them with heavy weights what do you think will happen? Your glutes will not get stronger, they will get weaker.
The weaker your glutes get, the more pain you will experience in your lower back.
And you won't know what's causing your lower back pain until somebody screams it in your face:
YOU HAVE WEAK GLUTES!
To fix your lower back pain you have to develop muscle and strength in your glutes. To develop real muscle and strength in your glutes you have to lift heavy weights.
Walking, jogging, running, stretching, yoga – NONE of this will develop your glutes to where they need to be. You must develop muscle and strength on your glutes. To accomplish this mission, you must embark on a mission of lifting heavy weights.
(Don't forget to train abs frequently!)
Glutes are the #1 cause of lower back pain but you cannot ignore all muscles around the lower back.
Lower back pain can be caused by what is above the lower back and what is below the lower back. That means you likely also have weak abdominals.
Weak abs + weak glutes = lower back pain
Solution? Train your abs hard and train your posterior chain (posterior chain = lower back, glutes, and hamstrings).
You can choose any abdominal exercises you like to do, just be sure to train your abs 3 times per week or more. Abs can handle a lot of volume.
When it comes to glute training, it can get a little more complicated because gym machines will not help you. You must learn to do free weight exercises for your glutes.
Here are some of my favorites…
The Best Beginner's Glute Stretch/Exercise
The Best Advanced Exercise For Lower Back Pain
Glute ham raises – I tried a billion different exercises and this is the one I found to be the most effective. I believe this one exercise is responsible for a majority of my gains and I believe this one exercise is the king of all posterior chain exercises.
This exercise is so hard that you will likely not be able to do a single rep the first time you try it. No worries, most people cannot. Keep at it, stick with it. Always include this exercise in your routine and you will reap the rewards. When you can do 1 rep you will have made a significant improvement.
Here's a few alternate ways to perform glute ham raises (video)
The Top 6 Posterior Chain Exercises
(Posterior chain = lower back, glutes, and hamstrings)
To learn how to perform these posterior chain exercises, click the link that says ‘video' and the video will pop up in a new browser.
- Good mornings (video) – Good morning can be performs very frequently (like every time you train).
- Reverse barbell lunges (video 1, video 2) – Reverse lunges can be performed up to 3x per week. They are a great mass builder (ass builder?) and so require a day's rest in between sessions to less your glutes recover and grow.
- Sumo deadlifts (video) – Sumo deads can be performed 2x per week. Be sure to go HEAVY! Aim for no more than 5 reps per set.
- Sled pulls (video) – Sled pulls are a great active recovery exercise. While they help you recover, they also help to build your posterior chain. They can be performed many times per week, no rest time is necessary.
- Wide stance box squats (This is a series called ‘So you think you can squat' and it is the best squat tutorial I have ever seen, it is a must watch video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4) – Box squats can be performed 2x per week. Box squats, if done properly, will likely be the #1 exercise you can do to build your hip strength and size.
- Hip thrusts (video) – Hip thrusts are fantastic glute builders and can be performed 3x per week.
How I Fixed My Lower Back Pain
To cure my lower back pain I had to embark on a 2-part mission:
- I had to learn everything I could about training the posterior chain and
- I had to go to the gym every single day and do the exercises until I found the ones that worked for me
You will have to do the same thing because a cookie-cutter routine will not help your glutes develop. My training is specific to my body and that is why it works well for me.
Speaking of my training…
My training has been solely focused in training my posterior chain and my results have never been better in my whole life. I simply pick a handful of glute/lower back/hamstring exercises and try them out. When I find one that works well, I stick with it. The exercises that work well for me are the exercises I listed above (but there are many more for you to find and try).
When I started this quest, I trained lower back, glutes, and hamstrings 5 days in a row and for the first time in years my back pain decreased significantly. It seemingly instantly got a lot better.
With muscle and strength in the glutes, lower back pain goes away. In just 5 days I felt fresh, I felt clean, I felt stronger than ever, I just felt great.
It is important to remember that even though you will get relief nearly instantly, this is a lifelong process and you are not allowed to ever quit. For lifelong results you have to put in lifelong work. Your pain did not develop overnight and the relief of 100% of the pain will not develop overnight either.
Oh, I forgot to mention one other side effects of training my posterior chain so frequently and heavy… My calves are developing better than they ever have before.
I have never in my life had calves and I did all the calf raises and seated calf raises etc. I tried all of that nonsense and my calves never grew more than a half inch. In 5 days of hard posterior chain training my calves blew up. They are bigger than they have ever been, I simply look at them in amazement.
The machines just do not work for leg development for me, and if you have lower back pain maybe it is the same for you.
Rules of Training Your Posterior Chain
I based my posterior chain routine off of the routines of elite powerlifters like Louie Simmons. Elite powerlifters know that strength comes from the glutes and they make the habit of training posterior chain up to 6 days per week.
Louie makes the case that strength comes from the glutes and abs. He has all of his guys train lower back, glutes and hamstrings basically every day and that is exactly what I have been doing.
(Here is Louie Simmons explaining why you want to use a wide stance squat to build your hips.)
Here are the basic training rules I follow:
- Train posterior chain at least 3x per week (more is better, I train them basically every day).
- Don't train light all the time, you must go heavy to achieve gains.
- You HAVE to work the glutes, do not worry about looking silly in the gym.
- Learn everything you can about posterior chain exercises.
- Always be willing to try a new exercise.
- Train heavy and train often.
- Do not forget to train your obliques!
- Train abs and obliques 3+ days per week.
- The ab wheel is a great way to train your abs.
- Do not be scared of training your lower back. If you never train your lower back you will never have a strong lower back.
- Eat enough calories to give you energy for training and recovery. Beef, chicken, fish, potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice etc are your best foods for strength and muscle gain. If it's grown or raised on a farm, eat it. If it's made by a machine, don't eat it.
- Look at female fitness trainers on YouTube for ideas on new glute exercises.
- Focus on accessory exercises rather than on standards squats and deadlifts, squats and deads work your whole body but you want to focus on your posterior chain.
- Forget about using machines, use free weights and make the exercises work for your body.
- If you have never been to the gym before and have no real strength base, start with bodyweight hindu squats 3 sets per day, 7 days per week.
- Walk more because sitting is a disease and walking is the cure. Start by taking a 10 minute walk after 2-3 meals each day.
Notice there is no rule that says “cry about it, deflect responsibility and do nothing to fix it.”
Do not be a victim to your lower back pain. You caused it and you must be proactive to fix it. It is not your “sciatica” or any other million phantom causes aka excuses.
If you have lower back pain it is because…
YOU HAVE WEAK GLUTES
AND WEAK ABS.
You caused your lower back pain and it is you who can fix it. To fix your lower back pain you must develop your glutes and abs via heavy weight training.
Having lower back pain is a choice that you make.
Choose to have weak glutes and abs and therefore lower back pain or …
Choose to have strong glutes and abs and eliminate lower back pain.
It is as simple as that.
Until next time.