Category Archives: Low Back Reconditioning

What To Do When an Exercise is Causing Pain or Injury


Some lifters are very lucky. They train year after year, decade after decade, performing every popular resistance training exercise, and their bodies handle it like a boss. These people have anatomies that are well constructed to tolerate full range of motion exercises in every direction at every joint. However, other lifters are not so lucky, and they inevitably encounter exercises in their training that don’t seem to agree with their structures.

Before I go further, I’d like to expound upon the topic of pain. It is important for lifters to know that anatomy isn’t automatically to blame when pain arises. Biomechanics, structure, and posture can indeed cause pain, especially with regards to heavy and explosive strength training, where large loads and stresses are placed upon the body. This is even more pertinent with regards to powerlifting and maximal strength training, where large emphases are placed on setting PRs and progressive overload.

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Finding Your Ideal Squat Depth


I’ve discussed squat depth in multiple articles over the past couple of years. I’ve talked about hip anatomy HERE, and I’ve talked about buttwink HERE. But how do you know what your ideal squat depth is?

Get down into the squat position and find the exact moment where you start to lose your lumbopelvic positioning – you need to keep the arch in your lumbar spine – no going into flexion, and keep the tilt in your pelvis – no going into posterior pelvic tilt. Make sure you stay planted on your heels and don’t rise up onto your toes. From there, you can determine if you want to go slightly deeper, but keep in mind that there’s only so much wiggle room and it may be best to play it safe. Here’s a video that better explains it:

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A Simple Test for Glute Activity

Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York

In recent years the gluteal muscle group has received much notoriety in the physical rehabilitation, fitness, and sports performance industries. Bret Contreras is one individual who has certainly carried the “gluteal torch” on his website, in books, and lectures in an attempt to educate sports performance and fitness professionals of the significance of this muscle group. The gluteal muscle group includes the gluteus maximus (one of the most powerful muscles in the body), medius, and minimus, which together make up the buttock. There is also documentation from those who consider the small tensor fasciae latae part of this muscle group as well.

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How Does Foam Rolling Work? And Why “SMR” Should be Called “SMT”

Today, I’m going to share a discussion on Facebook that I recently had with Todd Hargrove and Greg Lehman. I’m not always confident with my understanding of things, but I’ve developed great “go-to guys” over the years when I’m seeking answers in various topics, and Todd and Greg are well-versed in areas pertaining to manual therapy.

I lift weights every day with a ton of strong dudes. Nearly all of them foam roll. I foam roll and use the stick and a lacrosse ball too. Are we all just a bunch of dumb meatheads falling prey to The Placebo Effect? Or is there more to foam rolling than meats the eye? Are we changing mechanical properties in the fascia? Or are there other mechanisms at play?

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