I am your Quadratus Lumborum.  I have one question for you…why do so many people try to strengthen me by only doing side bends against resistance, or what people commonly call Lateral Flexion?  Please take a good look at me…I am often taken for granted and misunderstood.

Look at my alignment and attachments.  If you notice, I have a slight obliquity to my angulation, and do not run only in a vertical fashion.  I run from your iliac crest and iliolumbar ligament and angle upward and medial to attach at the 12th rib and L1-5 vertebra.  Like all other fibrous alignment in the body that run on an angle, I want to be rotated, not just do linear movements such as lateral flexion.

I provide stability to the rib cage on the pelvis and add to lumbo-pelvic-hip stability.  But let me tell you something, if people keep training me in the frontal plane, I will become too stable and not allow the dissociation of the hips to the spine and really cause havoc.  I have been implicated with low back pain, hip pain, increased lordosis, reduced lordosis, and contributed to hip flexor tightness.  I have a close attachment and hang out with my buddy Iliacus.  Of course you know, Iliacus is very close friends with Psoas, so you can say the big guy, Psoas, influences me as well.  But I have other buddies as well, such as TA (that’s what they call Transversus Abdominis), and his close friend, IO (Internal Oblique).  If you notice, all the gang here has an angulation to them and really enjoys rotating together.  So my question again is, why can’t I rotate like them when exercised rather than just having me do the boring, linear, and shortening of lateral flexion.

Let’s make a deal!  Try taking me into a rotation of movements.  Think about this for a moment.  I have a direct connection with the hips and spine.  Two of the most mobile regions of the body are the hips and thoracic spine.  If you help me stay mobile by allowing me to exercise in the transverse plane, and make sure the motion comes from the hips and thoracic spine, I will be happier and add just the right amount of mobility while providing the right amount of stability to the hips and spine.  Additionally, I will help assist in allowing proper pelvic motion in all three planes, while stabilizing the lumbar spine.  Please check my handsome photo and view the attached video to see how to train me and allow me to work synergistically with my friends the Psoas, Iliacus, Internal Oblique, and Transverse Abdominal.  If I can play with them, I can help enhance the gait cycle, because I have the mobility to allow rotation of the thoracic spine and shoulder girdle to the opposite side.  This will better recruit the abdominals as they can work more freely in the transverse plane during the gait cycle as well.  If all this can occur, people’s stride length becomes freer and greater, lengthening the hip flexors, calf group, and gluteal complex.  Most people are not aware of my synergistic relationship throughout the body.  Now, let’s workout, but please not only in the frontal plane!

To Your Good Health!!!