Simple Low Back Exercise to Increase Hip Stability & Strength | Billy Edelen

The QL walk has been an instrumental movement in strengthening my core after my low back incident in July.

I love this exercise because it's not a high intensity exercise. Although I advocate mindful movement even in the most "strong" of exercises this is not a "grrrrr" movement like a heavy squat. You must be ultra sensitive to your position because it's not a movement pattern most of us are used to.


This exercise puts us on the ground in a pike position sitting upright on our buttocks at a 90 degree angle with legs in front. 

Hold a weight at chest level with elbows in tight and shoulders away from ears.

Toes are back towards shins creating a light stretch all down the back of legs - hamstrings into the calves - and depending on your flexibility and mobility.

You then scoot one leg forward at a time keeping your midline engage. This isolates each leg at a time and works on you being able to isolate each leg without having to lean in a big fashion.

Background on the QL

This targets the QL and helps to balance it on each side as low back pain and even knee pain can be attributed to an asymmetrical muscle recruitment pattern like my low back issue that flared up in July.

Part of my diagnosis was asymmetrical engagement and length of the quadrates lumborum. This is the muscle of your lower back that connects the bottom of your rib cage to your pelvis. It acts as a core stabilizer and is essential for movements in the frontal plane (think cossack squats below). It can be isolated by doing side oblique work as well as this exercise.

Essentially I found out in my rehab that there were asymmetries in my QL from side to side. One sided carries became a big part of my rehab as it works one side at a time, like the QL walk. The body has to adapt to this load. In my case I knew my right QL was whack so I did a lot of one sided carries on my left side because it targets the same side glute medius and the contalateral (opposing) QL. The QL walk does very similar work on the body.

Throw the QL walk into your routine before/after training and throughout your day, especially before any high end strength or power work. It will go a long way in helping you create a more solid and stable foundation!

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