Lumbar Mobility: How to perform a lumbar front quarter circle

mobility pain recovery Jul 20, 2018

The target for the Lumbar front quarter circle are the segments of the lumbar spine from L-1 to L-5 (low back).  

Understanding how to move your lumbar spine (low back) independently of your thoracic spine and your pelvis is essential for the highest quality movement, injury prevention, and to avoid low back pain! If performed well it can also provide great pain relief. 

We have a saying that you should always follow when retraining your brain how to move joints that have pain - never move into pain. This means you can actually perform the drill as long as you are not moving into pain. Start with pain free ranges of motion and slowly train yourself into greater ranges of motion over time. 

This drill is a great place to start because it is just 1/4 of the full circle that your lumbar spine is capable of creating. 

Here's how you perform the drill:

  • Start in neutral stance, slight bend in knees with tall lengthened spine
  • Posterior pelvic tilt (belt buckle towards forehead) 
  • Leading from the crown of your head, flex forward while maintaining pelvic tilt. 
  • Keep arms and head relaxed
  • When you reach end range of motion, maintain the end range and the pelvic tilt as you circle around into a side bend (lateral flexion)
  • Stack yourself back up to the start

Common mistakes:

  • Losing the posterior pelvic tilt (missing the low back as the target) 
  • Not pulling into full forward flexion of the lumbar spine
  • Not circling into a full side bend before stacking back up
  • Building up excessive tension in upper back and shoulders
  • Breath holding

Lumbar mobility will never go out of style. Whether you spend a lot of time sitting or are an elite athlete, knowing how to move your lumbar spine independent from your pelvis and thoracic spine will pay great dividends. 

(Education Credit: this drill is part of a series of mobility drills taught by Z-Health Performance Solutions - a leading educational company in neuro-centric training for pain and performance) 

 

About the Author: 

Taylor Kruse, recently featured in Men's Health, is dedicated to empowering you with the truth and tools for improved health and performance.

His inspiration stems from more than 10 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.

In 2013, he co-founded KRUSE ELITE with girlfriend, Alisha Hale. Both are dedicated to inspiring people, coaches, and trainers into their best health and performance.

GETTING STARTED WITH BRAIN-BASED TRAINING:

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Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!

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GETTING STARTED WITH BRAIN-BASED TRAINING:

Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!