A while ago I wrote a blog on Upper Cross Syndrome, complete with exercise videos on how to counter it. I said at the time that I would also write one for Lower Cross Syndrome – and finally – here it is!

I don’t want to repeat the same information so I suggest you look at the first blog here to get the full explanation as it’s good to understand why you are doing something(it means you are more likely to do it). The same rules apply – you need to stretch the hypertonic (tight) muscles first before you do the exercises to strengthen the hypotonic (weak) muscles. The stretches are really important, so don’t miss them out!

Here’s a picture to help you visualise the posture (or you could possibly look in the mirror).

As with Upper Cross Syndrome, certain muscles are tight (hypertonic) while others are weak causing a posture that is results in pain, looks unattractive and is very common if you start looking for it.

And here is the list of muscle involved with Lower Cross Syndrome.

Tonic Muscles

Prone to Tightness or Shortness

Phasic Muscles

Prone to Weakness or Inhibition

Gastroc-SoleusTibialis PosteriorHip Adductors

Hamstrings

Rectus Femoris

Iliopsoas

Tensor Fascia Lata

Piriformis

Thoraco-lumbar extensors

Quadratus Lumborum

 

Peroneus Longus, BrevisTibialis AnteriorVastus Medialis, Lateralis

Gluteus Maximus, Medius, Minimus

Rectus Abdominus

 

These are very important, large postural muscles that are possibly functioning incorrectly but with the correct stretching and strengthening exercises these muscles can improve in function which will result in improved musculoskeletal function and pain reduction (if not pain elimination).

So – let’s start!

We are going to start with the foam roller on the IT Band.

You can use these rollers for most muscles groups to work out the knots so experiment. (And yes – it really should be that painful to start with but the pain recedes quickly if you keep doing it regularly). You can also use them for core strengthening exercises. We sell these at the clinic and quite honestly, I don’t know how I survived before I had one of these. They are very versatile and extremely effective. My advice would be – get one!

Now we are going to S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

We are starting with the calf muscles. Here is a simple stretch of the Gastroc and Soleus Muscles that you can do anywhere (you will also get the Tibialis Posterior slightly).

This next video demonstrates how to stretch the hip Adductors which are the large muscle group of the inner thigh.

Now for the Hamstrings.

And then the opposing muscle from the Quadratus group of muscles, the Rectus Femoris. Make sure you tuck your tail under for this one – then you will really feel it.

This next video demonstrates how to stretch the Iliopsoas and also the Tensor Fascia Lata. This last muscle goes into the IT Band so don’t forget to foam roll first.

Here are a couple of stretches for the Piriformis. Always a favourite!

And this video shows stretches for the Quadratus Lumborum and Thoraco-lumbar Extensors.

Okay – stretching done, now we can start strengthening the opposing muscles. We will start with the Tibialis Anterior (don’t want to confuse you with an exercise for the Peroneus muscles so we will stick with this one at the moment). You need a resistance band (which we sell at the clinic) or something that will add resistance to the muscle as you work it. As with any strengthening exercise you need to do sets of repartitions and increase the number of reps and/or sets as you get stronger e.g. start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions? Here’s how…

Now for the Gluteal muscles and here’s Rich demonstrating how.

And another…

And lastly, here is a good way to start working your abdominal muscles.

If you follow these recommendations you have the opportunity to have great posture, wonderful musculoskeletal function resulting in less chance of injury and pain.

You have a wealth of knowledge available to you from all the practitioners at Coast so take advantage of us. We are here to help you reach your goals, whatever they are.

Written by Anne French, Chiropractor

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