Did you know 8 out of 10 Americans experience back pain at one point or another?  Chances are you've experienced some type of back pain too.

We've all heard that one of the keys to avoiding back pain — and even reversing it — is to stay healthy and exercise.  There's a ton of low back research that shows this.

However, I have found, as with everything, "specific exercise" is the key.  Sure, general aerobic exercise is going to help by keeping your weight down, lubricating the joints and getting things moving in your body better, and through an endorphin release that always helps relieve pain.  But more often than not there is one body part that's just not "carrying it's weight" (forgive the pun) and so needs to be addressed specifically with specific exercises.

Nine times out of 10 that body part is the butt; that big, round thing that follows you all day long.

If your butt's not moving correctly structures, both above and below it, will have to pick up the extra work.  That's why when I talk to most back pain people they also complain of "sore, achy" knees. (the knees are dumb joints, they can only do what the foot and the butt tell them to do).

You see, god put that nice, big, round butt back there for a reason.  It is truly our engine.  It drives and controls all of our movements.  When it stops working they way it was supposed to due to "hip amnesia" (coined by Mike Boyle, strength and conditioning coach of many of the top athletes you watch on TV) that's when the other structures have to start sharing the load.  And they become unhappy, pissed-off and sometimes refuse to move alltogether (like when you tried to get up from that crouched position and could not move).

What causes it?

Well, though that thing back there following you around is nice and big and round it wasn't meant for just sitting on.  It's the "use it or lose it" principle… our modern society requires so little movement with our remote controls, lazy-boy recliners, office chairs, commutes in traffic, drive thru's, etc. the butt starts "forgetting" the amount of work it was supposed to be doing and with the body being such an amazing compensator/addapter it simply starts asking other structures to start kicking in and helping out more (hence the low back).

So, what can you do?

Here are four quick and somewhat easy things you can do right now that will help ease (or prevent) your back pain – or get rid of it altogether.  Two stretches to do daily and two exercises to do every other day.

1. Basic Glute Stretch (daily) — Lie down on a firm surface face-up with your legs flat on the floor.  Raise your R. leg up and grab your shin bone with the left hand just below the knee.  Pull it diagonally across your body up towards your left shoulder.  You should feel a good stretch in the outside of the R. butt cheek.  If you feel a pinching feeling in the groin area adjust the position of it so that you feel it in the R. butt cheek. Hold this position for about 1 minute. Then do the other side.


2. Figure-4 Stretch (daily) — While still on your back bend up both knees and cross the R. ankle over the left knee.  Some people already feel a stretch doing this.  Stop there if that's the case.  If not, reach down with both hands and grab the L. thigh and pull it up towards your chest.  This will rotate that R. hip even more.  You'll feel it now.  Hold it for the same time as the Glute stretch above.  Here's a picture:


3. Split squat (every other day) — Start in a lunge stance like in the picture.  With most of your weight transfered to the front leg slowly lower yourself down until your back knee "kisses" the floor and then return to the starting position.  Do 3 sets of 10 reps, slow and controlled.  Gradually add weight by holding dumbbells in your hands.  Here's a short video:

Once you've mastered this, elevate the rear leg and do "Rear-foot Elevated Split Squats" (or most call them Bulgarian Split Squats).  Another video:


4. Front Plank (every other day) — You've got to strengthen the muscles that support the spine and this is the perfect one to do it.  Get down into a push-up position on your elbows.  Be sure that your knees are locked straight and your back is in a "neutral" positions, e.g., not sagging like an old horse and not rounded up in the air like an angry cat. Hold for 30 seconds at first and work up to holding for one-minute straight.  Perform three sets of this resting about :30 seconds between.

Make these four simple exercises a part of your regular week and back pain could soon be a thing of the past.  They really do work.  We've seen it in our "laboratory" (Athlon Elite) many times.

This is what we do at Athlon.  We have a true laboratory where we are constantly implementing and improving on these types of advanced fitness ideas.

That's why if you're serious about taking control of your health and body, make sure you take advantage of your FREE Fitness Consultation (an $85 value).

During this consult, you'll receive detailed information on how to get fit and trim that's tailored to YOUR body.  Click the link below to learn more and get signed up.  It's FREE.


Until next time,


P.S. We're running a great special right now that could be perfect for you to get started with, "The Holiday Survival Program."  Check it out here: