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Walking Backwards- how it can help your Lower back pain and fire up Glutes( and so much more!)

As we know the equestrian world is know for suffering with low grade lower back pain, ignoring it and hoping that just firing and strenghten the glutes will fix it. Sorry to burst your bubble but NOPE it wont. Activating (the fashionable) glutes will not fix lower back pain but it will help... only if you are moving through the Sacroillac joint.


One exercise will give to many of our rider is walking backwards. When we walk backwards we change the musclesfiring sequence, change input signalling and change bone rhythm(the way a joint moves). In backwards Locamotion we are get the femur moving in the Pelvis and have the ability to unload the knee. You may find that walking forwards you have a ‘hip drop’ which means the hips go up and down instead of forward and backwards. Walking backwards, eliminates the hip drop as the body can’t physically do this due to firing sequesnces. Furthermore, the muscles which engage to bring the leg back are the lower back and glutes. Therefore, if you have lower back pain or want to get the glutes fired up then backwards walking is a great exercise to do.


This exercise works through repetition. The more we do it, the easier it becomes. The brain will eventually go onto ‘auto-pilot’ firing up the muscles needed to complete the movement as soon as we take a step backwards. The body has learnt to stabilise, move and fire up where it needs to.


Some of the benefits of walking backwards are a reduction in lower back pain, increase balance, increase in vestibular and visual inputs, increase in tone to the posterior chain. . This is because the body is using the lower back muscles to create movement and pull the leg back behind you, you are having to use wider visual fields and rely on vestibular information about your head postion in relation to gravity. Furthermore, you will notice your hip mobility increasing because of the movement we are making the hips do. All of this helps improve you stabilaity in the saddle, increased pelvis control and leg control.


With all that is worth a go and see the benefits you get! So give it a go and let us know how you get on!


If you are struggling in pain, your body isnt doing what you are telling it too or feel you need help with your riding get in touch. we offer in person and onlkine appointments both ridden and non ridden.




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