The 3 Steps of S.M.S.
Strength is absolutely critical for a healthy back. It also happens to be critical for a healthy body. This does not mean that you need to be muscular looking like a body builder. In fact most body builders lack functional movement and flexibility.
Instead of that, I am talking about enough strength to move in a natural range of motion without straining yourself. In other words, strength refers to the muscles around your back that support it and keeps it safe.
But it is not just about your back. There are other critical areas that have to be strengthened. For example, the gluteus muscles literally support your lower back. If your glutes are too weak or too tight, your posture is guaranteed to be off. Your butt will either tuck under you or stick out too much. Either way, your low back is in trouble.
Strong glutes will go a very long way to correcting your posture and protecting you from injury. For example, when most people bend over to pick something up, they use their back. Actually, you should be using your glutes. Your glutes are much stronger than your low back and are meant to be the supporting force for that movement.
It is the same when you run. Your hamstrings and quads should be secondary to the driving force of your glutes. But, since your glutes are too weak, the quads and hamstrings do all the work. The S.M.S. program works to strengthen all these areas and more from the ground up in very easy to do, but powerful exercises that really work!
In addition to having the necessary strength to move correctly, the other side of the coin is having the flexibility to move safely and properly. A strong person may have plenty of strength, but if they are too tight in certain areas, they will have poor posture and many of your muscles and joints will be under constant strain, like your lower back.
Strength and flexibility work hand in hand with ensuring you have healthy posture. And this is absolutely critical for making sure you have a healthy pain free back.
For example, mostly people have extremely tight hips. It’s not really surprising considering most of us sit all day. When you sit for long periods of time, your hips tend to get tight and your glutes tend to get weak. As the hips get tighter, the pelvis gets out of whack. And guess what compensates? Yep, your lower back.
We cannot stop sitting, but we can counter act all that damage from exercising and stretching. And that is what S.M.S. is all about…for example, fixing the mobility in the hips not only allows you to move naturally without putting the low back at risk, it also helps fix your posture. And that means putting the low back into it’s natural position so that the discs are not crushed. And that means getting out of pain!
Here is another very important piece of information… You have to learn which areas to stretch and which areas to strengthen. And usually, they are NOT the same muscles. For example, most people with back pain will stretch their lower backs. Even though it may feel good for a minute, you are actually making your low back condition MUCH WORSE!
Why? Well, it’s one of the areas in the body that is NOT meant to be stretched. It is meant to keep you stable. Your low back is only meant to have about 12-13 degrees of motion in it. Your core (of which your low back is an integral part) is meant to keep you safe when something else causes you to twist or bend.
But, if you keep stretching your low back, then it will move too much. And that will absolutely cause a back injury eventually. And once you have the pain, what do people do? They stretch their low backs even more!!
That is the reason why the S.M.S. lower back program is so unique. It draws on all the latest and most effective exercises and stretches so that you get the best results possible.
S.M.S. will very simply and clearly show you what to stretch and what to NOT stretch. And that will get your body back in balance and help you dramatically transform your posture back to a healthy, pain free body.
Stability is the third critical part of the S.M.S. lower back program. Stability refers to the strength and stability we will be building in the core.
Notice, their is no mention of mobility in your core. Everything around your core should move (like your hips and upper back), but not the core itself.
If you have to twist, it needs to come from your hips and upper/middle back, NOT your low back. Your low back should remain stable and protected.
Let’s just move up the body starting from the bottom. Your ankles are a mobile joint. Go ahead and wiggle them all around. You want them to be mobile with a healthy range of motion. The next joint as you move up the body is the knee.
Now, the knees are not meant to be mobile. They are a stable joint. Try and move your knees around. Pretty hard, right? The next area to focus on is the hips. And they are mobile. Observe how you can swing them all around? Then, right above that is the low back and core. This is a stable area.
Noticing a pattern? Mobile, stable, mobile, stable, etc… that’s how the joints in the body work.
And finally, the upper back is a mobile area. So, like a swivel, you want the mobile areas to be flexible and the stable areas to be strong and secure. Ignoring what the body intends for safe and functional movement is a recipe for disaster.
So, as I said earlier, you definitely don’t want to make the low back more mobile with stretching. But, there is more. What about exercises? Exercises can also force the core to move which can cause problems. For example, crunches are not only wasting their time (they will NOT get you a 6 pack), they are actually setting themselves up for a low back injury? Why?
Well, they are forcing the core to move and even twist in some cases. That’s not how the body is designed to move. As I said before, you only get about 12-13 degrees of motion in your lower back, so forcing it to twist and move is a bad idea. Remember, whenever you go against the natural movement of the body, injury and pain are not far behind.
So, yes, I would say crunches and any other exercise that forces the core to twist and move in a unnatural way is a poor exercise choice.
But, don’t worry, because the S.M.S. program will show you exercises that will get your core incredibly strong and stable. You will probably feel your stomach muscles way more than you ever did doing crunches, but now you will actually be training your body in the right way.
And the more stable your core gets, the more your back will be protected. And the stronger your core gets, the less pain you will feel. Put together with the other two parts of this program, you will be correcting your posture and taking the strain off your low back.