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Have an excessive back arch while running?

Understanding Lordosis

(excessive arching in the back)

While Running; Causes, Injuries, and Solutions

Do you find yourself struggling with excessive arching in your back while running? You may be grappling with lumbar lordosis and pelvic tilt while running. These conditions, characterized by excessive arching in the lower back and anterior pelvic rotation, can significantly impact your running form and increase the risk of injuries.

In this blog post, we'll delve into what Lordosis is; the causes of excessive arching; the potential injuries it may lead to; and how exercises like overhead marches can be beneficial to strengthening the muscles needed for stabilization and improved running performance.

Unpacking Lumbar Lordosis and Pelvic Tilt

Lordosis refers to an excessive inward curvature of the spine, particularly in the lower back (lumbar spine) or neck (cervical spine). This condition is characterized by a pronounced arching of the affected region, which can lead to a swayback posture. In the lumbar spine, lordosis is often referred to as lumbar lordosis, while in the cervical spine, it is known as cervical lordosis.

Lordosis is a normal and natural curvature of the spine, which helps distribute weight evenly and maintain balance. However, excessive lordosis can result from various factors, including muscle imbalances, poor posture, obesity, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions.

Experiencing excessive lumbar lordosis can lead to lower back pain, discomfort, and an increased risk of running injury. It can also contribute to other musculoskeletal issues, such as pelvic tilt and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Both conditions can result from various factors, including muscle imbalances, weak core muscles, tight hip flexors, and poor running mechanics.

All things we check out in a Running Assessment.

The Risks of Lumbar Lordosis and Pelvic Tilt for Runners

Experiencing lumbar lordosis and pelvic tilt while running can lead to several risks and injuries, including:

  • Lower back pain and discomfort

  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

  • Increased stress on the lumbar spine and surrounding structures

  • Reduced running efficiency and performance

  • Higher likelihood of developing overuse injuries such as IT band syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome.

(picture from: Spine Info.)

Overhead Marches: A Solution for Strengthening Stabilizing Muscles

Treatment for lordosis typically involves addressing underlying factors such as muscle imbalances, improving posture, and strengthening the core and back muscles through targeted exercises. All of these are address in your Running Assessment. In severe cases, medical intervention may be necessary to correct the curvature of the spine.

Overhead marches are a valuable exercise for addressing lumbar lordosis, and associated muscle imbalances. By strengthening the core muscles, glutes, and stabilizing muscles of the hips and lower back, overhead marches help improve posture, stability, and running mechanics.

To perform overhead marches:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and hold a band, light dumbbell or kettlebell overhead with both hands.

  2. Engage your core muscles and lift one knee towards your chest while maintaining a neutral spine and avoiding excessive arching in the lower back.

  3. Lower the lifted leg back down to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg.

  4. Continue alternating legs in a controlled manner, focusing on stability and balance throughout the movement.

Conclusion: Embrace Better Form, Enhance Performance

Addressing lumbar lordosis and pelvic tilt through exercises like overhead marches can help runners improve their stability, posture, and running mechanics. By strengthening stabilizing muscles and addressing underlying muscle imbalances, runners can reduce the risk of injuries and enhance their overall performance on the track or trail. So, lace up your shoes, engage those stabilizing muscles, and enjoy a smoother, injury-free run!

If you want to hit those PR's this year -

adding strength training is likely the missing piece!

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This week's Masterclass will be on all things Running Form. If you have or have ever had running pains, or you have some good PR goals this year - you won't want to miss this!

Wednesday March 6th Save your seat here!


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