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3 Exercises for a Stronger Spine

I guess that title is a bit misleading...


We are more-so strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine, as opposed to the spine itself.


But I didn't think "3 Exercises for Stronger Muscles that Surround the Spine" was as catching.

 

Low Back Pain


Low back pain is the most common injury and pain spot I hear about from golfers.


Chronic pain and injury is almost always from one of the following:

  1. Applying too much stress, too soon

  2. Not applying enough preparation stress

Low back pain is no different.


In 90% of cases I hear about, the athlete hasn't seen a weight room in years.


They fall into both buckets above.


On one hand they applied too much stress (their golf swing) too soon.


On the other hand, they didn't apply enough stress prior to exposure. They weren't physically prepared for their golf swing.

 

Building Spinal Resilience


Spinal resilience is driven by having enough mobility and strength to overcome the demands of your sport and life.


The majority of golfers I meet, lack both.



MOBILITY


Building spinal mobility is simple.


It requires moving your spine through a full range of motion more often.


Follow this spinal flow daily and watch mobility sky rocket.


STRENGTH


How should we be loading the spine to create resilience? Health? Performance?


Just like the muscles that surround the knee, the hips, or the shoulders, we need to move the spinal muscles through a full range of motion, while under load.


Doing so will create strength adaptations throughout the entire muscle and range of motion.


Here are my top 3 exercises that you should progressively load to create SPINAL STRENGTH.


1.) Loaded Lateral Flexion


Side bending is a pattern that often gets lost, unless we train it.


Moving and loading in a side bending pattern more often is great for spinal mobility as well as strengthening and loading the muscles that surround the spine.


2.) RDL



The RDL pattern is amongst the best ways to load the musculature of the posterior chain - which includes the low back!


Strengthening the low back with the glutes and the hamstrings will create a high functioning and resilient backside.


3.) Eccentric Pallof Rotations


One issue I have with pallof (and anti-rotation exercises more generally) - at least the way they are most commonly performed - is they lack a big enough stimulus.


All over Instagram you see anti-rotational exercises being loaded with light flimsy bands or 15 lb cable machines.


Don't get me wrong, I understand everybody is at a different level of their training journey.


BUT, if you can hold a pallof position (arms extended with a load trying to rotate you) for more than ~30 seconds or for 15+ reps, you probably aren't going heavy enough.


It should be a CHALLENGE to resist rotation.


Otherwise you are just going through the motions.


LOAD your anti-rotation with THIS exercise.


CONCLUSION


In the end, the recipe for spinal health and strength is quite simple...


Movement and load.



 

Carter Schmitz

Founder and Head Coach - SCRATCHGolfTraining.com

CSCS, TPI


Carter is a strength and conditioning coach out of the Milwaukee area working with athletes, in-person and virtually. Having helped hundreds of athletes, ranging from the middle school to the professional level and beyond, Carter brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to every athlete he works with. He launched SCRATCHGolfTraining.com in the summer of 2021 to help empower golfers to greater performance and longevity.


Carter believes ALL golfers are athletes, and they should be training accordingly.


Become a SCRATCH Athlete today, and start training like the ATHLETE you are!