Pilates exercise seriesIf you have been keeping up lately with the blog here then chances are you probably read about my recent injury scare involving my back. It was touch and go the first couple of days, but today marks the eighth day since I injured it and it feels close to 80%. In fact prior to doing my lower body training session yesterday I performed 4 sets of 10 rack pulls with 135 pounds. It felt pretty good and I tried to make sure I wasn't thinking to much about my back in an effort to prevent any kind of future apprehension pain about deadlifting.

I am contributing my relatively quick recovery from the injury to three things: (1) consistent physical therapy 2 to 3 times per day, (2) constant and vigilante monitoring of posture during the day while seated and standing, and (3) limiting conditioning.

I feel that because I have stuck to my plan and focused on these three big aspects my injury is making great progress. Although it has been an adjustment augmenting my training to be more lower back friendly and to focus on things other than pulling heavy objects up off the ground.

One of the big changes I made in my training was incorporating a higher volume of core stability exercises both preceding my strength training and intermixed with my strength training.

These core stability exercises have allowed to be work on holding better posture, maintaining my spinal position better, and stabilizing the alignment of my lumbo-sacral complex.

One of these exercises that I have been nailing hardcore on a daily basis several times of day is the Bird Dog. It is a great exercise because not only does it work on stabilizing the spine, but it does so while working on the contralateral connection between your left and right shoulders and hips. In addition itt teaches you to fire your glute instead of your hamstring and erector spinae.

If your someone who has been dealing with back pain than I recommend you start bird dogging regularly and if you are someone who has yet to deal with a back injury I would definitely start incorporating some of these into your weekly routine.

How To Perform the Bird Dog

  1. Assume a quadruped position on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  2. Brace and maintain a neutral spine.
  3. Extend your right arm straight out in front of you with your hand ending directly in line with your shoulder while extending your left leg straight behind you ending with your foot dorsiflexed and positioned behind your left glute.
  4. Bring your right arm and left leg back to the original position.
  5. Repeat for prescribed repetitions and switch to the other side.

Below is a video of me demonstrating the entire movement.


Happy moving and heavy lifting!

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training