Did you know problems with certain muscles can cause back pain. Here are just a few….

Rectus abdominis
This group of muscle is your “ six pack”. It runs between the lowest ribs and top of the pubic bone, and helps stabilize the torso. Excessive training of the rectus abdominis can reduce the ability to carry weight overhead (eg:overhead presses) and lead to lower back injury. Easily aggravated with too many crunches (especially without posterior chain training, glutes and hamstring work), over-exercising, excess abdominal fat.

Gluteus group: maximus/Medius/Minimus
Aka your butt muscles, which by the way we love to work in Pilates, these are the muscles that help bring your thigh behind you (think: donkey kicks), rotate it, and bring it to the side. These muscles get very upset with prolonged sitting, sleeping in fetal position with knees pulled up, sitting on your wallet, standing for long periods on one leg to name a few.

Piriformis
This small muscle lies deep within the glutes and connects the thigh to the pelvis near the sacrum. It rotates the thigh outward and swings the leg to the side when the thigh is flexed. Piriformis pain is very uncomfortable and can cause sciatic pain which some of you would know only too well, myself included. Things like distance running (repetitive overuse in general), prolonged contraction (such as driving a car), sitting with one foot underneath you, sitting too much aggravate this muscle.