4 Ways to Stretch and Release Your QUADRATUS LUMBORUM (QL) Muscle
Quadratus lumborum muscles (QL) play an important role in your body mechanics. They connect the spine, hips, and ribs, and allow you to move your body laterally, or side to side.
The main action of the Quadratus Lumborum is to:
- extend the lumbar spine,
- side bend the lumbar spine and
- tilt the pelvis.
Tightness in your QL muscles can cause back pain. The QL can also refer pain into the butt and side of the hip!
Symptoms of QL Dysfunction
- Deep, aching in the low back, often worse in sitting or standing.
- Pain with coughing and sneezing.
- Pain rolling to either side when lying on your back.
- Pain can refer to the groin and mimic sciatica symptoms.
- You may have one side of your pelvis lifted higher than the other.
Fortunately, stretching can help alleviate tightness
Trigger Point Release by @JoeTherapy
- Start by finding a wall or a doorway. Anywhere you can prop one leg up and lay the other flat.
- Grab your favorite tennis ball or lacrosse ball.
- Lay on your back and place one leg on the wall, so your knee creates a 90-degree angle.
- Keep the other leg fully extended. *We're bending the knee, so our low back stays flat on the ground and helps us get enough pressure on the QL!
- Place the ball on the QL.
- Now roll towards that side a little bit. *We want to go into the QL at an angle!
- Once you're on the QL, bend towards your chest and use your opposite arm to continue to pull as far as you can.
- Once you can't pull anymore, reach your other arm up and behind you as much as possible.
Door Frame QL (QL) stretch by @teachbyexample
The first step – find a doorway. Step roughly 6-12 inches away from doorway depending on how tall or short. The side that you are stretching will be the foot furthest away from the doorframe prior to starting. For the side that you are stretching – plant that foot into the ground and even with the doorway frame. Then, take the opposite leg and cross it over in front of the planted leg.
Place elbow at roughly a 90-degree angle (angle will change depending on your height and length of extremities) at your side with the hand on the door frame. This will create a wedge that you can push from. Slowly reach up and across the body with opposite arm and grab ahold of the door frame. Be sure not to twist left or right with the reaching. If grabbing doorway is too difficult, just simply reaching up and across should produce a nice stretch. Next, you will gently push towards the side that you are stretching with the “wedged” arm. Breathe and try to hold for 30 seconds to a minute
* If you have any pain with this stretch, please do not push through it. Should feel a gentle/moderate stretch with no pain if done properly.
Strengthen your QL with The QL "Butt" Walk by @zackhenderson_
The Butt Walk is an easy way to strengthen and promote blood flow to the QL
- Sit upright with straight legs and walk your hindquarters back and forth. That's it!
- Try with arms overhead and graduate to weighted walks!
This simple move can be a game changer for those with stiff backs as it helps strengthen the lower back muscle as well!
Start with 2 minutes of 4-6 feet back and forth.
Kettlebell windmills to strengthen the QL by @moveu_official
This exercise is super fun and a little challenging. If you have never done this movement, do it without weight at first. If you have tight hamstrings, you may need to have a wider stance.
Start with your feet turned in the same direction that you are going to bend over. Make sure your hips are pointed straight forward though. From there, sit your butt back and to the side, not straight back. As you hinge over, reach your bottom hand for your knee/lower-leg/foot without rounding the lower back. The Quadratus Lumborum will activate and prevent the spine from rounding. This is more of an “isometric” movement for the lower back.
You should feel a big stretch in the hamstring of the leg that you are leaning toward. Hinge over as far as you can without your lower back rounding, then squeeze the glute and hamstrings and thrust your pelvis forward to stand up.⠀
Watch the top hand the entire time if you are using a weight. Watching the weight helps you keep it under control.
To challenge yourself, don’t watch the weight, but this is much more advanced.⠀
Thank You for Reading.
If you enjoy our content, do support our website at physiotherapytool.com we have a wide collection of rehab and fitness products that are guaranteed to get you back playing the sport you love in the quickest possible time.
Whether your looking to improve your joint stability, reduce the chances of suffering from an injury in the future, or looking to strengthen muscle groups, your ideal product will be right here at Physiotherapytool.com