Quadratus Lumborum Stretch (DO’S AND DON’TS!)

Quadratus Lumborum Stretch (DO’S AND DON’TS!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. So if you’ve got low back pain, especially
that kind that feels like it’s in this deep area that you just can’t get at, I’m going
to tell you it’s probably this muscle right here. Your quadratus lumborum and I’m going to show
you today two things that you’re going to want to do to try to get rid of that discomfort,
and one thing you’re not going to want to do – although some might tell you to do
it. You see, this muscle right there can get you
pretty jacked up if it’s jacked up. The fact is, at the top it attaches to your
12th rib. So if it’s pulling down and it’s tight, it’s
going to actually affect your whole torso because your rib cage is going to move. On the bottom here is connected to your pelvis. So obviously if it’s tight there it’s going
to jack up one side of your pelvis and give you that unequal pelvis, which can play havoc
with everything in your entire body, realizing that this is one big kinetic chain that you
move on. Then of course, to cap it all off it’s connected
to your lumbar vertebrae. So if it’s tight there and pulling on your
lumbar vertebrae you’re going to have some problems, too. So what is it that you want to do? I’m going to show you how to stretch it, I’m
going to show you how to work on the soft tissue, and I’m going to show you that one
thing you never want to do to it. Okay. So let’s start with the stretch. First of all, how is this muscle getting tight
in the first place? Easily. You see, when you sleep, if you have a side
that you like to sleep on – let’s say you like to sleep this way – this hiking of
this hip up here, right, relative to the rest of our pelvis is going to tighten the QL on
that side. So if you sleep on one side all the time,
the one that’s up in the air is going to get tight. Same thing happens here if you like to sit
and you sit in your seat and you sort of sit on one side. Like this, if you’re working on the computer,
or if you’re sitting on the other one. You can see that this hip is hiked up in relation
to the rest of the level pelvis and the rest of my spine, which means that QL on that side
is going to get tight. So what you want to do is, you want to set
yourself up in this 90-90 position. If your left hip – your left QL – is tight
you want to put that one behind you. So you get 90 degrees here. Okay, so my leg is going to be bent at 90
degrees at the knee, and 90 degrees at my hip, if I can. So I get in this position. So my front leg gets here out in front of
me at 90 degrees, here at my knee, and about 90 degrees here in relation to the rest of
my torso. From here I’m going to lean forward, and now
I want to open up this hip, right? So the idea is to drive the top of this pelvis
down and back as I get the rest of my body and my ribcage going in the opposite direction. Here is the line, right here. So if I drive that back by leaning forward
and then I lean in this direction, I can already feel that muscle opening up. Now if I want to intensify that even more
I’m going to rotate down and over the top because I’m rotating my lumbar vertebrae,
now, away from the direction that I’m going here so that the muscles are stretching even
more. So I’m reaching over, twisting this way, and
then leaning forward. And I can feel that and the more I can drive
this leg down and back in that direction there, as I do this, I’m going to even feel more
on that stretch. Okay, now the next thing you want to do is
work on that soft tissue. So you can’t just pull on the ends of something
and hope that the middle of it is going to get worked as well. You’ve got to work on the tissue quality between
the origin insertions. So what we can do is, we can take anything
– this is literally the end of a battle rope because I have it her next to me, but
you can use a lacrosse ball, or other – I’ve used a fat grip before to mobilize. What you’re going to do is get in this position
right here. First of all, as I go into this position here
you can see that I’m actually stretching the QL again because I have the hip being pulled
down here and the ribcage being pulled away from it. But I’m going to get this and I’m going to
put it right on that area of muscle that I showed you earlier on Raymond. Okay? In there, once I’m on top of it I should already
start to feel it. I’ve already got a little bit of a pre stretch,
I’m on here, and now what I want to try to do is, with compression on this thing, floss
the muscle back and forth through there. So I could do that by taking this leg and
driving it up here – it’s bringing up, again, hip hiking, all the way up, actually working
the muscle – and external rotation, accessory motion of the hip, and then down, and point
it, and turn it in. So, extending it all the way out, pulling
my hip down as much as I can with it, you press in that pelvis, and then get that internal
rotation accessory motion. So up, and down, and point it up, and down,
and point it. And you can roll just a little bit on that
spot lateral to the spine, okay? That’s going to lead to the last thing that
you’re not going to want to do. That is, try to foam roll this area. So, what not to do: get rid of the foam roller
if you’re trying to get the quadratus lumborum. It’s not a huge muscle group, and no matter
how much you try to be precise with this you can’t be as precise as you can with something
smaller, like is suggested before. What winds up happening here is, I’m doing
two things. Even if I stay lateral here and I get away
from the spine, this thing is so wide that it’s actually driving up into my ribcage. You can actually have a lot of discomfort
just from doing that. You’ll never actually be able to release the
muscle because you’re too much in discomfort from having this drive up into your ribcage. The next thing people do instead is they’ll
try to go over the back this way. I can tell you the fastest way to have your
back hurt is to try to roll your lumbar spine. It’s okay if you want to use it up here with
the thoracic spine, but trying to drive through extension with a foam roller of the lumbar
spine is a sure recipe for disaster and more pain. So I hope you guys got the tactics that you
want to use here and can use them now, and apply them to getting that QL to release. I’m telling you, most of us have one side
or the other that’s tight because of the things that we do every day, or at night when we’re
sleeping. You’ve got to address them because they’re
going to rear their ugly head when you try to go squat with a tilted pelvis, or when
you try to deadlift with one leg being able to drive more force into the ground than the
other. It’s just not pretty. All right, guys. If you’ve found this video helpful make sure
you leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know what other types of videos you
want me to cover, what other issues you might be having that I can cover for you here on
this channel and I will. If you’re looking for a complete program that
puts everything into a complete training program, putting the science back in strength to allow
you to train at your highest level, then head to ATHLEANX.com right now and get our ATHLEANX
training system. All right, guys. I’ll be back here again real soon.

100 comments on “Quadratus Lumborum Stretch (DO’S AND DON’TS!)

  1. apu apustus Post author

    I honestly don't know what to do. I can do this stretch on my right side QL, but when I try to o it on the left side which is the one with pain, I just don't feel the stretch and no help 🙁

  2. Apracity Post author

    should i also stretch the other side as a preventive mesure or will that neutralise the effects of stretching the other side

  3. Philippe Larcher Post author

    I've got a bend-over coxcys / sacrum acute pain following squat and OHP accidents. Any video to recommend ?

  4. judicoc Post author

    Hi Jeff, not sure if you’ll read this. I was an athlete and dancer but also had to have a full time desk job and also drove a lot for my job, which meant sitting in a lopsided position for long periods of time. So the past 9 years have been suffering from all sorts of pain (and had a left ankle sprain twice!) especially right glute and QL. I can’t do any impact sports now and have been to PT and doing yoga for 4 years every day otherwise I can’t function. Now it’s my QL that’s the last straw and these stretches worked. But my left QL, traps, hamstrings, calf and ankle are weak and I can feel it when I do any exercise. Do you have any advice on how to build up the left side without over working the right? Your help is much appreciated. Thank you!

  5. Robert Reyes Post author

    As an equestrian and one who works in the barn all the time I have had bad lower back pain for along time…multiple instances of pulling it out so bad I couldn't work…went to the docs and ended up getting meds for temporary relief. And all it took was the appropriate stretching technique.

    A true hero

  6. Delly Pisquelli Post author

    Amazing!! That was definitely my problem. I definitely just got off the foam roller ? ?.Thank you so much! Question? Now doing that on the rope sent a pain up my left side. What do I do.

  7. Abisai Andrade Post author

    Am I the only one that did not feel anything with the stretch other than my hip cramping up? I did the lacrose ball muscle release and it was definitely tight lol

  8. carlo vinicio Post author

    I just tried it with limited mobility due to pain and the stretch out made my pain disappear for a couple of minutes. Second try coming up….thank you!!!

  9. Bob Sainsbury Post author

    Wouldn't it be bittersweet if I have finally found the source of my lower back pain which has held me back since high school

  10. Proteus Fitness Post author

    I’m a professional athlete and personal trainer and I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM YOU IT’s INCREDIBLE! Thank you for all that you do and for all of your knowledge!

  11. Glenn Ianaro Post author

    This is AMAZING!!! I've been trying to find a solution for this pain for a long time.

  12. David Watts Post author

    O M G!! This video hit the spot, dead on!! Even the correct side! I've traced it back and it was a combination of things that led to the problem. Sleeping mostly on my right side. And leaning to the left while in a chair… And then golf put it over the edge! Jeff, you are the one stop shop for everything fitness and I'm very grateful. Thanks for posting this and helping to put me back on track!! ??

  13. Reymon Vitangcul Post author

    I got left muscle back pain…please help how to get rid of it…tnx…i believe in this channel..

  14. Jason Park Post author

    Why don't you lock pelvis posteriorly, I think when we stretch the QL, maintaining the position of the pevis is posterior this is better, but the stretch you do~ position of the pevis is in nutral or anterior .. so in your position stretching to other side is better I think.. Am I wrong ??

  15. Laly M. Post author

    1:48 Sit in 90 to 90 position-sit with legs in running position, against the ground, both at 90degrees. Right leg forward, right hand on ground for support and lean left arm straight out, going opposite direction of left leg(then alternate) make harder by leaning more into the opposite direction of back leg, leaning downward.
    3:22 Stretching isn't enough, you want to work through the middle part of the QL. Lie on side with lacrosse ball under left QL. Left forearm on ground for support, right leg bent behind left leg for support. Left leg extended straight then lift, bend into hip hiking, in external rotation, and then extend left leg back down, point foot and turn leg inward, pulling hip all the way down, repeat xtimes, and then alternate.

  16. Roberto Morfes Post author

    Hi Jeff 🙂
    Youtube put me across this video, while looking for something else. I haven't jumped in a while because of knee problems. To test if I was recovered (after doing rehab exercises) I tried to do some light jumping in order to warm up, but I had a pinching pain in the coxxyc. Have you already approach that issue? Any help would be more than welcome. Thanks.

  17. Young Buck Post author

    The pain will probably come back tomorrow but after those 2 exercises it's gone today. It's hard for me to believe that I will get rid of the pain just by doing those 2 exercises after 10 months of pain and trying literally everything.

  18. John Szczerba Post author

    It instantly feels better after doing these. It did hurt again after I cooled down and it tightened up, but if I keep doing the exercises I'm sure it'll fix it

  19. Blake Griebenow Post author

    Hey jeff few months ago I
    got into squatting and hit a lot of PR's then ended up working a job where I
    sat a lot, while transitioning I wasn’t squatting or stretching much, I tried
    to squat again and I couldn’t do 135 my right leg felt so weak and unstable and
    it hurt in the adductor longus- brevis area, I took a break and I tried to
    stretch out my hips and legs more. Ended up seeing a PT she just told me to
    stretch out my hip flexors more, I do and even got a standing desk. I am
    getting better with my squats but can only do them for a little bit before I
    feel it again, I've been trying to identify issues I'm working on ankle
    mobility in both ankles and equal hips. I started to use a lacrosse ball on the
    adductors and tonight I'm trying the lacrosse ball on the quadratus lumborum. Is
    there anything else I should try? Love all of your stuff once I get state side
    I want to do your program

  20. Shaw Brick Productions Post author

    Wow I’ve been doing everything wrong. Thank you so much ? I can’t express how grateful I am for your videos

  21. David Sheppard Post author

    Would this be a reason for having one side of the lower back slightly bigger than the otherside?

  22. Alex Trickey Post author

    Absolutely insane? instant relief i cant believe it. Most helpful person ever with these videos

  23. Derek Wolf Post author

    I’d like to say a big thank you for your teaching classes on YouTube. They have helped me a lot and I see now that I could’ve voided several surgeries. And, I am able to put off a hip surgery just from doing your exercises. I do have a question. The top right shoulder blade area starts to get tight, followed by the neck moving upward to the muscle over the ear to the temple to create a migraine. And the muscle does not release for hours. I’m asking for two reasons one is I’d like to get rid of the pain and for another you asked for for suggestions for videos. Thank you ever so much!
    Derek Wolf

  24. kmusic Post author

    Holy shit… I went to chiropractor and deep tissue massage cmt and neither fully helped. You are a godsend Jeff. I suffered from this for at least 4 years. This immediately relieved my pain..

  25. martin chavez Post author

    Hi Jeff, thanks for all the great content. Would it be okay to roll with a lacrosse ball?

  26. Ummi Kapoor Post author

    Great video.. thank you. For bilateral hip arthritis could you demonstrate how to strengthen core and which exercises to avoid please
    Sonia K

  27. NationOfRandomization Post author

    I do this stretch but can never feel anything.. which means I'm either still doing it wrong or am already loose in that area

  28. Pat Dingler Post author

    Just gotta love you!! Love that personality…but most of all your knowledge and sharing it with all of us!! You are a BLESSING!! God gives each and every one of us a gift and we most definitely know what yours is!! Thanks for ALL the videos and advice!!???

  29. Yanire Mahabirsingh Post author

    As an airline baggage service agent, I don't sit at all for 30 hrs a week. I stand, walk, and lift luggage off the carousel and carry it into the office if it has no wheels –even if they're heavy (who does that anymore!?) Sometimes, the bags are way too heavy and I have to stoop and drag these bags into the office.

    Lately, I've had hip pain. I thought it might be just soreness from overworking but, as I look at my toes, I can see that my left leg is noticeably more forward than my right leg —about ½" difference as I llook at my knees— even though my toes are level with each other. And, for the past 2 weeks, I've been limping due to a sharp pain on the inside of my left knee area everytime I walking and go down the stairs. And getting up from bed is excruciating. I also hurt when I press down on the inside of my knee area with my fingers, though my knee itself feels just fine.

    I haven't gone to the doctor because I really didn't know what to tell him and because I don't want to go through trial and error and the long process of waiting on an x-ray, MRI, or whatever. I figured I'd give your video a try first and if it failed then I'd have no choice but to go see the doc. Anyhoo, I've tried all sorts of exercises for a week (for the hips knees, abdominals) to no avail. I then decided to give my QL the benefit of the doubt —and WHOA !! Let me tell you that this helped me tremendously after only the first time doing these exercises! Omg, thank you! Thank you!

    I do feel a non- painful tightness in the back of my calf when I walk now but I'm guessing it's normal because I hadn't used the calf for a few weeks because of my limping.

    I will be incorporating these 2 exercises into my morning and evening stretching routines and I my calf continues to be tight then I'll look at your other videos. I cannot thank you enough, Jeff.

    You rock!

  30. Smurfy702 Post author

    Re adding pressure to the affected area, doesn't that contradict a previous video where he said not to do that otherwise it'd make it worse?

  31. Johnbobon Post author

    I think I've finally determined that this QL muscle is my issue. It's been tricky to pinpoint because it's not on the surface. Started a year ago from throwing a softball and has never completely healed since then. I tried playing ball again last night (almost a year later), made one hard throw — BAM! — right back to square one. This series of stretches lights up the very spot like nothing else I've tried in the last year. Hopefully I can get it healed up completely.

  32. shiny dev Post author

    Sounds great.i have a tight QL in my right side only. Could it be affected due to my ACL knee injury on my right knee?

  33. Nathan Tucker Post author

    I pulled the QL and was cripple for a week…A tight Psoas will cause the QL to get tight…It's all connected….

  34. Gareth Asquith Post author

    Before i saw this video i did five minutes foam rolling my lumbar.
    Went to the gym warmed up and began wall balls, 3rd rep insane pop and tear noise from spine area of lumbar.
    Currently got four boxes of tablets to take and no diagnosis yet.

  35. Devon Rox Post author

    Everything he said in the beginning of the video was spot on what I do, sleep bad and sit bad.

  36. X_-MiniReaper-_X Post author

    If no one has a rope or something that size use a water bottle it works perfectly for me. And thanks Jeff been trying to find the solution for my back pain for like a year. I’ve even watched other vids of back pain of urs but I looked up this more specific and found it

  37. Rapture Ready Post author

    On the bed, I got my wife to put her knees on my QL and on my Glutes and with her weight, she can get deep into that muscle tissue! It was the ONLY relief I got of out of months of severe QL pain!

  38. Neonblue Industries Post author

    Oh man! Thanks Jeff, I thought there was something wrong with my back, turns out it's my side sleeping habbit. This is a good stretch, but it takes a while for me to get it to loosen up almost the over the whole day of regular stretching. But then frequently I find it's made angry again the next morning. I'm trying to get in more of a fetal position with my legs and I find putting a pillow between my thighs helps. I don't know why I can only sleep on my side or face down. Any sleeping tips would be greatly appreciated or counter strength exercises?

  39. Nancy Jimenez Post author

    Thank you so much ? carting my massage table every were in pp homes I have QL syndrome all the time… thanks for the amazing video ??

  40. yuvalkeshet Post author

    Whenever your straching.. make sure you are relexed abd breathing. If you are stressed it means you are in contraction

  41. Wind Breaker Post author

    I'm 23 and very active. My lower back pain from years of lifti g was fixed. I feel amazing. That's why I bought your Ax-1, tnt, and Max size. I'm happier

  42. Sweet Post author

    What is that at the bottom
    Of the spine either side of it on the skeleton? That’s where I have pain!

  43. Erick Rosa Post author

    I feel weakness in this area but it's not pain, it just feels like it gives up it feels tired.

  44. AmyJoy Post author

    this did nothing for me. Jeff's videos usually help a lot, but I didn't feel anything in that first stretch.

  45. greeneyedalphawolf1 Post author

    sooo much love for this video… here I am thinking I might need back surgery soon… and THIS video gives me hope. Why did my chiropractor not know this!! thank you Mr. Cavaliere!! I think I trust your physical therapy advice more than anyone out there. Once my back is in better shape, I shall be buying one of your programs.

  46. truthsetsyou4ree Post author

    At the 2 min mark…NOOOOO. this is horrible for the meniscus of the knee. Puts too much pressure on this area and many tear their meniscus doing movements like this. I love your videos this is just 1 recommendation. I would put that stretch in the same category as behind the neck press

  47. tommo ward Post author

    Shot my man going to do this as much as I can. I bloody sneeze and it hurts ? thanks man! Being lopsided sucks but this will help heaps

  48. GOODMUZIK FOLIFE Post author

    Jeff you really deserve your audience and you provide a great service. I am a fitness trainer myself and sometimes i dont have the answers so i hit you up and you have info that puts me on track. This video personally got me back in the gym thank you….and Raymond lol

  49. THE BUDDHA 420 Post author

    I’ve been doing it for about three days I can actually sleep it’s remarkable just a little movement in the right position ????????????????????⭐️?⭐️

  50. kaseas lasa Post author

    My hubby endures neck and back pain and is having problem assisting his legs, but when I discovered this back pain guidebook, "Kemzαnο Loni" (Google it), all the pointed out troubles are fixed consequently. He says it provides the convenience he wants while sleeping, specifically in keeping away from back pain. .

  51. T S Post author

    Wow man, been jacked up for 2 months. Been visiting the chiro every week. Tried this stretch, and I honestly felt the pain go away. Thank you Jeff.

  52. Sherry Lowe Post author

    This video just gave me my life back. Seriously!! Been suffering off and on over three weeks. Been on muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory, and steroids for four days. I did one stretch before this video. Then followed along. Wow!! Instant relief. Thank you. Happy Subscriber here!! ?

  53. NI-7 Post author

    Ohhhhhhh goooood! So instead of spending a grand on 10 IMS sessions I could have watched a 6 minute video. Perfect 🙂

  54. Lexxi S Post author

    Finish work out today, foam rolled my QL, find a video of Jeff saying don’t foam roll that area. Love this channel

  55. Rae Post author

    Thank you SO MUCH for this video! I fell last year and have been having trouble stretching enough to get the circulation where it needs to be to heal properly. Tried this stretch, very gently of course. Wow! Immediate relief for the first time in a year. I'm sure I'll have to do this a couple times a day for a while, but this is a huge help. Thanks again!

  56. Octavius Bonds Post author

    What about laying your lower back on the foam roller without roll it. I do this a lot for extending periods of time to relieve stiffness and pain.

  57. Julian Ruiz Post author

    Found this today after tweaking that exact muscle. Crazy man. Praise Tom Cruise and his magical powers.


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