Mindful Movement Monday Side Stretches for your QL with Stephen Dunn. Quadratus Lumborum

[Stephen] It’s mindful movement Monday. Hey guys, it’s Stephen Dunn with CORE Therapy and Pilates. Today I’m going to teach a little class, it’s more of a mobility class on those tight QLs.

Today, I asked a question as we were starting the class, “Does anyone have anything they would like to ask me about?” And someone said, “I have a tight QL.” Liz actually asked about a tight QL.

[Stephen] So we are going to look at the right side versus the left side.  Now with this facebook live will frequently switch the image so as I talk right and left if it doesn’t look right it’s not right. It’s been switched on camera so I’ll just say that right now.

Let me get that out of the way. So with that said we are going to talk a little about the QL, the Quadratus Lumborum.

What I want everybody to do is, I want everyone to do a little assessment of how their QL feels or how much mobility they have between the side bending or the side motion.

I want them to slide their hands on the side of their leg in each direction and you slide your hand down the leg to each direction make note of which side moves easier and which side is tighter. If you noticed that, let’s say, there is tighter movement to your left, do you feel that it is a tightness on the right QL and the “QL” stands for Quadratus Lumborum and it is a muscle that goes from your right pelvis up to your right ribs or your left pelvis up to your left ribs.

Does anyone see some differences with those?

Yes, you hurt on the right side and is it your left side bending that is limited?

[Liz] No.

[Stephen] All right, it is more of the opposite side?

It is not exactly what I expect but it doesn’t matter, it is not always what I expect

[Stephen] What do you got there?

[Mauro]] When I go here, it is kind of tight on this side.

[Stephen] And as you go that side, what about that?

[Mauro] It compresses easily.

[Stephen]  Ok. All right.

Now what we are going to do is we’re going to test it in a non-weight bearing position. So this was a test to see how they feel in weight-bearing we are looking at a mobility test, side bending to see which way is different, which is tighter, doing it at home, take note which side is stiff or tighter.

What I want you to do now is lay on your left side facing this way on the bolster and on the bolster so you can use the arc. Put the bolster right underneath your left QL so your left pelvis and your left rib and you can bring your left arm under your head. So I am saying all these lefts and it may appear the opposite right on this video.

Now in that position, everyone take their right hand bring it over their head and just let that kind of hang in there and then from there everyone take their top leg off of their bottom leg. Have the bottom leg slightly in front of you and that’s going to open up that right QL. So we are now stretching the right QL and I want everyone to kind of just assess this position and we are going to switch sides if you can tell the difference between these two.

Everyone, gather and kind of a snapshot there, now switch sides and go to the opposite. We are now testing again the QL in a side-lying position with a bolster underneath it. Cheryl is using what we call a pilates arc.

Is that right  Cheryl, a pilates arc?

[Cheryl] Yes.

[Stephen] Now we are testing how the two sides feel in comparison to each other. So everyone kind of take a snapshot here and give me the same information and now with that said what I want everyone to know do is come on up to standing. We went from a standing side bending position to laying on the side with a bolster.

If you don’t have a bolster you can use a couple of pillows at home. Now did everyone feel a difference?

[Liz] I feel tight on both sides.

[Stephen] You feel tight on both sides?

[Rebekah] One side.

[Stephen] Was it the same weight-bearing vs non weight-bearing?

[Rebecca] It was the opposite.

[Stephen] It was the opposite, right?

[Mauro] Tight on the right.

[Stephen] Tight on the right for both of them.

[Cheryl] Both sides.

[Stephen] So you are just tight, you are the opposite, you are tight on the right on both sides. So everyone was very different. What I want Cheryl and Liz to do is go back to that position and go into two minutes breathing into that side bending in each one. The two of you, you are going to go onto your tighter side, so you are tighter on the right side, so I want you to put your left side up you are going to do the opposite up. (Tight side down on the bolster and stretch the loose side)

You put your tighter side down not up. What I am having them now do is we are putting, Cheryl and Liz were tight on both sides so they’re just going to do a QL stretch in this position. We are going into some nice breathing here and think of your breath going into my hand and just focus on that in this position.

But for Rebekah and Mauro they were tight in a specific position and I actually have them go into their tight side down which is not stretching at all which is the exact opposite and we are going to see by doing the exact opposite if they feel a little looser and just a moment which is applying what we call TMR. It is something that we talked about every once in a while when I teach these classes and with this little TMR we can sometimes really have some interesting results with things… with that said everyone now. Cheryl and Liz, you are going to switch sides so you can get into a balancing act of your two sides.

Mauro and Rebekah what I want you to now do is go back to standing and retest your tight side which you did not stretch your tight side you stretched your good side. Now we are going to retest to see if you can sense the difference either on your tight side. Does that feel different?

[Rebekah] Yes, they feel better.

[Stephen] They both feel better so they’re doing both sides and I only had you all each do one side but it is the exact opposite of what most people would do. If I would have given you a choice I would have you put your tight side up. I mean both of you. Which is what most people would have done.

So again, I kind of switched a little bit and brought this TMR which stands for Total Motion Release. You can Google, Youtube there are lots of information about it .The guy who created it is named Tom. He is awesome.

But it is one of those things where we go into the good side instead of the bad side and where we actually see improvements. We look at that, whether it’s stretching, we look at that, whether it is mobility and strength and we can do another session on that on another day.

We now just basically did a QL assessment and side bending in standing and then we did a QL assessment in laying down on your side.

With that said we now found a couple of different ways to assess and a couple of different ways to stretch out a tight QL, a tight Quadratus Lumborum.

That’s what I got for you today guys. If you have any questions put them below and I will see you all next week with some Mindful Movement Monday again.

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Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen Dunn, a pioneer in physical therapy, merges Pilates and Gyrotonic approaches with hands-on therapy for comprehensive injury prevention and rehabilitation. His innovative methods prioritize holistic well-being.
Stephen Dunn
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