The Neglected Core Muscle… No It Is Not An Abdominal Muscle, It’s The Multifidus…




All right

Hey guys, it’s Stephen and Brandi here from CORE Therapy & Pilates. Today I want to go over one of the most basic exercises that is the most neglected exercise, in my opinion, in the entire Physical Therapy and fitness fields. It’s an exercise to strengthen the lumbar multifidus…

What is the lumbar multifidus?

It’s the little muscle that’s the antagonist to the hip flexor. The hip flexor sits in front of the spine, deep to the abdominals and intestines. People release it, people stretch it, much is done to the psoas and iliacus… the hip flexors.

What’s not done is the re-education of the multifidus right after the psoas has been relaxed or stretched or released. Today we are going to go over an exercise that we call the long bridge multifidus. The long bridge is set up to re-engage your multifidus after you release the psoas with the gold ball, that most of our clients already know about. So, if you were at home you’d be on your stomach releasing your psoas with the gold ball and then releasing the iliacus with the tennis ball and then you would flip over to this position to do the long bridge multifidus… A regular bridge, go ahead and bend both knees, is here in this position, and you lift your rear end in the air. But that’s not what I’m interested in… go ahead and straighten your legs. For the long bridge you’re going to flex your feet, you’re going to bend your knees like you’re digging your heels into the ground, about the space of a foam roller, it would fit right there under the knees… perfect… so that is the spacing that we want to have underneath the legs. Now in that position you’re going to hold that position with your feet flexed, toes to the nose, knees bent in that same position, go ahead and bring your hands up to here and I’m gonna feel on both sides right where that muscle is, so very, very gently push into your heels… thats it… and relax.

What happens when she pushes into the heels? The multifidus contracts… the gluteals fire… and the hamstrings fire… which are in the back line and they are the antagonist of the psoas, iliacus and quadriceps. In most people, the psoas, iliacus and quads are over developed with increased tone and tightness, not strength…

So this is the long bridge…

I like to tell people to do it for about one to two minutes Hold about five seconds each time… there should be no tilting and twisting of the pelvis. There should be no actual lifting of the pelvis, but when you push into the heels you initiate like you’re lifting, you start the lift of your buttocks but you don’t actually lift… all right. That’s the long bridge multifidus. Hope that makes sense

Take care. That’s it for today…

Call 512-215-4227 to learn more of how we can help you get out of back pain once and for all…

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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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