Try This One Stretch to Finally Improve Your Alignment… The Q.L. Stretch

Alright, hey guys it’s Stephen here from CORE Therapy and Pilates in Austin, Texas.

This is Alexis, she’s one of our GYROTONIC® trainers coming direct from Germany… that’s right, what part of Germany are you from? Outside of Munich… Okay, there we go, so what we’re going to do today is go over a little quick demonstration of how to stretch the QL… the QL stands for the Quadratus Lumborum. It’s a muscle that runs from the pelvis up to the lower ribs and it attaches on either side of the spine. We talk a lot about the psoas and the hip flexors and the QL basically sits right next to them. The psoas is coming down in the front and the QL is coming down more in the back.

When someone has an alignment issue where their pelvis is up or down or twisted… a lot of times the QL is a player in that. So we’re going to go over a little stretch using this yoga bolster, they’re about 40+ bucks on Amazon, I have them linked on my website TherapyAndPilates.com under the store.

We’re going to stretch her right QL to start… so I want you to lay over the bolster and this is gonna go underneath the hips. Now in that position right there we start to get a little opening right through here and that’s where the QL is in the back… If we take this leg and bring it to here, bring this front leg there and we bend that knee, that creates a little more torque here to open you up on the side. Now take the right arm and put it there over your head… Now as you watch this video it’s going to be the opposite… as I just said, her right side and the right arm it’s going to look switched and it’s going to look like it’s her left side… but this is her right arm, this is a right leg. You will do both sides and you’ll find that one side is probably tighter…

This starts to open up the side right here… now all I want you to do in that position is breathe into my hand. Take it inhale and then exhale, relax… I’ll have her breathe for maybe 30 seconds to a minute like that. We’re not going to do that here now but that’s what I would have her do at home. If this is creating too much stretch then we can take this foot and bring it underneath this top knee here and then that takes it a little bit of stretch off or we can even do this if it’s too much. My hopes are that people can tolerate the first position shown to create the most opening. Okay so that’s the QL…

The next thing we’re going to do is progress it a little bit and add in the big ball. I like to set it up against the wall (I’m going to be holding it, supporting it for her, but if someone’s doing this at home I like to use this against the wall on the floor, not on the bed). Go ahead and lay across it here and now the feet are a little different than on the bolster, and now let the head hang and let the arm hang as well, perfect… So we have the arm over the head and we’re getting some stretching here over the side. This is a little more dynamic because the ball moves so that’s why if you put it up against the wall you don’t have to focus on it moving.

In this position, same thing breathing into my hands here and then exhale and we would do that for 30 seconds to a minute. This is just a lot more of an opening and then what I would do manual therapy wise is create a pull like this to go further into it… alright and so that’s your QL – quadratus lumborum… you’ll do both sides.

I find is it’s tighter typically on the right side for folks, not always but that’s what I find the most common. So right in here, the QL – quadratus lumborum… try it out, see how it goes and let me know… that’s it guys y’all have a fantastic day, peace… bye…

Have you been told that one of your legs is shorter than the other? There is a good chance the QL is tight and imbalanced between the two sides. Call 512-215-4227 to learn more about how we can help with alignment problems.

As a physical therapist in the Houston and Austin areas since 1995, Allyson has developed a gentle approach to whole body healing. At Core she has been able to spend more time personally with each client addressing the entire body and providing recovered clients with pilates training to keep them progressing.

“The one body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.” Allyson uses this belief in three areas: First, in her approach to addressing areas of restriction throughout the body as a whole. Second, learning from co-workers, clients and other therapists taking pieces of wisdom and incorporating them into a whole treatment. Last, incorporating the pilates practice into discharge from physical therapy to continue parts of your recovery into a pursuit of health for your whole life. All parts making up one process of returning your body to health.

Her background in Total Motion Release techniques as well as Craniosacral Therapy, Strain/ Counterstrain and PIlates make for a holistic and gentle approach with quick results. The focus of her therapy is to empower the client with tools to heal themselves.

Allyson earned her B.S. in kinesiology at The University of Texas in 1992 and her M.S. in physical therapy from Texas Woman’s University in Houston in 1995. She has worked in pediatrics for 9 years also with great success treating pediatric orthopedic issues and infant torticollis with no crying!
Allyson Marshall