Every week, we hear a patient say something to the effect of, “I threw my back out.” What muscles did they exactly “throw” out, and what can we do to help prevent this? While your big back extensor muscles (those bands of tissue that run north-south on either side of your spine) help keep us upright all day, they are often not the ones we injure when we are running and slip on a wet spot. One particular muscle that acts quickly to help stabilize us in this particular example, is the quadratus lumborum, or QL.
To expose the QL and work on your mobility in this region, we need to purposely perform a crunch/make our way into trunk flexion (since our lower back is normally in extension). From here, follow my variations on the video to roll out the QL as aggressively as you like/need to on the foam roller.