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Fact checked by Tyler DiGiovanni, BSBMFACT CHECKED
The multifidus isn't a muscle that gets a lot of attention.
But it should.
While it's not a muscle that can be seen, it plays a crucial role in strengthening and stabilizing the spine. By incorporating multifidus muscle exercises in your back routine, you can improve your punching and throwing power, relieve lower back pain, and enhance your body control.
In this article, I'll lay out six lumbar multifidus exercises to strengthen and support your spine. I'll show different exercises and also explain just what this muscle does and why you should start giving it some love.
Table of Contents:
You don't need to visit the gym to work your multifidus muscle effectively. Here are half a dozen core stability exercises you can do anywhere, anytime.
Pull your abs into your spine and keep your back straight throughout the movement.
If you're having trouble doing both arms and legs at the same time, you can try the same method as bird dog above and use opposite arms and legs.
You don't have to do all six of these exercises in a single workout. Instead, perform a total of six sets divided into three exercises (two sets of each). Here are a couple of ways to structure your workout:
The multifidus is a small internal muscle that plays a crucial role in spinal support. Rather than a single muscle, the multifidus is a series of muscles that attach to both sides of the spinal column. These muscles are able to work together and separately.
When the multifidus muscles and both sides of the spinal column work together, they extend the spinal column. When they work independently, they bend the spine to the side (lateral flexion). It also contra-laterally rotates the spine. This means that the left multifidus muscle rotates the spine to the right and vice-versa.
The main function of the multifidus is to stabilize the lumbar spine. It is part of the deep core muscles and acts in concert with the lumbar muscles, abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and other core muscles to provide support before movement takes place.
Most people are walking around with underdeveloped multifidus muscles. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including poor posture and lower back pain. So, just a few minutes of performing multifidus-focused exercises can have a huge payoff.
Here are four benefits of doing multifidus exercises:
As mentioned, the multifidus is part of your deep core. The stronger your deep core, the more spinal support you'll have. This will help prevent slouching and excessive spinal curvature.
Postural problems often result from muscle imbalances and muscle weakness. Performing movements like the bird dog exercise will enhance balanced muscle development around the spinal column.
The stronger your multifidus muscles are, the less stress you'll experience through the spinal column. The load will be evenly distributed, taking off the strain and encouraging an upright posture.
You can also use one of our steel maces to improve your posture as well.
'Oh, my aching back!' is a common refrain, especially among people over 40. Strengthening your multifidus muscles is one of the best things you can do to offset that lower back pain.
Lower back pain can be due to spinal misalignment. Strong multifidus muscles help to stabilize and ensure correct spinal alignment, helping to prevent this problem and chronic low back pain. They allow you to perform everyday activities, such as bending over, lifting, and twisting. When you are able to do these things with proper muscle engagement, you will lessen your likelihood of suffering a lower back injury.
Muscle imbalances also lead to lower back pain. Keeping your erector spinae and multifidus, the two main lower back muscles, evenly balanced strength-wise will help offset that problem.
Strong multifidus muscles will also help with shock absorption and impact when you are running or jumping.
Adding in other lower back workouts can be a great way to strengthen your lower back.
A herniated disc results when the cushioning between your spinal vertebrae gets weak, causing the inner core of the disc to bulge out. It is a very painful condition that can be debilitating. The stronger your multifidus muscles are, the more spinal support you will have and the lower your likelihood of a herniated disc will be.
The more stable your spine is, the stronger your foundation for dynamic action like throwing and punching will be. This promotes efficient transfer of force through your body. The increased spinal segment control that strong multifidus muscles also promotes precision in your punching and throwing actions.
Strong multifidus muscles enhance motor control and rotational stability. A lot of your power comes from this rotational action. Working your multifidus will also improve your proprioception so that you have better control of your actions and make any last-second adjustments as needed.
Now that you have a stronger multifidus, how about a punching bag to improve that punching power even more?
Now that you're aware of what your multifidus is, why you should be training it, and how to do it, it's up to you to put that knowledge into action. It will only take about six minutes, twice per week, to build strong multifidus muscles. But, as we've seen, the payoff is huge.
So, what are you waiting for?
Balance your multifidus training with the best erector spinae moves.
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