Oct 30

Tip of the Month – October

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Coach Monika Says…

Bad Posture and Lower Back Pain

It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed workdays. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months. According to medical information, about 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime in Canada and the USA while 83% suffer from back pain in Germany (Das Neue, Medizin, p. 50). 

Moreover, children and adolescents are complaining increasingly about lower back pain, which experts contribute to ‘bad and/or slouchy’ posture, increase in watching TV, playing video games, use of smartphones and tablets, and lengthy computer involvement. Researchers in the UK and Spain loaded up 50 students with book bags of varying weights and found that backpacks create poor posture and subsequently back issues. Athletes may complain about lower back pain, traced to prolonged use of their tech gadgets, incorrect exercises or training procedures, and by swimmers using extensive kickboard action, and/or overtraining in the butterfly stroke (lower back).


Equipment: mat or floor

Specific Exercise Focus:

  • Body and head awareness (body position and movement – positional alignment-body incline in supine, head-centered, arm extension on the floor, legs bent, feet flat and forward) 
  • Balance and control (weight distribution – head, shoulders, back, extended arms, hands, palms, feet; control of incline position, body position)
  • Strength (body position and movement – spine/core, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles, feet, prolonged held position)
  • Flexibility, suppleness (body position and movement – trunk, hips, pelvis, groin, front of thighs, lower part of legs, feet)

Start Position: Assume supine position on floor (on back), legs bent, feet close to buttocks, together and flat, arms relaxed at sides by body, back aligned

Action: Assume Start position, tighten the core, using full arm support elevate hips/pelvis to incline position, shoulder to knee alignment, head centered, maintain positional alignment, hold 8 counts, lower body to floor, 8 repetitions, and relax 

Finish: Supine position, legs extended, feet together, pointed toes, arms relaxed at sides by body, and relax 

Exercise Variations: 

1. Same Exercise: extend leg to vertical, alternate flex-point toes, repeat, opposite leg

2. Same Exercise: extend leg to vertical, alternating legs

3. Same Exercise: extend leg to vertical, bend at 90-degree angle so lower part of leg is parallel to floor, hold 4 counts, lower leg

4. Same Exercise: perform the exercise with elevated feet on a selected platform (mat), large medicine ball or Physioball

Note: All exercises can be used as part of Warm-up, Cool-down and/or Conditioning program


Das Neue (2019, #38, September 14). Unser Rücken geht zum TÜF (our back goes to TÜF*], p. 50. Hamburg, Germany: Bauer Vertriebs KG. Das Neue. 

Schloder, M.E. (2018). The Kalos exercise collection. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

Schloder, M.E. (2017). Developing physical literacy through FUN, fitness, and fundamentals. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

Schloder, M.E. (2016). Ballet for Athletes: Modified exercises for cross-training. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: ww.coachingbest.com

*TÜF is the German TÜVs = Technischer Überwachungsverein [Technical Inspection Association] are German businesses that provide inspection and product certification services

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