Amazing Back Strengthening and Coordination Exercise

Chiropractor in Vaughan, Dr. Walter Salubro, Explains Important Exercise for Rehabbing the Lower Back

Hey! It’s Dr. Walter Salubro here from Back to Health Chiropractic Centre, Chiropractor in Vaughan, and the author of Back to Health by Choice: How to Relieve Pain, Conquer Stress & Supercharge Your Health the Chiropractic Way.

 And today, I want to give you a tip on how to strengthen the low back. So follow me. Check this out.

Now, in this video, I’m not only going to show you an exercise that helps to strengthen your low back but this particular exercise also help improve muscle activation, muscle firing patterns in the thigh area, buttock area and lower back region.

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And that’s important because one of the most common elements that I see in our patients that have low back pain is that their muscle firing sequences in their thigh, glutes and lower back region is disrupted. It’s out of balance. And that can cause further muscle problems, further back pain, and also delay the healing process.

So this exercise is very important to help strengthen the low back, rehabilitate it, improve the coordination and the muscle activation. Thereby, decreasing the stress, tension, pain, inflammation on low back while making it stronger.

Now, before I show you this exercise in the moment, I’ll actually demonstrate it to you. Let me explain this a bit further. So here’s a poster of the muscles of your body. So I want you to see this side over here. This is the muscles of the back side of your body.

hip extension 1So here’s the back area. The back muscles have many layers to their muscles. There’s superficial layers to muscles. There’s deeper layers that are stabilizers. Over here are the gluteal muscles, your buttock muscles. So over here, also, is the back of the thigh, which are your hamstring muscles.

So every time you take a step and propel yourself forward while you’re walking, your hip has to extend backwards to push your body forward. So when that happens, your hamstring muscles have to activate and cause your hip to extend so your body can move forward. And also, your gluteal muscles, especially the big one over here, it’s called the gluteus maximus that’s a stabilizing muscle, also an extensor, it activates when you’re pushing and walking forward to extend your hip as well.hip extension 2

Now, the lower back muscles as you’re standing and walking, they act as stabilizers to keep you in an upright position. So there’s an actual sequence that we know that these muscles should actually be firing in a particular sequence.

And the sequence is this. As soon as you take a step and you’re moving forward so your hip and your thighs are extending back, your hamstrings fire first and then the gluteal muscles in the buttocks fire second. It’s an immediate second. So it’s literally hamstring first, gluteal muscle second.

Now, watch this, the next muscles that actually fire in that hip extension motion is the opposite side of your low back and then the same side and then the opposite side midback area and then same side midback area. And there should be no muscle activation in the upper trapezius or upper shoulder muscles or upper back when you’re extending your hip, especially when you’re walking.

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So again, the sequence is hamstrings, gluteal muscles, opposite low back, same side low back, opposite midback area, same side back area and nothing up here.

The problem I see with a lot of our patients that have weak low backs, injured low backs, back pain, chronic back pain conditions, arthritis, disc injuries, you name it, is that this sequence is disrupted. And what happens is often as I see that the muscles of low back are activated first when I test them and I get them to do their hip extension, these low back muscles are activated first. Not the hamstring or the gluteal muscle, which are the strong extensor muscles.

What that means is that the back can never be fully coordinated, strong, stabilized, especially each time that a person with back pain is standing and walking all day long when their hips are extending. It’s getting always cause some kind disruption there.

So as a chiropractor, my job is to assess the low back condition, discover the problem. Oftentimes, it’s a misalignment problem or structural problem in the spine, the spinal low back, we correct that and then we give exercises that help improve the stability, coordination of these muscle firing sequences.

And this exercise I’m going to show you is one of my favorite exercises that we give all our patients. So follow me and I’ll show you how to do this exercise.

Okay. Here we go. This is called the Hip Extension Coordination Exercise, very, very effective for the low back.

You want to start by lying down on the ground or on your bed face down. Now, then you lift your legs straight up off the ground.

hip extension 4Now, pay close attention to this detail. I am not bending my knee. You see that? The leg is straightened, the thigh is clearing the ground, the knee is not bent.

Now, the next detail you need to pay attention to is very, very important. You may not see it in the video but pay attention. You see the gluteal muscle on the left side of my buttock muscle I squeeze or contract that first before elevating the leg off the table.

Watch this again on the right side. I contract this gluteal muscle first and then elevate and raise the hip and thigh and leg off the table. That’s important because you want to create a gluteal muscle or buttock muscle activation.hip extension 5

That’s a very, very strong muscle for extension and it coordinates with the hamstring before the low back muscles are activated. So you want to squeeze the gluteal muscles first and then elevate the leg off the table. You’ll notice that I’m doing that in the actual video here. So make sure you practice that.

If you want, you can also practice gluteal squeezes first before you attempt the actual hip extensions. And with this exercise, you want to do 10 on one side, really good effective movements and then 10 on the other side. Eventually move up to 20 and eventually 30.

There you have it. That’s called the Hip Extension Coordination Exercise.

There you have it. I hope you found that useful. That’s the Hip Extension Low Back Exercise. Extremely beneficial to help improve that firing sequence in the hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and lower back region to stabilize the back and improve the low back area, decrease pain and also prevent further injury in the future.

I hope you found that valuable. If you did, click the like button below. If you’re on YouTube, subscribe to our channel. Let me know what kind of videos you want to see and I’ll fulfill that request for you. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below as well. And, also be sure to share this with a family member or a friend that you know can benefit.

Looking forward to seeing you on the next video.

For more information or to find out how we can help with back pain, call us at (905) 303-1009 or come visit us at Back to Health Chiropractic Centre at 20 Cranston Park Avenue, Unit 6 in Maple, Ontario. That’s in Vaughan Ontario. L6A 2W2. And you can also visit our website at

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From aches, pains and difficulties to health, happiness and improved quality of life with chiropractic.


Dr. Walter Salubro_1Dr. Walter Salubro is a family wellness chiropractor, the owner of Back To Health Chiropractic Centre in Maple, Ontario, and the author of Back to Health by Choice. He grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and moved to Vaughan, Ontario, with his family at the age of fifteen.

Dr. Salubro graduated from York University in 1996 and from the National College of Chiropractic in 1999. He has been practicing chiropractic and serving his community of Maple and Vaughan for over fifteen years.

Dr. Salubro provides chiropractic care to people of all age groups.  He is trained in applying specific chiropractic techniques Back to Health by Choicethat are just as suitable for children as they are for adults. In addition to offering specific spinal adjustments and posture corrective techniques, Dr. Salubro offers an extensive lineup of health seminars, exercise classes, and a run/walk club to his patients. Dr. Salubro is an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and half marathons.

Dr. Walter Salubro is dedicated to providing exceptional chiropractic care for all his patients. He caters to the care of infants and pregnant mothers. Dr. Salubro is certified from the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (CACCP).  Dr. Walter Salubro is Webster Technique Certified, which is certified and recognized by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA).