💥 Back pain with taking stairs, hiking uphill, or hitting the stair master is not uncommon. However, I think what most people refer to as ‘back pain’ with activities like this is just people feeling muscle pain. If you use it, you feel it! Just like going downhill, you’re likely to use and feel your quads and your knees. However, no one wants to feel and focus on their back with these exercises so let us resolve this dilemma!
📝 A common culprit, and likely the case, is that people are hiking their hip (see video for a demonstration and what I mean). With hiking the hip, you’re going to use muscles in the low back region and on your side that connect to the pelvis, which ultimately hikes the hip up ⬆️. Like I mentioned in the video, nothing necessarily wrong with this as it is a solution to get clearance off the ground with your foot so that you don’t trip. I rather you clear your foot and not trip! However, using this strategy over and over and over may cause some discomfort in your low back region.
🔑 The key to changing up your strategy to limit low back / muscle discomfort is to think of this cue ➡️ lead with your knee. I will tell people to think of trying to knee something in front of you, directly leading with the knee is going to promote more hip flexion and less hip hiking. I will also have people place their hands on their hips to get some feedback as to if they’re hiking their hip and using their back muscles vs. leading with the knee.