I don’t remember where I first heard about the spinal erector muscle group, but I do remember thinking I have weak spinal erectors. I had no knowledge about these muscles but they sounded pretty important. Fast forward a few months and the more I in tune with my body I become, the more I realize my left back muscles are not as strong as my right back muscles. Perhaps weak spinal erectors??
The erector spinae is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that run the length of and support the spine. They work with abdominal muscles to help support the torso, and they should be strengthened in conjunction with ab exercises. In fact, according to Spine-Health.com, trying to develop strong abs but ignoring the back can increase your risk of back injury.
The way I understand it is spinal erectors keep your spine straight. With regards to my running, as I pick up the mileage and subsequently become more tired, my weak left side stops engaging as it should and my right side takes over. In my non-expert opinion, this has contributed to my many injuries. In fact, because I’ve been running consistently for about a month now, I can feel my left side starting to disengage and my right side take over. As much as I wanted to do an easy run today, I decided not to and worked solely on stretching and strengthening my back. There are a few good exercises here and here.
I think because my long run yesterday was a little on the fast side and I’ve been running almost everyday for a month, I’m going to go easy this week. My body is starting to tell me that it needs a little break (and variety).
Happy Trails & Happy Running,
And completely unrelated, here are some pictures from the birthday festivities last night. Check out the cake!