Get Some Backbone

Get Some Backbone

Reduce the risk of injury to your lower back.

Pillar front bridge.

Lower back pain (LBP) spoils way too many adventures, and it's no surprise that 85 percent of all adults will suffer LBP at some time in their lives. Furthermore, LBP is the second leading cause of visits to doctors' offices. So, as an active bowhunter, you must take action to reduce the risk of injury to your lower back.

Most LBP is the result of overstretched muscles (strains) or ligaments (sprains). A few common causes of strains and sprains that can trigger LBP include:

- Sudden, strenuous physical effort- Accident, sports injury, or fall- Improper lifting- Sleeping position and pillow positioning - Poor posture - Bending forward too long - Carrying a heavy pack

The pain may be most severe immediately after injury, or it may worsen gradually over a few hours. In most instances, back pain as a result of strain or sprain can be resolved following a conservative course of treatment -- usually within two to six weeks -- provided there are no serious underlying medical conditions.

To prevent injury and subsequent LBP, you must build and maintain the strength and flexibility of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your back and spine. You can do this through core-strengthening exercises. By conditioning your trunk muscles, you develop a "natural corset" to support your spine and improve function. Perform the following movements in consecutive order, several times per week.

Pillar Front Bridge
Lying on your stomach with forearms on the ground under your chest, push off of your elbows, supporting your weight on your forearms and toes. Hold a static position for 10-30 seconds. Push your neck and sternum as far up and away from your forearms as possible while keeping your abs drawn in. You will feel it in your shoulders and trunk. Avoid sagging or bending at the hips and spine.

Pillar Side Bridge
Lie on your side with your forearm on the ground and your elbow under your shoulder, with your feet stacked together. Push your forearm away from your body, lifting your hips into the air and supporting your weight on your forearm and stacked feet. Hold a static position for 10-30 seconds on each side. Keep your body in a straight line, and keep your abs tight. You will feel it in your shoulders and trunk.

Pillar side bridge.

Glute Bridge
Lie face up on the ground with your arms crossed, knees bent, toes flexed toward your knees, and heels on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Make sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. You will feel it in your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

Glute bridge.

Popular Videos

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 7: Canyon Ranch Roundup, Part 1

Bowhunter TV's Derek Mleynek and Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson head to Texas for a late-season mixed bag hunt that promises plenty of action.

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist sets up shop for a turkey hunt in Kansas.

Daytime Bighead Carp Bowfishing

Curt Wells is with members of the Muzzy Bowfishing team as they set their sights on bighead carp during the day in Kentucky.

See more Popular Videos

More Stories


Don't Forget About Spring Bowhunting

Curt Wells - March 20, 2018

Hunting seasons don't just happen in the fall. Editor Curt Wells details some spring...


Hunting for the Fun of It

Dwight Schuh

Dwight Schuh explains why it's okay to be serious about bowhunting - but not too serious!


Respect for the Hunt & Other Hunters

Dwight Schuh

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.