Gospel #2 coming at ya! The name: Quadratus Lumborum. The action: lumbar extension, lateral flexion. Location: not where you think! The Quadratus Lumborum (QL for short) attaches itself to the 12th rib, the Iliac crest (back of pelvis), and the transverse (side) processes of the Lumbar Vertebrae. This little guy is actually a part of your abdominal wall muscles and is a continuation of the transverse abdominis, which is essential for stabilization of the core. This is not what people normally associate with their core, they think of mass amounts of sit ups to get those "washboard abs". But the core is so much more than that and is the basis on which your body stands, where your power and balance come from. It only makes sense then that by working the entirety of your core that you are able to function as a normal human being without debilitating back pain.
Your lumbar spine should have a natural curvature to it, which sometimes means you gotta stick out that booty to help those muscles activate and turn back on. The QL works in conjunction with the Iliopsoas to allow this to happen. The pair are antagonists to each other, meaning they do opposite actions but act on the same part of the body. Another example of this is biceps and triceps; on opposite sides of your arm but when one activates, the other relaxes. So by working with this naggy little bugger, you can release adhesions, return blood flow, and help it to start functioning as normal! Once the Iliopsoas is relaxed and not crunching you forward, the QL can be turned back on to help get that natural low back curve back to it's normal position. You can help this at home by doing back extension exercises, such as supermans (pictured below), but really focusing on the QL muscle instead of just using your glutes to take over and do the work for you. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and repeat 3-5 times to ensure total activation of the QL. This will counteract sitting in that awful desk chair and forward posture all day long and help alleviate back pain! I hope this info helps you guys be more informed about your body, how it works, and what to work on when you're hurting! Feel free to respond, email, or call with any questions (all the info is on the contact page)! Get out there and be the superman of your gym!!