Tag Archives: QL

Get up and shake your booty -QL  椅子の生活から来る腰痛

Have you ever had pain on the side of your lower back after a long day of driving or working at your desk? Well then, most likely your Quadratus Lumborum on that side is screaming at you. The Quadratus Lumborum, aka QL, is a long, wide, flat, trapezoidal muscle closely resembling a flank steak. It originates from the bottom of the 12th rib and lumbar verdabrae, L1~L4. It inserts on top of the iliac crest (hip bone), exists on both sides of the body, and connects the pelvis to the spine. It is the deepest abdominal muscle and is close to the Psoas and Erector spinae. Both sides of the QL work together to extend your spine, and one side works independently to laterally flex the spine. Very powerful muscle indeed! We hear a lot that the dysfunction of the QL is a common cause of lower back pain. Why?


When I was growing up in Japan, there were really no chairs in my house. The floors were covered with Tatami mattresses, which are made of weaved straw. Tatami is soft on the surface and provides a very solid and stable structure. We used to sit on Tatami to eat, study, and play. Whenever we visited the Buddhist Temple, we would sit on our feet – Seiza style – on Tatami, sitting with our spines erect for a long time as our feet would fall asleep. We would squat to use the bathroom.


I still remember when I was 10 or 11, our life styles dramatically changed. Suddenly, there appeared couches, tables, and chairs in my house. The bathroom miraculously turned into a comfortable western style toilet with a toilet seat. We said “Sayonara!” to Tatami and said “Hello!” to the wooden floor…It was wonderful. We embraced the changes with such joy! After all, at that time, I thought it was so much more comfortable to sit on a chair.


After 40 years of life with chairs, only recently, I started to give up my couches and chairs to go back to my old lifestyle. I realized that my back feels so much better.


Sitting on a couch, chair, or car seat for long hours will conform our backs to a C-shaped curve, (kyphosis) instead of its most healthy state (lordosis) …. the S- shaped curve. The C-Curve pasture will contract our QL and erector spinae into slack, which results in muscle fatigue. The muscle will then experience decreased blood flow, and in time, adhesions in the muscle and fascia can form….. Eventually, this will result in painful muscle spasms, bulged discs, or even disc herniation.

 Spine and QL

Scary thought…but there are solutions, such as, lengthening the spine, laterally extending the spine with yoga poses like, Adho Mukha Svanasana and Parighasana. But when mere stretching doesn’t do our muscles justice, we need to consider waking them up by approaching the practice differently. Yoga Tune Up ® Pose Boomerang will teach us just that.


Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) besides a wall so your shoulders and hips are perpendicular to the wall. Your inside hand is on the wall with your elbow bent, and your other hand is touching the wall. Reach the outside arm overhead and touch the wall with your hand, so both hands and shoulders are internally rotated.  The spine is extended on the outside, flexed on the inside. You will feel an intense stretch on the outside of the body and the QL. Now, attempt to pull the top hand up the wall as if you are trying to peel the paint off. Because the hand is pinned to the wall, it will not actually move, but try. As you try to move your hands apart, the QL will contract. Keep applying the pressure while breathing deeply about 5 breaths.

 Boomerang Sidebend with PNF

This action will create PNF – Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation- to increase your range of motion and strengthen the QL muscle that is stretched and contracted.

Here is also a video footage for you so you can practice with me.  

The best part of this pose is that you don’t need much space – Just a little wall space will do – so why not spend 10 minutes in between work or that long drive to get up and shake your booty?


I assure you, with regular practice, your back will feel so much better – Good luck!




デスクに長時間座ったあと、またはドライブをしたあとに腰の横側が痛くなったりしたことはありませんか?もしかしたら腰方形筋の問題かもしれません。腰方形筋はQLというニックネームの 平らで幅広、長い台形のステーキのような形をした筋肉です。肋骨の12番と腰椎の1~4番から腸骨の頭までを繋げています。身体の両側にあり、骨盤と背骨を結びつけているんです。お腹の深部の筋肉で、腸腰筋と脊椎起立筋のとなりにあって、両側が共に働くと背骨を伸展、片側が働くと背骨を片方に側屈させてくれます。とてもパワフルな筋肉ですね。





私が10歳か11歳くらいの頃に急激な生活様式の変化が起こり始めました。突然家にソファが、そしてテーブルと椅子が登場しました。まるで魔法のように、トイレは洋式に変わって行きました。畳もどんどん減って行き、板の間の部屋に取って代わりました。 椅子に座る方が遥かに楽だし、当時は洋風の生活がとても安楽で素敵なものに感じられたものです。






QL and Spine Japanese 





 Boomerang Japanese Original

このアクションで何が起こっているのでしょう? 腰方形筋を引き伸してリラックスしたあとに収縮することでPNF(固有受容性神経筋促進法)効果で可動性が拡がる、という現象を引き起こしてくれるのです。ご興味があればPNFについてもう少し調べてみてください。リハビリやスポーツ療法では盛んに使われているテクニックです。

ここで動画も観れますので、 一緒に練習してみましょう。