CORE WORK HURT YO BACK?!
With exercises like the one in the photo, [laying on your back & lifting your legs], if you feel your lower back more than your abs, chances are your pelvis is tilting anteriorly - which 1. is not proper form, and 2. will absolutely strain your lower back. [ Here’s a 15sec video I created that shows the different pelvic positions - check it out for a helpful visual!]
The ultimate goal is to do these exercises with a neutral pelvis. HOWEVER! If you’re in the beginning stages of learning proper core engagement/strengthening your core, a slight posterior tilt [“lifting your belt buckle”] could help you to strengthen your core AND do it with less discomfort. The phrase “tuck your tailbone/pelvis” - or some variation of it - was popularized in barre classes, but knowing how to move/stabilize your pelvis is crucial to getting the most out of both training and stretching.
Like “ engage your core ”, I fear that phrases like “maintain a neutral pelvis” can get lost in translation when coaches call them out… but those subtle adjustments we’re trying to get you to attain can mean the difference between sweet success and utter painnnn… As I break down in the video, you can tilt your pelvis forward [anteriorly] or backward [posteriorly], but I didn’t have the time to specify that “neutral” is also a position. It may go without saying, but if we continue with the “bowl of water” analogy, neutral is the position where no water is spilling out of the bowl.
Also similar to mastering core engagement, understanding what position your pelvis is in and how to stabilize it isn’t linear. You might have it all figured out for one movement and then feel like you’re back at square one with the next. And as soon as you let it drop off your radar, you’ll start feeling the consequences and realize you need to dial in your focus again. “It’s a journey”, as they say ;-) As always, if you’d like a little insight and guidance from me, just shoot me an email !!