How to Reduce Back Pain by Using Your Core and Your Butt!

*Guest Post by Alvin Villadelgado founder of Ape-Iron Strength – Educate, Motivate, & Coach (*

Do you have Back pain?

Low back pain has affected almost everyone in the world. Back pain sucks and it can prevent you from doing a lot of activities. Living in Silicon Valley, I’ve seen and heard so many people complaining about how their backs hurt doing simple daily activities to post workouts. These complaints were not just complaints about being sore, they range from acute to chronic pains.

One thing I have noticed that is common in most of these individuals is how sedentary they are.

Of course, here in Silicon Valley most of the jobs are desk jobs ranging from computer techs, engineers to truck drivers. These sedentary lifestyles can and will cause weakness in certain muscle groups that help with posture and functional movements.

In this post, I will talk about the causes of back pain, I will teach you basic anatomy of your back and which movements and exercises you should be doing to help prevent and possibly rehab your low back.

Causes of Back Pain

Back pain can be caused by different things. But our main concern here are the individuals who have a sedentary lifestyle.

Sitting down for long periods of time will put a lot of stress on your spine. This will disengage your core muscles and they will adapt to the shortened position they’re put in all day long.

Being sedentary also creates a movement dysfunction and postural problems. Staying in this position all day and then going to the gym to lift can cause more problems such as: Herniated or slipped discs, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, inflammation and more. Let’s redirect our evolution away from our chairs and back to a healthy and happy back.

Basic Hip and Core Anatomy

Our hips consist of muscles that help flex and extend the hip joint, external and internal rotate the femur (leg bone) and most importantly our core muscles help stabilize the hips and the spine.

Major muscles in the Hip:

  • Gluteus Maximus

  • Gluteus Medius

  • Gluteus Minimus

  • Psoas Major

  • Illiacus

Core Muscles (T.I.R.E.)

  • Transverse Abdominis

  • Internal Oblique

  • Rectus Abdominis

  • External Oblique

What you need to do!

First and foremost, to help with any back pain, reduce the amount of time you are sitting down and being sedentary. Move around, stand up or set an alarm every 30-60 min to stand up and move around.

Strength Training!!!!

No you don’t have to lift heavy weights or perform the Big 3 movements (Squat, Bench & Dead-lift) to get stronger. But you need to learn how to move and move well the way your body is designed.

Based on research done by Chang et al, “core strength training is more effective than typical resistance training for alleviating chronic low back pain.” Not only that strengthening your core reduces low back pain, incorporating co-interventions with strength training has a positive effect on chronic low back pain (Liddle et al).

The Program!!

Here is a simple 6 week strength program that may help with low back pain, improve core strength and improve functional movement:

(For Warm UP Read REMAP)


Core: McGill’s Big 3

Glutes: Glute Bridges 2x20, Monster Walk 2x10 each

Week 1-3

Day 1

Assisted Single Leg Deadlift 5x5

Body Weight Box Squats

(w/Band) 5x5

Banded Pull Apart 5x20

Back Extension 5x20

Day 2

TRX/Reclined Row (3 Sec Pause) 5x5

1/2 Kneeling Pall Off Press (3 5x10 each Sec Pause)

Farmers Walk 5x 20-30ft

Plank 4x30sec

Side Plank 4x30sec Each

Day 3

Kickstand Single Leg Squat 5x5

Slideboard Leg Curl Eccentrics 5x10

Toe Touch Progression 5x5

1/2 Kneeling Inline Row (3 Sec Pause) 5x10 each

Week 4-6

Day 1

Cross Reaching Single Leg Deadlift 5x5

Goblet Box Squats (w/Band) 5x5

Face Pull (3 Sec Pause) 5x20

Reverse Hyper Extension 5x20

Day 2

Supported Dumbbell Row (3 Sec Pause) 5x5

Lunge Position Pall Off Press (3 Sec Pause) 5x10 each

Suite Case Carry 5x 20-30ft

Feet Elevated Plank 4x30sec

Ball Roll out 4x10

Day 3

Single Leg Squat To High Box 5x5

Slide board Leg Curl 5x10

Kettle Bell Dead lift (Off Block) 5x5

Split Squat Inline Row (3 Sec Pause) 5x10 each

What now?

Get a stronger and more stable core & glutes to reduce and/or prevent back pain. If you need a personalized program to help you improve strength & performance, contact me at I offer online coaching and one-on-one coaching if you are local to the Bay Area.


Liddle, Sarah Dianne, G. David Baxter, and Jacqueline H. Gracey. "Exercise and chronic low back pain: what works?." Pain 107.1-2 (2004): 176-190.

Rainville, James, et al. "Exercise as a treatment for chronic low back pain." The Spine Journal 4.1 (2004):106-115.

Chang, Wen-Dien, Hung-Yu Lin, and Ping-Tung Lai. "Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain." Journal of physical therapy science 27.3 (2015): 619-622

Aasa, Björn, et al. "Individualized low-load motor control exercises and education versus a high-load lifting exercise and education to improve activity, pain intensity, and physical performance in patients with low back pain: a

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