My 5 Daily Spondylolisthesis Stretches/Movements – Part 5

We are already on part 5 of my 6 part series titled “My 5 Daily Spondylolisthesis Stretches/Movements”.

For those of you who are discovering this website for the first time or those that have missed the first 4 parts of this series, I highly encourage you to go back and read them in order.

You can do so by clicking the links below:

Click HERE to read Part 1

Click HERE to read Part 2

Click HERE to read Part 3

Click HERE to read Part 4

Reading the articles in order will give you a good idea on not only why I perform these stretches every day, but why you should look into including a quick warm-up routine into your daily life.

As always, please keep in mind the ideal situation is for you to get a movement screen from a certified individual and determine what your PERSONAL weaknesses are and work with a rehab specialist to help you develop a few warm up movements designed specifically for you.

If you have yet to do this we highly recommend you read our disclaimer and ALWAYS speak to your doctor BEFORE starting any new exercise or stretching program.

Also, keep in mind this warm-up is not for all spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis patients. As you probably know by now spondy’s are unique to the individual and each situation is different.  If you have severe pain or discomfort present you will want to speak with your medical professionals due to the complexities and severities of your situation.


Stretch/Movement #4 = The Butt Squeeze or Glute Squeeze


Why I Do It

I will be the first to admit, this movement has a funny name and quite frankly it looks funny when you do it.

Go ahead and get the laughs out now and prepare for others to laugh at you if they see you doing it, but when it comes down to it, it is very effective in accomplishing what it is meant to do.

No need to reinvent the wheel here. I stole this one directly from Bret Contreras and his list of 5 things you should do every day.

And as he points out the glutes play a huge role in the movement and daily life’s of humans.

Unfortunately, most people perform activities (or perform no activities) that hinder the performance of the glutes. Activities such as excessive sitting, not working out and being lazy all lead to having glutes that do not function to their full capabilities.

Among other things the glutes play a huge role in the health of the back.

There has also been many studies performed to hammer this point home (again, check out Bret Contreras article as he cites several resources for these studies). I encourage you to check out these studies as they are very interesting.

Without getting into the details, one of my weaknesses is weak or under-active glutes.  I really believe this weakness has had a ton to do with MY spondy pain and it is something I want to stay on top of for years to come (to find out if your glutes could be playing a role in your spondy pain make sure to seek a professional to perform a full body movement screen).

Not only do you lose muscle mass as you age, but you also lose some neural drive as well.

I believe one of my body’s ways of dealing with these under-active glutes is by recruiting muscles around the glutes to help out with work the glutes should be doing.

For example, my inner hamstrings and low back often become sore and inflamed after a very intense workout. Simply put, my weak and under-active glutes needed some help during a workout, activity, etc. Other areas may kick in and help out but they pay the price the next day. And sometimes so does my back.

And one way I like to work on the functioning of my glutes is by stretching certain tight areas in combination with “activating” or waking up the nuero-muscular component of the gluteal area.

This particular stretch/movement I find very effective prior to my workouts as well.

How You Do It

Start by placing your feet slightly flared out and a little wider than shoulder width apart.

spondylolisthesis exercise

Glute Squeeze – Starting Position

From there, focus on squeezing your glutes together as hard as you can for 10 seconds.  As Bret mentions, you can also squeeze your fists to increase the neural drive.

spondylolisthesis exercise

Glute Squeeze – Finish Position

My goal is to hold this pose for a total of 3 times for 10 seconds each time.

Now hopefully you have gotten a few good laughs out of these photos and you can focus on these few pointers.

  • DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH. You do NOT want to pass out. Focus on breathing and squeezing the butt muscles.  I know this sounds really bad, but you want to think about squeezing something between your butt cheeks.
  • If you have pain in the back it could be a sign that you may have some inflammation or dysfunction present that should be examined by a professional. You could make a thousand guesses as to what is causing this pain. It could be anything from a pinched nerve to perhaps just a sore muscle. We advise to take the safe route, do not continue if this movement is uncomfortable or irritating for your pain.
  • I like to think of tucking my pelvis under my hips or rolling my hips underneath my body. This helps to attack the natural lordosis , “sway”, or anterior pelvic tilt that I have.  More than anything it provides a nice feeling of a stretch in and around my low back. To further understand this concept and to see a visual photo please check out this article on Anterior Pelvic Tilt

As I mentioned this sounds and looks funny, and it also appears to be overly simple, but it is something that I believe has helped me along the way.

If you are cleared by your doctor, give it a try and see what you think.

I would love to hear any and all comments you may have. Comment below and let’s discuss.

Do not forget to check out the final spondylolisthes stretch/movement in Part 6 of my series.

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Leave A Reply (9 comments so far)

  1. Sharon Bradley
    4 years ago

    It would help me to SEE the butt squeezes, if you didn’t have on baggy shorts. Nothing suggestive, just easier to distinguish the movement. Please. Thanks.

    • Spondy
      4 years ago

      Hi Sharon. Thank you for the feedback. This is something I will keep in mind for future videos.

  2. salo
    4 years ago

    Hi. This streetch makes a lot of sense. Can you explain what do you mean by “tucking my pelvis under my hips or rolling my hips underneath my body”?
    Thanks, and keep the good work.

    • Spondy
      4 years ago

      No problem Salo. It really is much easier said than done and explaining in words can often cause confusion. However, a picture of me performing this movement really does not do it justice. When I mention “rolling my hips underneath by body” I am referring to doing the opposite as what is commonly called Anterior Pelvic Tilt. I stumbled across this article which does a great job explaining this in greater depth. It also shows a picture that will help you understand more. Pay attention to the photo labeled “Rotate Hip Backward = good”. This will give you a better idea of what I mean.
      Hope that helps!

  3. Andrew Marks
    3 years ago

    Justin, Daily how much time do you personally give over to warm ups and stretches? Also what other PT do you engage in?
    Interested, regards


    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Hi Andy. My personal approach really depends on how I feel. I try to be active with activities (a combo of walking, stretching, foam rolling, lifting weights, sprinting, etc) 4-6 days a week. If I am feeling great (no pain) I am more active, if I am having some slight pain or flare up I shift my focus to more foam rolling, stretching and movement oriented exercises. This particular warm up I wrote about only takes me around 7-10 minutes and its perfect for days I am feeling lazy or when I travel. I mix it in with some other movements to “get my day going”. As far as PT goes, I do not do any PT. I have had so much PT in the past and that in combination with what I learned over the years I have come to understand what my personal weaknesses are. I add a few exercsises/movements to my warmup/stretching program to make sure I stay on top of my weaknesses. This is key in my opinion…Find your own personal weaknesses, then stay on top of them. Even if it is only for a few minutes a day. I try to never spend more than 30 minutes when it comes to working out (stretching, foam rolling, lifting weights, sprinting, etc.) I am so busy that I just do not have enough time to spend more than that on working out. Again, the keys are staying active (even if it is as little as walking) and staying on top of your weaknesses….Thanks for the question Andy!

  4. Andrew Marks
    3 years ago

    Thanks Justin, your warm up routine has also helped with the stenosis also. Looking at APT also recently and there are a few exercises that folk may want to incorporate into the program, not just an interesting subject. I spend approx 30 mins each day, I feel there are def some days when the body can stretch no more and call it a day. Foam rolling the T spine has been a good one to release those stubborn knots, have heard its a big no-no to roll the lower back although many do. Keep up the good work.

    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Thanks for the information Andrew. I agree, some days are worse than others and you have to listen to your body. One thing I have been focusing on more than ever is simply moving more. Not sitting for such long periods and forcing myself to get up, walk, move around, play with my kid, etc etc. There is more and more evidence mounting on the benefits of overall movement and I am really starting to see the effects (mentally and physically). Most people think that a “workout” or “stretching routine” has to be intense, hard-core, or last for hours. However, doing something as simple as going for a long walk, stretching for 15 min or just moving around like a kid are a great way to throw something active into your day. I too find foam rolling the t-spine very beneficial and you are correct about the low back. You have to be careful rolling it due to the small amount of muscles present to protect the spine. You never want to roll the spine. I find using a lacrosse ball against the wall for my lower back muscles the best way to approach rolling the lower back. Thanks again!

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