My low back has been hurting lately (a LOT!) and the reason was baffling me; "must be my bed" or "must have been that exercise I did one million reps of" or...I had all these external reasons in my head for the pain and the reality was that my pain was coming from an internal issue: muscle imbalances.
To some degree, we ALL have levels of muscle imbalances. Some more than others, but they are there! These imbalances can cause muscle fatigue and pain. This has to do with so much of our attention placed on our "movement muscles" and less attention on our "stabilizing muscles". We, more often than not, exercise based on building strength and power; only to then neglect the flexibility our other muscles need to keep our bodies in alignment.
With the help of some very smart physical therapists (you know who you are!), it was assessed that my trunk and lower body movement muscles: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and abdominals are all just fine! It's the muscles which stabilize the hips and spine which are firing too much, specifically, my hip flexors. These muscles are actually tight in MOST of us and some attention needs to be paid to release the hold they have on the low back. YOUR take-away? In your workouts, get your power in, get your strength in and get your speed in, THEN...release those poor muscles trying to keep everything stable. They need some love too!