Low back tightness is a common issue for many people that work sedentary jobs and are inactive. New athletes and clients that come to Genesis almost always mention that they have been having low back tightness. This is why I program soft tissue release and hip mobility drills into every warm-up.
So why do I attack the hips when the pain is in the low back? The answer can be seen through an explanation of the Joint-by-Joint theory created by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook. Boyle and Cook maintain that some joints require more stability while other joints require more mobility. The joints that require more mobility and stability alternate moving up the kinetic chain.
When an individual is immobile in a joint that needs to be mobile, movement is forced into the joint that should be stable thus hindering technique and causing pain.
For example if an athlete is performing a deadlift and they have tight hips the motion that should be occurring at the hips is occurring at the lumbar spine which should be stable. This creates low back problems, poor movement, and limited strength potential.
Mobility drills aimed at improving the movement quality of the hips will generally help the low back pain experienced by individuals that are forcing movement into their lumbar spine.