7 ways to begin injury proofing your lower backĀ 

Nov 28, 2019
 

When it comes to injury, your lower back is particularly vulnerable due to the number of moving parts in the area and the amount of weight it has to bear. If you’ve ever experienced lower back pain, you’ll know how debilitating it can be. That’s why protection is the name of the game. By learning more about the way you move and putting the right habits in place, you’ll be able to safeguard the health of your back for a long and active future.

In the above tutorial, I share the top seven things I recommend you start doing immediately to protect your lower back and guard against pain. In summary: 

1. Train movement over muscle 

When you head to the gym for a workout, I’ll bet many of the activities you include in your session are about training your muscles to make them bigger and stronger. Your lower back will be better served if you turn this on its head and start training or practising movements instead. This may not feel like traditional...

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Lordosis stretch to help loosen tight hip flexors

Nov 14, 2019
 

A good lordosis stretch should lengthen the hip flexors, here is a good one to use that gets more than one of the hip flexors. Lordosis in an exaggerated curve in the lumbar (lower) part of the spine. It happens because the some of the muscle of your hip become tight and stiff. By using the right lordosis stretch can help a lot and with the right exercise you can begin to reduce how tight and stiff these muscles are.

Watch the video for correct technique points

Making sure you do this lordosis stretch is key a factor when correcting lordosis. There are many muscles around your hip that it affect and a change in posture can change the muscle that is being stretched. In a video before this one you learnt a stretch that is very similar. By lifting the foot from the floor you change the muscle that is being stretched.

How hard should I stretch?

As you do this lordosis stretch make sure you feel the stretch and not to the point that you are in lots of pain. Feeling too much pain when you...

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What's your opinion of non-specific low back pain? Dr Stuart McGill

Oct 30, 2019
 

The niggling lower back twinge or pain is often difficult for many health professionals to not only diagnose, but to also recommend an exercise regime that will help alleviate the pain and get to the root cause of the issue.

These types of back pain issues are sometimes referred to as non specific low back pain, but what does that term actually mean? In order to try and find an answer, the question was posed to Dr Stuart McGill, who has some very interesting views and rejects the “non specific” part of this description.

He says, ”If you have ever been told that you have non specific low back pain, then it is my opinion that there is no such thing, that is, unless you have already undergone a thorough assessment, that has involved provocative testing. By provocative testing, I really mean testing that involves the finding of motions, postures and loads that have actually caused the pain and contribute to make it feel worse. Once a good part of the cause has been...

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How do I fix spondylolythesis and what are good exercises?

Oct 17, 2019
 

Spondylolythesis, a condition that people tend to ask me about fairly regularly, occurs when one of the vertebrae in the spine slips out of alignment causing pain that worsens with movement.  

I talked about the condition and what you can expect to achieve through exercise in the blog What is spondylolisthesis and what should your goal for exercise be?  In this tutorial I take it a step further looking at more specific stretches and exercises that could help the condition.

How to ‘fix’ spondylolythesis?

I’m a personal trainer, so I’m not going to talk about surgical options here, instead I want to focus on exercise. Can exercise fix spondylolythesis? The answer is it’s not likely to fix it, but it can have massive benefits for the sufferer. Exercise won’t realign the vertebrae, but the right exercises can help to build muscles to reduce stress on the spine and protect and support it, helping to reduce pain. 

You may even find...

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What is spondylolisthesis and what should your goal for exercise be?

Oct 03, 2019
 

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the spine. It occurs when one of the vertebrae
slips out of alignment and rests on the bone, or disc, below it. It usually impacts the
base of the spine, but the issue can occur further up. The condition may be caused
by damage through trauma or fracture, or simply by genetics.


Spondylolisthesis can cause moderate to severe pain and may affect movement or
quality of life. The good news is that the condition is often treatable, and exercise
can help.


Should you exercise with spondylolisthesis?


Suffering with spondylolisthesis shouldn’t have to stop you doing anything you
want to do, as long as you’re taking care. It is not just about the types of exercises
you should or shouldn’t do, it’s about how you go about those exercises and being
mindful of what you’re trying to get out of them.


What should your goal for exercise be?


Before you rush off to do the high intensity workout, it’s important...

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How much exercise should you be doing with Scoliosis?

Sep 19, 2019
 

Scoliosis is a curve of the spine, presenting as either a single, ‘c’, curve or double, ‘s’, curve. Scoliosis can impact people in different ways depending on which part of the backbone, or spine, is affected.

This spinal curve can occur at any age and in some sufferers can cause severe pain, particularly if the rib cage becomes twisted causing breathing difficulties, or where muscles are tight.

Should I exercise with Scoliosis?

If you have Scoliosis you may feel that you can’t or shouldn’t exercise. Perhaps because you’re worried it will hurt or you’ll cause further damage.

And while this could be true for traditional fitness exercises, there are therapeutic exercises – those that focus on rehabilitation - that could help to improve your symptoms as long as they’re carried out in the right way.

I often find that those who come to me with Scoliosis are nervous of exercise and, where the condition has occurred late on, feel...

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7 Ways To Begin Injury Proofing your Lower Back

Sep 05, 2019
 

Do you suffer from lower back pain? Or have you in the past? Chances are if it’s the latter you won’t be in a hurry to repeat the experience.

 

Debilitating and frustrating in equal measure, low back pain can impact your everyday and affect your sleep too, leaving you feeling miserable and exhausted.

 

The good news is it’s never too late to put in place a few good habits to protect your spine, strengthen the muscles around it and ultimately reduce the chances you’ll pick up a lower back injury.

 

In the video above you’ll find seven ideas that you can put into place straight away – so what are you waiting for?

 

Build resilience to prevent injury from everyday movements

 

You may be conscious about hurting your back when you’re playing a sport or working out, but often you’ll find it’s the ‘normal’ movements like bending to pick up a Lego brick or twisting awkwardly to get into the car, that...

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Improve your spine health by activating your glutei muscles

Aug 23, 2019
 

Your glutes are the big muscles of your hip, bottom and lower back - they’re the ones
you feel when you do a deep squat. And they are really important when it comes to
keeping your spine healthy. When working to their full potential, your glutes can
carry a lot of the load that would otherwise fall to your lower back meaning less risk
of injury to your spine or damage to the smaller back muscles.

The relationship between glutes and back pain
By making sure your glutes are working hard you can reduce stress and tension on
your lower back.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s not necessarily!


Many people have something called gluteal amnesia meaning the glutes shut off
allowing other muscles to do all the work instead. This means that your spine may
not getting the protection it needs from the surrounding muscles day to day as you
move around. But worse than this, for many people, even when they are using the
correct exercise to build core strength and stability and reduce back pain,...

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Spine Health and the importance of exercise

Aug 08, 2019
 

People often don’t appreciate how important exercise is for the spine both in terms of building strength and increasing resilience. Incorporating simple stretches and movements into your day is a great habit to get into whether you currently suffer with lower back pain, you have in the past or you just want to protect yourself against future problems.

But the methods I show you in the video above don’t concentrate on the traditional fitness exercises you might normally expect. Instead we’ll look at three ways in which exercise can help to support your spine both now and in the future:

  1. Transferable skills
  2. Building resilience
  3. Activating the glute muscles

Back and spine strengthening exercises

If you suffer from a weakness in your spine, traditional exercise can cause stress to build up, creating pain or discomfort when undertaking certain movements. By instead concentrating on specific exercises that have been designed to support the spine you’ll be able to...

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How to improve your hip flexibility

Jul 25, 2019
 

Hip flexibility is important for low back pain, Lordosis and building core strength & stability. It helps your body function properly and can reduce the risk of muscle imbalances and pain. Knowing how to improve your hip flexibility is therefore a key part of keeping your joints healthy.

The importance of flexible hips

For this blog I’m going to focus on its benefits for posture particularly, Lordosis.

  1. Many tight muscles are protecting an unstable joint. In order to improve Lordosis, stretching is essential but together with the right exercises to stabilise the hip and spine.
  2. If the muscles of your hips are stiff and tight they don’t absorb shock very well. This can make simple tasks like walking and running detrimental to your joint health. Not because they are bad in and of themselves but because they cause more shock.
  3. As your joints become more stable and they are able to absorb more shock this reduces pressure on your low back and allows your lumbar spine to...
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