Lower Back Stretches: 2 to avoid & 3 to start

Sep 20, 2018

Lower back stretches are thought to help lower back pain. Many people don’t realize this is only a short-term benefit.  In my experience I’ve found that stretching muscles of the hip is more effective in reducing pain in the long-term.

Time and time again I find lower back pain is a symptom of poorly functioning hips. Addressing this problem is more effective than persisting with the following stretches.

The 2 stretches to avoid

The first are lower back stretches in their various form. For example lying on the floor and lowering your knees from side to side. Here you are stretching the muscles either side of your lumbar spine. Stretching these muscles can increase their sensitivity to becoming tighter in the future. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value but for low-back pain they aren’t useful.

The second are hamstring stretches; these muscles attached onto the bottom of your pelvis and continue down the back of your leg to the knee. These...

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Lumbar Lordosis Treatment: One of the four best stretches

Sep 13, 2018

Stretching is an essential part of a lumbar lordosis treatment session. In this blog you’re going to learn more about one of these best stretches. If you would like more details of an entire treatment you can find it by clicking here (Lordosis 3 steps process blog)

Muscles to stretch

There are 4 key muscles to stretch:

Psoas

Recite Femoris

Adductors

Illiacus

For now I would like to focus on the Psoas muscle. It starts from each of the 5 lumbar vertebrae and ends at the top and inside of your leg. One of its jobs is to left your leg/knee when standing. When this muscle becomes tight it can cause your lumbar spine to curve excessively.

Stretching the Psoas

To stretch any muscle you need to pull the start of the muscle away from the end. Please watch the video above to find out more about how to stretch this muscle correctly.

Other key areas of you lumbar lordosis treatment session

Massage and other forms of manipulation is a great way to start your session. Now your muscles...

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Core workouts for beginners: 4 ways to increase fitness & keep a healthy spine

Sep 06, 2018
 

Core workouts for beginners are easy to come by, but a good one is more difficult. I see people training their core every day and most of them are not achieving what they set out. When I speak to them, they tell me they want to increase their fitness whilst reducing the risk of injury. Unfortunately they are using mainstream workouts and exercises. To achieve what they want they must step out of mainstream fitness.

Activate many muscles

Mainstream core workouts and exercises focus on single muscles. This works against the fitness of your core, to build core fitness you must activate many muscles. This means choosing different exercises like the ones from the video above.

The difference between rehabilitation and fitness

“No pain no gain” is another mainstream fitness myth. Core workouts that increase fitness shouldn’t trigger pain. If you are experiencing pain in your back from core exercises, stop. This pain means you have a health problem and it needs...

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Back Strengthening Exercises: 4 Good, 2 Bad & 1 Ugly

Aug 30, 2018
 

Back strengthening exercise can be misunderstood using current fitness thinking. Unlike a bicep curl these back strengthening exercises don’t always back muscle exercises. This might seem a little strange at first but it will make sense when you watch my vtutorial.

In the vtutorial

  1. You’ll learn about the 4 good exercises, 2 bad and 1 ugly exercise.
  2. You’ll also learn why the 4 good back strengthening exercises are so good.
  3. You’ll learn the reasons to avoid the bad and ugly exercises.
  4. And finally you’ll 3 differences between good and bad exercises.

Back strength and low-back pain

Many people still use the old-school thought that back muscles need to be stronger to overcome low-back pain. This isn’t the case because low-back pain can be a symptom of a poorly functioning core. In this situation the last thing your body wants is to strengthen its back muscles.

Indirect back strengthening exercises

A part of overcoming low-back pain is rebuilding you...

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Lumbar Lordosis: Do you have a healthy spinal posture?

Aug 23, 2018
 

Lumbar Lordosis is natural; it helps give your spine its natural S-shape. When this natural S curve becomes exaggerated it becomes the condition Lordosis. This can also affect your neck but for the purposes of this blog I want to talk about lumbar Lordosis.

In the video above I’ll explain what is the natural curve and what is exaggerated.

Benefits of your natural S-Curve

That S shape of your lumbar spine has many benefits;

  1. Absorbs shock from the lower body
  2. Helps maintain the natural S shape of your upper spine
  3. Stabilises the vertebrae above

How to check for possible Lordosis

A simple way to check for exaggerated lumbar Lordosis is to lie on a flat surface and slide your hand on your lower back. If you have a lot of space between your hand and spine, does your abdomen also stick out? However this space could also be created due to muscle bulk of the gluteal group.

When to check with a doctor?

If the lordotic curve doesn’t corrects itself when you bend forward as if to...

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Abs Workout: The back breaking reality of sit-ups and crunches

Aug 16, 2018
 

An abs workout is possibly the most utilised workout in fitness. I’ve travelled the UK teaching fitness; the members of gyms are doing them, the PT’s in the gym as well and people on my course have endless questions about why they shouldn’t.

Although they are popular an abs workout is a poor choice of workout. For two fundamental reasons; they over stress the spine, which could lead to injury. While your muscles seem stronger your core isn’t. This subject is normally met with common questions…

Is a strong muscle the same as a strong core?

Your core performs best as a whole unit. Many people assume by training each muscle on its own their core get stronger. A fully fit core is greater than the sum of its parts. To build a core like this we train it as a whole.

What do I do instead?

Replace your abs workout with a core workout made from Core Exercises. These exercise begin to move you away from single muscles and more into areas of the core and...

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Posture Workout: The 4 parts to your workout

Aug 09, 2018
 

A posture workout is important for many people. Some people want one and many people need one. The people that want one specifically want to improve their posture. The many people that need one tend to be training for a fitness goal.

Importance of good posture

It helps better muscle function, your movement becomes more streamlined and you reduce risk of injury. As you get older there is a natural wear and tear to your joints and tissues. Good posture helps slow this process.

Strengthening & Stretching

A mainstream posture workout will follow these two components but as you'll find out by watching the tutorial above they are limited. I know many strong people that have poor posture; they don’t need to get any stronger. They will definitely need to stretch but you can't stretch a stiff tissue.

My 4 parts to make posture workout

The following for parts is what I recommend to include in your posture workout. You can find out more details by watching the tutorial above.

  • Foam...
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Core Exercises: What are the best ones?

Aug 02, 2018
 

Many exercises are called core exercises but so few actually are. Sit-ups, crunches, twists and back extensions all get called core exercises but they are actually individual muscle exercises. To be called a core exercise they have to do more than work one muscle.

Change what you think core exercises are

A core exercise works many muscles and keep your spine healthier. They also Bring the muscles of your core together into one unit. Sit ups, crunches, twists and back extensions split to core into muscles. You would think these individual exercises would bring your core together but it’s not the case. If you want to find out why please watch the video above.

There are different types

Core exercises that bring your muscles together into one unit are:

  1. Static core exercises
  2. Dynamic core exercises
  3. Movements

These three categories work together to bring your torso and limbs together into one body. If you want to find out what they are Watch the video above.

They progress naturally...

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Back Pain Treatment: How to overcome low-back pain

Jul 23, 2018
 

Finding a back pain treatment that works for you is the biggest part of your rehabilitation. Many therapists and coaches like to talk about how specific your rehabilitation needs to be. This has a lot of truth but I’ve found there are also common threads in back pain treatment.

Since 2008 I’ve been working with people with low back pain and the more people I worked with the more these common threads came up. They have become the foundation of my rehabilitation method. But first...

Do you need surgery?

If you've been told you need surgery don’t dismiss it straightaway just put it to one side for the time being. Surgery has its place in back pain treatment but I find it’s for the very few. Take yourself through this rehabilitation method and see if it makes you better. If it does put the idea of surgery at the back of your mind.

My rehabilitation method

  • Rest
  • Move
  • Pain triggers
  • Massage
  • Stretch
  • Exercise

At first you'll work through these one at a time but as...

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Low back pain treatment: Trigger points

Jul 13, 2018
 

Low back pain treatment can be simple is you know the cause of the pain. When I work with people with lower back pain I have to find the cause of problem first.

One of the common causes I find are trigger points in the hip. These aren’t necessarily where you feel the pain but it radiates there. As you relax the trigger point the pain reduces without any treatment to the lower back itself.

Your low back pain treatment may also need stretching and exercise to work with treating these trigger points.

  1. Massage/ foam rolling to relax the trigger point
  2. Stretching to bring greater length and flexibility to the muscle
  3. Exercise to retrain your body to use muscles correctly as you move

These three steps get your hips and lower back working together. They help the right muscles work at the right time so they don’t fatigue and cause trigger points.

If you want a low back pain treatment program I have put together a 12-week online course. It uses these three steps to reduce low back...

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