Screw Back Pain - 5 Must Do Steps
A lot of things in life are a freakin pain in my neck, like “dry clean only” garments (give me a break) or people leisurely cruising in the passing lane (drive much??).
But it seems like back pain is a bigger problem for many of my clients. So I put together a quick list of 5 things that you should be doing to alleviate or avoid back problems...and as you'll find out many many other chronic ailments
1. Work on Mobility in your Hips. Prolonged sitting over weeks, months or years tighten the iliofemoral ligaments that stabilize the back, reducing the natural movement of the hip joints. This causes inflammation, strain and pain to the muscles in your back. Furthermore, the loss of hip motion can even cause your pelvis to tilt.
Try the hip mobilizing moves I do on leg day before and after my workout - leg swings forward and back - side to side leg swings - leg circles - yoga squat - cross legged stretch - hurdler stretch.
Check out the exercises HERE.
... But stretching won’t help unless you learn how to use the glutes.
2. Train your Glutes. Yep I talk about glutes, it seems in most of my blogs, because a well developed backside is sexy and confidence building...but it is also extremely crucial to keeping the body healthy and pain free.
Inhibited glutes or Sleeping Ass Syndrome forces the lower back to overcompensate. Glutes tend to be inactive in many women. Focus on glute isolating moves to reactive them daily.
Inhibited glutes can also be the root cause of many chronic pains such as knee pain, locked ankles or chronic ankle sprains. plantar fasciitis, shoulder decreased motion or pain, tight psoas muscles, groin or hamstring pulls, even tension headaches.
3. Train your Core. When you have a weak, unstable and imbalanced core your back can be pulled into movements that it isn’t equipped to handle. Core referring to everything the stabilizes the spine.
Do moves like different variations of planks (contract your abs and glutes hard, your whole body really), and weighted carries like suitcase and farmer's walks that require you to brace your midsection and minimize movement in the hips.
4. Learn to Move Properly. How you perform daily activities can reduce the risk of recurring back pain. You know the old “bend at the knees, not at the hip?” Yep that’s actually pretty freakin important. The way you twist and turn, bend and snap;) are all important for keeping your back healthy. Be intentional in your movements in and outside of the gym.
5. Get Strong. I’m all about women getting stronger, lifting big. I mean glute isolation is great for waking up sleepy muscles and building shape and size, but you need full body moves to build real strength and function.
Exercises like the goblet squats and deadlifts work the body as a unit - the way it is meant to move. These can be tougher moves to master so you might want to get some instruction from a professional.
Oh yeah and simply drinking more water could help! It might sound silly, but the honest truth is water cushions and lubricates our joints. Drinking more has been shown to help with back pain.
Stay Strong Sexy and Sculpted,