Movement is the best treatment for low back pain and recovery from discectomy.
4th and final core exercise in our top 4...
If you are a client of mine you probably just felt a shudder down your spine...the beloved crawling pattern. You either love it or you hate it!
I personally love it as it is an awesome drill for:
- core stability
- core function
- connecting left & right brain
- getting back to basics
- having fun
- mental stimulation
It also follows on nicely from the previous mentioned BIRD DOG drill, the crawling precursor.
The video demonstrates the basic crawling pattern, there are many other versions of crawling. It is a challenge to fight gravity and this is required of us on a daily basis, so why not try this cheeky little drill yourself and see what you think...feel free to comment below and share your thoughts or experiences.
3rd core exercise in our top 4...
Another great core activation drill. Awesome for improving Multifidus function; neck & shoulder stability as well as overall core stability.
For full explanation of the exercise please visit "stability exercises" in our exercise library.
If you found this information (or any info on this page) useful, please share.
2nd core exercise in our top Four...
This is an awesome drill for core activation. The video pretty much says it all. I use this daily with clients and it's a great follow on exercise from the previous breathing drill. Also, don't forget to BREATHE throughout this drill! Exhale as your leg is lowering. Holding your breath is a cheat ;-)
Give it a go :-)
Four of my top core exercises everyone should make a part of their exercise regime...
First up is...
The first being BREATHING:
Before you laugh, yes, I did say breathing!
Simple right? Not really. Most of us (myself being a culprit at times) are dysfunctional breathers, this being due to stress; injury; emotional issues; poor health etc. We breathe around 20,000+ breaths per day, that is a lot of opportunity for dysfunction.
We use our core muscles for breathing; simplified our diaphragm & pelvic floor contract together on the inhale to create Intra Abdominal Pressure (IAP), this stabilises our spine & we recruit our remaining core muscles on the exhale.
The dysfunction comes in when we either hold in our stomachs for long periods (females being biggest culprits) or start taking shallower breaths. This makes it extremely hard for normal functional breathing and requires us to recruit our neck and chest muscles with every breath.
To learn how to work on your breathing keep reading. I would highly recommend ANYONE with lower back pain to focus on their breathing especially but really EVERYONE should be doing it...
Visit our exercise library and have a read through our Stability Exercises the first 3 exercises that come up which are about BREATHING.
So many of my clients have issues with being able to pronate (flat arch) their feet, either one foot or both feet. This is usually due to the misconception that pronation is BAD. Pronation is NOT bad, as long as you are able to control the pronation and move from supination (high arch) to pronation and back to supination. The problem comes when you are STUCK in either pronation or supination. Then there is work to be done.
Often the problem of being stuck in pronation results in being given orthotics to wear. The problem I have with this is that now instead of being STUCK in pronation, you will be STUCK in supination due to the orthotics, neither which are useful to you.
The best way to deal with feet that are STUCK is to reconnect with them and put them through the ranges they were designed to achieve, slowly reminding the brain that it can access these ranges of movement.
The inability to pronate or supinate can have massive negative effects further up the kinetic chain. You definitely want to get assessed and make sure your feet are propelling you through life and not slowing you down!
Hanging is a great way to achieve healthy shoulders, I've noticed a massive improvement in my own shoulder/neck region where I have a history of injury. Over the past few months I have incorporated a mixture of passive; active and dynamic hanging into my training along with spending a lot more time on the rings working pullups; front & back lever regressions and lat activations. Not only has my once often rigid neck/shoulder region softened up but my grip strength has become symmetrical and increased in strength. My grip strength used to be about 36kg on my Right and 32kg on my Left (side of old injury and non-dominant side) and now is an equal 40kg each side.
You don't always have to do endless amounts of traditional external and internal rotator resisted exercises to achieve strong shoulders...in fact, if this is all you are doing you may need to find yourself another practitioner. Your shoulders need to be ready for life and in life we move in many ways and put our shoulders under all sorts of stresses and loads. You need to ensure you have optimum mobility and back this up with a good foundation of reactive stability in order to keep your shoulders healthy in the long term.
My training has also included plenty handstand practice (working my line against the wall); Turkish Get Ups - these too have improved massively, 6 months ago 8kg was the max I felt comfortable with on my Left and now I am an equal 14kg for at least 1-2reps comfortably and the Left feels just as strong as the RIght. Various other cable & kettlebell stabilisation and strength exercises have also formed part of my training.
For a more in depth read about hanging click on this link to Ido Portal's blog on hanging.
Of course, if you have a shoulder injury or have limitations in your shoulders please get assessed first before jumping into anything new.
Don't sacrifice your body for fashion
It is no secret that excessive use of high heels will lead to not only foot and lower leg conditions but it will have a negative impact throughout the whole body. Walking in high heels shifts the natural posture of your spine and creates an increased lumbar lordosis (natural curve in the lower back). It also shifts excess weight into the knees and does not allow your calf muscles to elongate fully back to their natural length, therefore creating a shortened position of the calf muscles over time. Not to mention the changes in the feet from being scrunched and jammed into tiny shoes that are usually quite narrow towards the forefoot.
More and more celebrities and ladies alike are moving towards flat shoes to save their overall health. Read more about it here. Just disregard the part in the article where Doctors suggest a one or two inch heel. This is rubbish and makes no sense!
I personally cannot remember the last time I found it necessary to put a pair of heels on.
Barefoot is how I spend most of my time these days. I am lucky enough to work in my own studio space where myself and all my clients remove their shoes as they walk in. The best footwear you can have is none at all.
If you are looking to wean yourself off the heels and try to return yourself to a more natural state of being then here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:
1. Spend more time barefoot
2. Invest in some comfortable flat footwear that will compliment your usual attire
3. Spend time every day rolling out your feet...instructions can be found here
4. Find confidence in who you are without feeling you need heels to achieve this
5. Date a shorter guy ;-p
If you need help with your posture or suffer from foot or leg pain, whether or not you are a high heel victim, then we can assess you and design a specific programme that you can carry out at home to move you out of pain.