Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Free-Tip Tuesday Volume XXXIII: Lower Back Pain

Some reports suggest that as much as 80% of the population will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives.


So what can you do to avoid becoming part of this statistic? Here are our top 5 tips for avoiding lower back pain:

1. Sit Less/Move More - Anyone want to guess what position creates the greatest intra-disc pressure on... your spine?!?! Hint: It's not standing!

2. Don't Hunch - Any position that rounds the spine forward for long period of time greatly increasing your risk of a herniated lumbar disc. This is includes performing exercises like crunches and sit-ups in high volume. Learn to maintain a neutral spine regardless of what position you put your body.

3. Strengthen Your Core Correctly - Instead of wasting time on those aforementioned crunches and sit-ups, learn to correctly perform such exercises as plank variations, bird-dogs, dead-bugs, turkish get-ups, pallof presses, ball roll-outs, and stir-the-pot just to name a few.

Additionally, most people mistakenly neglect to mention the glutes when discussing/training the 'core.' Big mistake. You'll also want to target this area by learning how to hip-hinge through bridging variations, deadlift variations, and kettlebell swings.

4. Increase your hip and thoracic spine mobility by using the drills we use here at Pittsburgh Kettlebells during warm-ups and throughout our classes. If your hips and/or thoracic spine are stiff, it's only logical that what's in the middle - your lower back - will have to pick up the slack for the loss of mobility. It may not happen right away, but just like anything else you ask to do things it wasn't designed to do, it will eventually break down.

5. Learn to Breathe - The majority of the Western population has become what we refer to as chest breathers. Breathing correctly involves use of the diaphragm in order to create intra-abdominal pressure which creates a protective 'bubble' around your spine. Ask us how to perform breathing drills like band-resisted breathing, crocodile breathing, and others which will re-teach you how to use your diaphragm and give you a bullet-proof back.

No comments:

Post a Comment