There are so many people suffering from back pain who don’t know how to find relief. Today I would like to share a few movements that heal back pain. But before I go into the movements I wanted to share a story with you. A couple of weeks ago I went hiking at Hitchcock Nature Center with my family. I’ve lived in this area for quite some time, over 25 years and I’m ashamed to admit I have never gone to the Hitchcock Nature Center before. My family and I were looking for something to do; My wife and I came up with the idea we would head up there because we had never been.
You need to go check it out because it is so incredibly cool. We had such an amazing experience! It was hard for me to believe we had such an awesome park just minutes from town. We hiked through the hills and these trails made us feel like were somewhere else. I’ve got to admit, this place is truly a hidden gem. It is really awesome to just get out in nature and be able to bond with my family. These trails winds through the Bluffs and has the most incredible views of Missouri Valley River. We had so much fun climbing the observation tower and trying to identify all the birds. Even picking out just the right walking stick in the woods.
It’s the Little Things
I was watching my wife and kids walk ahead of me and realized just how important these family outings are. They are true bonding experiences. When I was growing up my parents would take my brother, sister and I on bike rides and family camping trips. We did a lot of hiking at my grandparents’ farm and it really bonded us all together. But it seems to me a lot of us are missing this opportunity. When you stop and look around, people are sitting at dinner together but are still miles apart. Technology, which was supposed to improve our lives, seems to be isolating us.
Texting, Emails, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat…. All of those seem to be the way people choose to communicate with each other. Even when they live in the same house together. I think it’s necessary for the health of your relationships to unplug, get outside in nature together, and start doing something that is fun and challenging. This helps slow things down and gives you time to talk to each other without. It takes out all of the distractions that tend to get in the way. It helps you fully appreciate your family and value the time you have together instead of taking it all for granted. When you get up into the Bluffs you don’t have any cell phone service so it takes care of that problem. It unplugs it for you.
Simply put…It helps you in the search for a healthier life full of love, joy and peace.
Speaking of peace…..
Let’s talk about finding peace from that back pain. How about that?
A while back, we talked about using the Dragon Pose during The Hidden Secret to Fixing Back Pain: Part Eight. If you didn’t see that, I recommend going back and taking a look at how the Dragon Pose works. You can watch my video or check out my blog post.
There are movements out there that can help you heal. These movements hit key muscle groups that contribute to back issues. They also work multiple muscle groups at the same time; Which is what we call synergy. They are synergistically working together.
Not only that, they prime your nervous system which is really important. You can’t isolate strengthening exercises and expect it to alleviate your back pain. You have to address the nervous system and use movements that do it. These movements also have to be capable of creating structural change in your body. They can’t be super easy; They have to be challenging.
If you’ve been following our videos and reading my blogs, you already know how I feel about the psoas muscle. You know the psoas muscle is one of the key muscles to fixing back pain. But there are other muscle groups, which are also very important.
Your Gluteal Muscles; especially the Gluteus Maximus. The Latissimus Dorsi which is one of your back muscles. Your Lower Abdominals located below your belly button and the Thoracolumbar Fascia. This is a thick fibrous connective tissue located in the lower back where your Latissimus Dorsi is located and is extremely important.
Efficient and Productive
Now, I like to be efficient and productive. I could take the time to show you one or two movements for each muscle. One for the glutes. One for the lats. A specific movement for the lower abdominals. But what would happen is I’d be showing you about eight different movements. Then you are going to have to keep track of them. Quite honestly, it’s just overwhelming and too much. Let’s face it….. You’re too busy today to even mess with that!
I don’t want to over load you. Instead, I am going to be efficient and productive. That’s why I use movements I call multifunctional movements. These are specific movements that engage the body’s natural synergies and nervous system. They utilize multiple joint, plane, and angle sequences by working your body in the way it is designed to work in real life. Let’s face it, we’re not doing things in just one direction. We are twisting, bending, lifting, and reaching! We are moving the body with all of these different planes and engaging muscles in different actions.
These muscles all have to work together in order to stabilize your spine. It’s very complicated. So, why do we think we need one isolated exercise for each specific muscle group? That can create a long list of exercises and it just doesn’t work.
These multifunctional movements are very effective. They hit all of those muscle groups; Are simple and yet challenging!
Principles to Keep in Mind…..
- Never hold your breath. Make sure you breathe because it is extremely important. We did an episode last week on breathing. If you are unsure, go check it out HERE!
- Always keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Simply pull the belly button towards the spine and hold that position while you are doing the exercise.
- Never force into your primary pain. Muscle soreness created from performing an exercise is good. But an increase in your primary pain is not. Primary pain is the normal day to day pain you have. Not pain from a workout.
- Don’t do anything to aggravate your primary pain. A correct movement will decrease the pain, not make it worse.
- Make sure you challenge yourself. Perform this movement to the point where you feel at LEAST 40% challenged. If you’re not, its pointless and won’t do you any good.
Bird Dog Crunch
- This movement is going to work your lower abdominals, lats, thoracolumbar fascia, and glutes. It will challenge your nervous system and balance. Please be careful!
- As a perk, this will also engage your hamstrings and upper back. This is an area we call the posterior chain. It gets very weak with back pain.
- If you are not comfortable doing this on the floor, I’ll show you a modification afterwards.
- Things you might like, knee pads, pillows to kneel on, or a yoga matt. A chair if you need help getting on the floor or a stable table for the modified version.
- Start of with 20 Seconds on each side with about a 15-20 Seconds rest between each one totaling 3 Sets. You want to try and do as many reps as you can within that time frame. Just make sure you are keeping form the entire time. Form is more important than the amount of reps.
- Ultimately, you want to build up to 40 Second reps up to 3 times once a day.
- DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE!
Find any area you can work in because you’re going to get down on all fours.
Bring one arm and one leg together. They have to be opposite of each other. Make sure your eyes follow your hand. When you bring your elbow and knee together, look down.
Left Arm & Right Foot
Once your Elbow and Knee touch, kick them both straight out. Make sure your head follows the motion and look forward.
Modification Bird Dog Crunch
Make sure the table or countertop you are using is stable…. Place your hands on the table and go into a plank position. Do not have your butt sticking out; Bring it in. Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders.
Do the same movement. Bring one elbow and knee together. Make sure they are opposites! If you are having trouble with balance, you can move closer to the table. This modification is also helpful for those with knee problems.
Once your Elbow and Knee touch, extend them straight out. Make sure your head follows the motion and look forward.
There is no excuse you can’t exercise. This doesn’t take up 5 minutes of your day and works multiple muscle groups! The goal is only 40 Seconds with 3 sets once a day.
This is going to hit all of the correct muscle groups that you need to stabilize and decompress your spine quickly.
If you need some one-on-one help and are not sure what’s going on. Maybe you have had backpain for a while and need someone to take a look. Help point you in the right direction with a plan of attack….. We are now offering our new breakthrough exam session for only $49. All you need to do is follow this link.
As always, I’m going to leave you with this really cool, inspiring and thought-provoking quote from George Washington Carver –
“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.”
Until next time. Power Your Life and keep moving forward!