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Is It Possible You Should Slouch More?

You’re at work. Your back is killing you. You’re shifting in your chair to try to stay as upright as possible, but it actually kind of hurts.

But, you’ve been told to sit upright, so it must be better for you, right?

“Sit up straight.” “Pull your shoulders back.” “Don’t slouch.”

Are these thoughts that you tell yourself? When you’re sitting at your desk chair? Or while driving? Or even just sitting at the dinner table?

So many of my clients come to me with back pain, and as soon as I get them on a video call, I can see immediately one of the major contributing factors to their pain.

In an honest attempt to protect their spine, they have actually begun to make the issue worse!

It’s not their fault. I used to do the same thing! We’ve been told these things all of our life!

After all, slouching doesn’t look very professional in school or in a meeting.

Did you know that excessively sitting upright can actually be just as bad for you as excessively slouching? Yup, turns out there literally is no research that shows a direct correlation between slouching and low back pain. Crazy, right? I know. I thought the same thing.

That’s why with certain clients, based on what we observe after scheduling a video consultation (click here to schedule your complimentary video consult!), I often prescribe this exercise:

Still confused? Because you’ve been told the spine should always be kept straight?

The body simply loves movement VARIABILITY. That’s why the body doesn’t respond well to lots of sitting OR lots of standing. Neither is inherently bad, but it’s the lack of movement and the over-abundance of the same posture.

I’ll even let you in on a little secret. This fundamental principle which I teach my clients in my programs is:

The best posture is the posture that changes most often.

Let me give you a little analogy to help make sense of this craziness. If I were to tell you to hold a bicep curl all day long, do you think you would get stronger? Or at some point, would your muscles actually fatigue and get weak and tight? Yeahhhh… I think you know the answer ?

The same goes for our spine! When we hold our spine straight all the time, we are essentially doing a plank all day long. No wonder our back ends up feeling tight and weak! It needs a rest!

This is counterintuitive, I know. But if you’ve ever experienced back pain, you’ve probably noticed that pulling your knees into your chest feels amazingly good.

Ain’t no coincidence! Want to know why? Because when you pull your knees into your chest, your back is rounding and finally getting the rest it wants so badly!

If you’re curious to better understand how your body’s unique movements/postures are impacting your pain, your health and your fitness, send me an email! Just simply ask any question you may have and I am happy to answer it for you!

You can also click here to schedule a 60-Minute Video Call where we can take a look at what’s going on with your body specifically to determine some concrete actions you can implement RIGHT away to start alleviating your pain.


To learn more about Melanie Daly and her personal training, please visit her website: http://www.backpainpersonaltrainer.com/

Best Exercises to Get Started on Eliminating Back Pain

If you have back pain, the fear of exacerbating your pain further is real. So you stop moving. But what about all of the things you used to love to do? Even just walking, or getting into the car, or lying down for bed without pain?

I’ve been there. You have to start somewhere. Living with pain, and living unable to do the things you love is not an option.

So, here are some places to start. The key is to start re-introducing certain movements to your body, and to start reawakening parts of your body that haven’t moved for a long time. Your body is likely experiencing pain due to muscular imbalances, joint dysfunctions and an overall lack of high quality movement.

But, like I discussed in my Facebook Live video the other day, we can’t solely treat the symptom – back pain. Yes, there are issues going on in the back muscles & relevant joints, but we must address the rest of the body. Everything in our body is connected – it is referred to as the kinetic chain. In fact, we really are one muscle. So, in order to alleviate pain & rebuild strength to get you back on track, we must address the areas of the body that are typically under lots of distress.

Here are 5 exercises to start taking care of the parts of your body that are feeling quite neglected and are likely contributing to and/or exacerbating your back pain:

Pelvic Tilt – It is critical to learn to isolate this part of your body. If the pelvis is shifted out of alignment, or immobile, this causes issues with the hips, the low back, the hamstrings, and basically every part of your body. TIP: Incorporate with diaphragmatic breathing as shown in the video to really get those core muscles firing up!

Shoulder Drivers – We must also build stability & mobility in the shoulder joints. If these aren’t functioning properly, then certain muscles in your shoulders & back will try to take on work they weren’t designed for. Typically, our low back likes to take on the brunt of the work, instead of the shoulders. TIP: During this exercise, be sure to focus on driving the shoulder blade straight back, without any lifting of the shoulder or any bending at the elbow. Performing up against a wall, for sensory feedback on the shoulder blade, is also very helpful.

Tennis Ball Trigger Point Release – Most people’s hips are extremely tight from sitting at a desk, sitting on the couch, sitting in a car, etc. Using a tennis ball as a trigger point release is a great way to provide much needed “information” to the hips that they haven’t been getting due to their restricted movement. This tends to open them right up, consequently releasing the SI joint & low back.

Hip Drivers – As a consequence of our tight hip flexors, the muscles on the other side of our rear ends, our glutes, tend to “shut off”. The tight front of our hips limits proper muscle activation in the back of our hips. This one is great to work on both stretching the front of the hips and activating the back of the hips.

Child’s Pose Reach – This exercise also works on shoulder mobility but is really powerful because it locks the low back in place so there is no way you can compensate using the low back! This will completely take pressure off of the low back and restore function to the shoulder so that your body can start working optimally again! TIP: It is critical to avoid arching the low back, as explained in the video.

Try performing these exercises twice a day – morning and evening – for one week.

You should already start to feel some relief!

Please leave any comments with questions/concerns! Good luck!


To learn more about Melanie Daly and her personal training, please visit her website: http://www.backpainpersonaltrainer.com/

 

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