Health Tip – Back Health

Excessive sitting can bring about many issues related to back health. Continuous flexionyoung male holding his back in pain of your lumbar spine can lead to disc delamination which is where the outer collagen rings of the lumbar discs start to wear away. To help prevent this try to stand up every 20 – 30 minutes and walk around. The core musculature that supports your lower back shuts down after about 20 minutes of sitting, and moving around reactivates it. Keep your back healthy!

Abdominal Workout

Hey there!  If you’ve been following my Home Workout of the Week blog, you’ll notice that I incorporate a lot of core work in to my routines.  This week however, I’m going to show you an abdominal only workout that you can do on an off day or whenever you’re in a time crunch and want to just get a quick ab workout in to tighten up the core.

manwomanTraining your core is very important as balance, posture, and back health have been linked to core health and your core is the foundation for all body movements whether you’re walking, running, playing sports, or carrying heavy objects.

Many people are sitting at a desk all day at work, then in their vehicles, and then at home on the couch without their core muscles engaged.  An increasing sedentary lifestyle with no core involvement leads to many problems with back pain most likely at the top of the list.  You can start to change this with something as little as sitting up straight and engaging your core by flexing your abdominals.  To further strengthen your core, start incorporating core specific exercises in to your workout routine.

Your core is the most important in my opinion so give this Abdominal Workout a try and you’ll be on your way to improving your posture, balance, exercise and sport performance, and prevent back pain!

Abdominal Workout

1 set of each exercise with little to no rest between

One Arm Elbow Out Row

This week I would like to show you a variation of the dumbbell row for the Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called the One Arm Elbow Out Row and this exercise will target your upper and middle back as well as your rear shoulders.  If you sit at a desk for most of the day there is a tendency over time to hunch your shoulders forward and your posture goes out the window.  Adding this exercise to your routine will go a long way in helping you recover your posture by bringing those shoulders back to a natural position.

Let’s take a look at how to do the One Arm Elbow Out Row properly.  Arm position is everything in this exercise as a simple shift in arm position will change which muscles you are working.

  • step your right foot back and lean forward resting your elbow on your left knee
  • keep your back straight and your torso as parallel to the floor as you can (don’t round your lower back)
  • let the dumbbell hang at your side with your palm facing behind you
  • as you pull the dumbbell up, flare your elbow out to the side keeping it in line with your upper back
  • make sure you are retracting your shoulder blade first then following through with the rest of your arm.  This will ensure that you are engaging your back muscles properly for optimal contraction.
  • exhale as your pull the weight up and inhale as you lower it back down
  • perform 8 to 15 repetitions depending on your goals then switch arms and foot position to complete the set

So there you have the One Arm Elbow Out Row.  This is a great upper back/rear shoulder exercise to add in to your upper body or full body routine and having a strong back helps your posture, it helps prevent debilitating back injuries, and generally makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable.  So take care of your back with good strengthening exercises and proper form!