At some point you are going to deal some sort of an injury. Maybe you are already have. Maybe you are dealing with something right now.
I am going to walk you through some different ideas as you approach different scenarios or pain and rehabbing injuries.
There are going to be 6 parts to this post, with each part having its own video.
General guidelines for rehabbing injuries.
Your post-surgery home exercise program.
The idea of layers. Fixing one problem often reveals another one.
Modify your approach to sets and reps.
You are thinking about starting an exercise program. You are ready. You are motivated and you are going to dominate and accomplish all of your goals. How do you know what exercises to start with?
Is it some random drawing by throwing exercises in a hat and pulling them out? Do you hit up the internet and find the latest and greatest to follow? Do you turn to Instagram and the girl with the painted-on yoga pants or the guy-that-never-seems-to-wear-a-shirt-in-any-video?
Many of us know someone who seems to be a little more clumsy. Maybe they trip a lot, stumble often and sometimes even fall. Maybe I am describing you.
Occasionally losing your balance or stumbling here or there is not a balance problem.
Vertigo is a true balance disorder. Issues that involve the vestibular system (which is a fascinating system) are true balance disorders. These can be triggered by head, neck and eye movements and are often associated with nausea, dizziness and true loss of balance (LOB) which often results in a fall.
Balance is a difficult thing to quantify since it involves many systems and many variables. Your balance is maintained by a dynamic interplay between three systems in the body. In the ideal world, all three systems would work harmoniously together.
These ideas work best for chronic shoulder pain. If you recently hurt your shoulder, I would not start messing with these strategies unless you have been evaluated and they are indicated for your rehab.
All of the strategies will have multiple videos to help guide you through the process. These are strategies I have used with both clients and patients to not just manage but ultimately resolve their shoulder pain.
I am going to go over each in more detail, but the 5 strategies are:
Thoracic mobility - if the t-spine lacks mobility the shoulder and neck try to compensate.
Assisted range of motion (ROM) - if your ROM is limited, use something to help assess and improve your ability to move the shoulder and arm.
Supine exercises - this position helps utilize improved thoracic mobility, supports the body and makes controlling shoulder movements easier.
Rows - rows are shoulder-friendly and most people do not do enough of them - especially those who have shoulder pain.
Isometrics - learning how you can engage the muscles around the shoulder is key to managing pain. These are way harder than they look.
At some point in your life you are going to deal with an injury. If you are lucky, it will be minor and not limit you much at all.
The other side of that coin is if you get injured regularly and just seem to find ways to hurt yourself as if it was your part-time job. It’s like you have one of those rain clouds following you around everywhere.
So, should you eat differently when you are recovering from an injury? Possibly. I guess differently depends on where you are starting from.
Who knows? Maybe changing how you eat while you are recovering can be the thing that jump starts you changing your eating behaviors and habits for good.
What we eat, when we eat, how we eat, how we prepare our food and it what environment we eat our food in all influence the quality of the food we consume and how our bodies can use it.
You would probably agree that having a plan and doing a little prep is necessary to avoid diving face first into the wrong type of foods. But, how do you get the prep in with work, family, school and all the other things that require your time and pull you away from prepping food?
It isn’t easy, but it is doable.
Low back pain (LBP) is common. Way too common. Treating it is difficult as there are often many factors contributing to your pain. The strategies I am going to share are meant to improve your situation. At worst, they should do nothing, meaning they will not make it worse.
All of the strategies will have multiple videos to help guide you through the process. These are strategies I have used with both clients and patients to not just manage, but ultimately resolve their LBP.
I am going to go over each in more detail, but the 5 strategies are:
Supine deloading - I will also share how to deload in sitting and standing
Core stabilization - it’s not so much what you do but HOW you do it
Glute exercises - in general, when the glutes are strong there are less issues with the knees and low back
Hip mobility - when the hips are tight, there tends to be more movement through the low back to compensate
Hip hinge - poor awareness and understanding of how to properly bend at the hips will routinely flare up the back
Low back tightness is common. Feeling some tightness in the low back is not uncommon. The reasons why the back can be tight are numerous. Most do not even involve the low back itself.
Other problems in the body (weakness, tightness and poor mechanics when moving) tend to manifest as low back pain. Sneaky sneaky.
Because of this, stretching the low back directly is often not the solution.
Don’t just start running. At some juncture, people realize they need to exercise. Or maybe they used to and they want to get back into it. They grab their favorite shoes and go for a run. Sounds harmless, right?
Don’t just start jumping. Maybe you were never much of a runner. You decide to join a gym. Or maybe you already belong to a gym but visit it “occasionally”. You think about taking some strength training class the gym offers.
It’s day one and you are squatting, lunging, pushuping and jumping more than you have in months. You feel like a dish rag when you are done. You are on your way, right?
Decreased shoulder range of motion.
Decreased neck range of motion.
Numbness and/or tingling in the arm or hand.
Any of these issues can have an origin within your thoracic spine. In case you are not familiar, the thoracic spine is that fancy piece of real estate between the neck and the low back.
LBP is complex. No one thing is going to resolve your back pain so stop looking for it. If you truly want to resolve your pain, you will have to tackle this on multiple levels. This means you will have to:
Let’s keep the holiday train rolling along. In Part 1, we discussed just getting moving more using dynamic warm-ups.
In Part 2, we are going to look at a bunch of different stretches that you can utilize to avoid ending up a complete ball of stress and knots come January.
Back on Thanksgiving morning, I started sharing different ways to help get people through the holiday season without having to give up exercise.
I even suggested that it is NOT a crazy thought to begin doing some extra activity or exercise during this time of year.
Understanding that many people would view that as crazy advice, I gave examples of things you can do.
If you have ever talked to someone about nutrition or anything food-related, meal prep (preparing food ahead of time) is something you have probably heard, and maybe even tried.
I am not going to lie, meal prep is kind of a big deal and a big piece of figuring out how to eat better consistently.
Some people shot down the idea immediately with something like, “I don’t have time to do that.”
Or maybe they do not know where to start or how to cook that well.
Either way, I am going to give you a real-world example of how it works and a cool recipe that you can make after you prep.
Pancakes are delicious. Now, I know I am not telling you something so earth-shattering that you did not already know it.
But, depending on your fitness goals, pancakes may not be part of the current plan. Or could they?
Most people stretching their hamstrings are really stretching their sciatic nerve. The hamstring runs from the bottom of your butt to the back of the knee.
Rounding your back to stretch the hamstrings makes no sense. It does not improve hamstring flexibility but it does tension the sciatic nerve.
Most people attempt to stretch the hip flexor incorrectly by moving too far forward and arching the low back too much. If this is you, watch the video. The key is the setup.
Rows, pulldowns, pull-ups, and other movements that initiate movement through the scapula should make up a good amount of your upper body exercises in your program.
Rows and other horizontal pulling movements should outnumber both pressing movements and vertical pulling movements.
Single leg hamstring drops w/ ball.
For now, this one if the grand daddy of the hamstring drop family.
Set up with your feet under something that will not move. A dumbbell rack works great but not all are low enough to the ground.
I have used a standing hamstring curl machine to perform hamstring drops when the DB rack was not an option. See below.