3 min read

Alex Hart

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How To Bar Hop Without Lower Back Pain

After a long day of work, spending a few hours unwinding at the bar with friends is common for a lot of us. But hours of drinking ultimately leads to prolonged sitting and standing, which could result in nagging lower back pain.

Nobody thinks about physical health while enjoying themselves at the bar. But you may want to reconsider and start using the chair or foot rail to help reduce that nagging lower back pain.

Difficulties meeting the prolonged postural demands hints towards a bigger issue than simply, “back pain.” This term has previously been called lower cross syndrome and is a way to conceptualize a combination of muscle imbalances that results in constant lower back pain.

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These imbalances typically consist of the following:

  • Tight lumbar extensors
  • Weak / Inhibited Abdominals
  • Tight Hip flexors
  • Weak / Inhibited gluteus muscles

The result is a hyperlordosis in our back, more commonly known as anterior pelvic tilt. But good news! If you find yourself stuck in this situation, you can work to counteract some of the tight muscles that may be causing these issues.

Here are three quick exercises you can do at the bar without catching too much attention.

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90/90 Breathing

This move is a great workout that uses specific muscle activation patterns to help alleviate a tight lower back and hip flexors.

  • In a sitting position, place your heels in front of the two front legs of the chair.
  • Make a fist with both hands and place them between your knees.
  • Press your heels into the legs of the chair, activating your hamstrings on the backside of your thigh.
  • Lightly squeeze together your knees against your fists, activating your adductors (groin muscles).
  • While breathing slowly, imagine tucking your tailbone underneath yourself, this is called a posterior pelvic tilt.
  • Repeat this for 2-3 minutes.

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Couch Stretch

This move stretches out your hip flexors, which often tightens after prolonged standing ?

  • While standing and using a high chair, bring your foot up to the seat
  • Tuck your tailbone underneath yourself by lightly contracting your abdominals.
  • Take slow and deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  • Repeat this for 20 secs, 2-3 times.

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Figure Four Stretch

This stretch will target a muscle deep to the glutes called the piriformis. Doing this move will help alleviate some of the tightness  on the tailbone you feel from a long period of sitting. 

  • Using a high chair in front of you, bring your leg up onto it so that the outside of your shin is flat on the seat.
  • Take a deep breath in and out, and lightly lean forward at the hips do go deeper into this stretch
  • If your leg doesn’t lay flat, feel free to use a fist between your knee and the seat surface.
  • Repeat this for 20 secs, 2-3 times.

So next time you decide to spend an evening at the bar, make sure to try these exercises and avoid a “lower back hangover.”

3 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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How To Netflix And Chill Without The Back Pain

 

We’ve all been there before. One hour on Netflix quickly turns into twelve hours slouched on your couch and before you know it, you’re experiencing lower back pain.

Before you decide to invest the next twelve consecutive hours of your day cuddled up with your partner, make sure to take the proper steps to avoid any potential back pain.

To help avoid any injuries, we’ve outlined the top five things you need to know so you can Netflix and chill, sans the back pain.

Plank before the meet-up

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Before you head over to your date’s place, do a plank. Getting into a plank position is an excellent way to get your core muscles engaged to take on the stresses of a TV marathon. I mean, you could do a plank at her house, but there is no guarantee she won’t consider you a weirdo. For the sake of argument, get to know her first before you make her living room your personal space.

Slouching isn’t attractive

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Slouching creates a posterior pelvic tilt and it adds additional stress on your back. To avoid any back pain, slide your butt right back into the wedge where the backrest meets the cushion.

It’s good to kick it, but not with your feet up

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Putting your feet up seems relaxing, but the temporary bliss is just adding more stress on your lower back. If you want to test your back out, try sitting with your feet up for three hours while slouching. You may make it through the next episode, but eventually your back will give in.

Don’t overlook the figure-four stretch

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Every hour, take a break and try a duo “figure four stretch.” There is no better way to show your date that you take good care of your body.

  1. Slide forward to the edge of your seat
  2. Cross one leg over the other into a figure 4
  3. Sit up tall until you feel a stretch in your glutes
  4. Hold for 30 seconds
  5. Repeat three times on both sides

Every step you take counts

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Whether it’s bathroom breaks, refilling your drinks, or restocking snacks, getting up from your seat will have a positive impact on your back. Going for a walk mid-way into your TV binge will alleviate the stress on your back and provide you with the perfect solutions to avoid any post-Netflix and chill back pain.

2 min read

How To Properly Sit At Your Desk

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How To Properly Sit At Your Desk

 

The majority of people sit either with a flat lumbar spine or overarched lumbar spine. 

Sitting incorrectly creates improper compensations, inefficient use of the musculature and compression of the spinal disk. These dysfunctional sitting postures can be carried over into standing and movement patterns which can have a drastic effect on your health.

Also, sitting while under stress (i.e. at work) taps into your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). Since you can’t punch your boss, out (fight) or run away from work (flight), your sympathetic nervous system is on overload constantly even when you get home. You cannot tap back into your parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest, that is why so many people cannot sleep well and have poor digestion. By repeating the cycle day in and day out, it’s no wonder why people die prematurely.

So how do you resolve this? Well, for starters try to not to sit so much. Go for walks, find a movement practice to destress, and meditate.

If you have to sit, sit with a posture that is supportive for your structure.

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Many of us spend way too much time sitting at work with a posture that is not supportive for our bone structure and tissues.

Sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back are important to keep in mind, but they are difficult to do unless you keep your pelvis neutral. How do I do that?

  • Find your “SITS” bones. Get in a chair and when you feel two hard/firm bumps, you want to sit right on top of them. If you tilt your butt back, you will feel them move backwards.
  • Try to slouch upper body without allowing your pelvis to posterior tilt.
  • Come back up then allow your pelvis to posterior tilt (Tuck tail under). You will notice your upper body drop into a slouch
  • Keeping your pelvis in posterior tilt, try to straighten your spine, so you are upright.

It’s hard to keep everything lined up if your pelvis is not level but it’s so much easier when it is!

1 min read

Crystal Leong

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This Is Why You Don’t Have Good Posture

If you’re not standing or sitting straight, it’s not your fault you don’t have good posture.

How often do you hear the importance of good posture? They’re either nagging you to, “sit straight, keep your chest out, and stomach in!
” or “stop slouching and keep those shoulders back!”

You’re constantly bombarded with advice and suggestions on how to be “posturally sound.” But unless you make a conscious effort to “sit straight”, you are quick to revert to your old habits! Here’s what you guys have been waiting your entire life to hear – it’s not your fault! 

The problem is that people confuse “posture” with “structure.” Posture is the ability to hold the structure of your body. Structure (when it comes to your body) is how your body stacks with gravity.

Wait, what? Okay, let us break it down. When the structure is properly balanced, your body is stacked well, which means it’s much natural to have good posture. While there are many other reasons that cause poor posture, in this case, we should clearly look at how the structure of our body directly effects our posture. A person slouches not because he has bad habits, but because their body structure doesn’t make it easy for the person not to slouch.

Do you want to get someone to sit straight? Focus on the structure of your body so when sit down or stand, you’ll notice a drastic improvement with your posture.