Archive for the ‘Sports Nutrition’ category


November 2, 2010

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Exercises & Stretches that can Provide Natural Relief from Lower Back Pain

February 15, 2010

Back pain is part of the human condition, sooner or later you’re going to get it. If you’ve ever taken over-the-counter painkillers, BEWARE! They can do far more harm than good.

Regular use of aspirin, Advil, Aleve, or Tylenol can lead to:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Liver damage
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

In fact, just last year the FDA made some serious changes to make consumers aware of the dangers these drugs pose. They now require each of these drugs to come with a clear warning that explains the potential side effects.

The good news is you can get rid of the pain without taking dangerous painkillers. There are simple lower back stretching techniques that can help ease your back pain in as little as two minutes a day.

First it’s important to understand why you get that back pain in the first place…

Tendons attach your muscles to your bones. Ligaments attach bones to bones. As you get older, your flexibility decreases. Your posture and how you sit and stand contribute to the pain as well. Certain muscles shorten, and your joints lose their range of motion, meaning your ligaments get weaker. This can trigger a number of back problems.

Healthy stretching works by lengthening those ligaments and strengthening your tendons. The  problem with most average stretching exercises is that they put stress on your ligature. The key factor that most people don’t know,  including a lot of yoga teachers and personal trainers, is that you don’t want loose joints. The tighter your joints are, the more stable and stronger they are. The stronger they are, the less likely you are to sustain an injury in the first place.

So what you want are long and relaxed muscles that can lengthen on demand without resistance.

Follow the steps below, they are an easy way to do this and ease your back pain instead of making it worse (like a lot of wrongheaded stretches).

The two parts of your body you want to stretch daily to avoid back pain are the front of your shoulders and the front of your hips.

Shoulder Stretch: You need to stretch and develop your shoulder muscles, because they are very susceptible to injury. Tight shoulder muscles contribute to back and neck pain, especially if your head and shoulders droop forward.

  • Stand in an open doorway.
  • Raising your arm to a 90-degree angle with palm facing out, press your hand and shoulder against the wall and doorjamb.
  • You should feel the wall against your armpit.
  • Slowly increase the tension as you push forward.
  • Hold for a 10 count.
  • Then repeat with the other arm.

Hip Flexors: This stretch can help everyone, particularly if you sit all day at work. Sitting all day tightens and shortens the hip flexor muscles. This is a major cause of lower back pain, as it pulls the pelvis downward in the front and creates an excessive curvature in the lower spine. Stretching your hip flexor muscles daily will prevent this kind of lower back pain.

  • Stand in a modified runner stance, with right foot forward and left foot back, feet flat on floor.
  • Put your hands on your hips (or put one hand on a chair for support) and keep your back and hips in straight alignment.
  • Push forward with your hips, while maintaining your erect posture.
  • Slowly, push your hips forward only until you feel a comfortable level of tension.
  • Hold for a 10 count.
  • Switch sides by reversing your leg stance and repeat

Give these a try and do them every day for best results!

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January 14, 2010

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