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        Better Posture

        Seated Spinal Twist to Increase Mobility

        Seated Spinal Twist wearing the Dorsum Exospine Back Support to increase mobility.

         

        A quick way to increase mobility and flexibility in your spine is to stretch your abdominals, shoulders, and neck. One exercise to do this is the classic Seated Spinal Twist that also stretches your hips, glutes, and back. 

         

        Steps to do a Seated Spinal Twist:

         

        1. Sit on the floor with both legs extended out in front.
        2. Bend your left knee and place your foot to the outside of your right thigh.
        3. Place your right arm on the outside of your left thigh.
        4. Place your left hand behind you for support.
        5. Starting at the base of your spine, twist to the left side.
        6. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
        7. Mirror and repeat on the other side. 

         Seated Spinal Twist Example

         

        Note: If you are a beginner and don't have the muscle flexibility yet, start by placing your hand on the outside of the opposite leg to begin the twist. As your body's mobility and ability to twist increases you can place your elbow and arm to the outside of the opposite leg. 

         

        Muscles You're Activating

         

        Latissimus DorsiInternal ObliquesGluteus Maximus

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Easy Modifications

        Keep comfort in mind. A way to make this pose more comfortable is to keep both legs straight. 

        For an extra stretch, add in neck rotations during this pose by turning your head left and right before relaxing back to a neutral position.

        You can do 5 to 10 reps on each side, give it a try!

         

        Bad Posture Can Be A Slippery Slope

        Bad Posture Can Be A Slippery Slope

         

        Let’s examine the possibility. You don't work out or participate in sports. You're not a frontline worker. You still experience back and shoulder pain often. How can this be?

         

        It all gets back to the idea of postural muscles. Sitting all day long can be very bad for your back - particularly if you have bad posture. It’s true that this primarily involves your lower back and core muscles. 

         

        However, bad posture can be a slippery slope. If poor posture makes you uncomfortable and you compensate for it by contorting yourself in your seat, or walking and moving in unnatural ways, it can throw off those muscle groups as well.

         

        Of course, one solution - or one part of the solution - is correcting your posture. Doing stretches before and after long sitting spells can also help to loosen your back muscles so that they become less tight. Limiting how long you sit for by taking breaks to walk short distances - even if it’s just pacing around the room - can also help.

          

        However, taking up some physical activity can do the most good. Strengthening and developing your back muscles can make them more resistant to injury, but having a more developed muscular system can also help to passively improve your posture so that these issues are less likely to become issues in the first place.

         

        And remember, working out to prevent back and shoulder injuries doesn’t just mean working out your back and shoulders - particularly if the problem is from poor posture rather than overuse. Instead, think about your core and your thigh muscles as well.

        Balancing Your Back & Shoulder Workouts

        Balancing Your Back & Shoulder Workouts

        Post in collaboration with How to Bulk Muscle

        Even if you don’t typically do the motions described in our previous posts, you can still experience back and shoulder discomfort, pain or even run into serious problems with your muscles and joints.

         

        As we’ll be exploring throughout much of the rest of this article, many of your back muscles are postural muscles. That means that misalignments in your body can cause discomforts in your back muscles and that mismanaging your back muscles can cause severe problems with your bones.

         

        If you are a weightlifter who targets some muscle groups more than others, or a frontline worker that does the same sort of motion day in and day out you may be developing some muscle groups more than others. This can pull your bones out of alignment and damage your joints.

         

        One solution can be making sure to work out muscle groups that you may have been ignoring or that might not be as activated while you work. You may also want to consider incorporating more full-body exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at the same time. These exercises can prevent back and shoulder problems, but they’re also the best at fat burning.

         

        Depending on the problem, wearing a back support while you work or work out can also help to protect your posture so that your muscles and joints don’t take so much wear-and-tear.

        Mind Your Rotator Cuff

        Mind Your Rotator Cuff

        Back and shoulder pain can mean a lot of things. However, one of the most common culprits is overuse or strain of the rotator cuff.

        The rotator cuff is a ring of muscles surrounding each shoulder joint. They’re responsible for giving the shoulders their impressive multi-directional range-of-motion. However, they are also very delicate.

         

        Many people who have overuse injuries of the rotator cuff are athletes who often make arm motions above their heads, like pitchers and quarterbacks. However, people with physically demanding jobs like stockers and construction workers can also have these problems. Further, acute issues like sprains and strains can also impact these muscles.

         

        A recurring theme throughout this article - and our website - is that overuse and damage can be prevented through careful strengthening and toning of the muscle groups. The muscles of the rotator cuff are no different, and strengthening your shoulders can help reduce pain.

         

        The bad news is that they can be difficult to target effectively. The good news is that the muscles of the chest and back do most of the heavy lifting. As a result, familiarizing yourself with exercises to develop the back and chest can help to make these injuries less likely.

        Identifying Pain

        Identifying Pain

        This is probably the most important topic we'll cover; how to identify the different types of pain and how your body communicates the level of severity.

        You might be starting a new workout routine for this new year to become stronger & healthier, or hesitant to start one if you have recently experienced pain. Learning to recognize your pain can make the difference in knowing:

        - When to start your workouts.

        - How high or low to set your goals.

        - How fast or slow to push your body.

        - The difference between soreness vs. injury.

        - What to give your body to properly recover and heal.

         

        If you struggle with discomfort or pain in your back and shoulders, working out can be the last thing on your mind. However, as counterintuitive as it may seem, working out can be one of the best things that you can do to prevent back and shoulder pain, bad posture, or even serious damage in the future.


        Knowing what exercises to do, how to incorporate them into your day, and when to give yourself a break can be the difference between a productive and comfortable day or a trip to the chiropractor.

        Learn to Recognize Pain

        Whether you’re a weightlifter, an athlete, or just have a demanding job, you know what it’s like to work through pain. Sometimes it’s what you have to do, and other-times it can actually make you feel better. However, that depends on the kind of pain that you have.

        If you have a dull, aching pain that feels like it’s coming from a large area, this is just post-exercise soreness. It comes from light wear-and-tear and the natural build-up of waste products in your muscles from exercise. Doing light, flowing exercises like stretching can help to make this kind of pain go away. Not much to worry about, just light monitoring is required to know when the muscle is ready for the next workout.

         

        If you have a sharp, stabbing pain that feels like it’s coming from a very small area, this could be the result of a muscle or tendon tear or rupture. This is serious. Try to rest and ice the area rather than working it. If the pain doesn’t go away or gets worse after a couple of days, talk to your trainer or your general care provider.