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Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

June 9, 2019 by

If you suffer from back pain, you have probably gone through a lot of trial and error to help alleviate the discomfort. However, there are simple but powerful exercises that you can do to help address your chronic pain. Doing these exercises can also be helpful for people who spend an excessive amount of time sitting every day, despite the presence of back pain.

Studies have shown that prolonged sitting has negative impacts on your health, including the fact that it is a risk factor for chronic disease, premature aging, and even early death. This is because it stops several basic bodily functions from occurring at the cellular level. Excessive sitting, especially if you do not have correct posture, can actually be a primary cause for back pain.

While you are sitting, you are putting 40-90% more pressure and stress on your back than when you are standing. When you curve your back forward while you’re sitting, it can also contribute to body pain in other areas such as your neck, jaw, shoulders, shins, and knees. It may also lead to headaches. When your posture is not correct, it can lead to chronic pain and the shortening of your muscles in the front of your body and the muscles in the back of your neck.

“Foundation Training” teaches your core muscles how to work together, which is actually how the human body is designed to move. When you are able to integrate the chains of muscles in your body, you can strengthen and realign your core and spine, which can help decrease existing back pain. The good thing about this is that there is no equipment required, so you can practice the exercises anywhere at no cost.

How to Practice Foundation Training

There are three primary principles of Foundation Training.

Anchoring – This involves doing the exercises while barefoot and walking barefoot as frequently as you can. While barefoot, be mindful of pushing your feet into the ground. Pushing back against gravity and seeing your feet as “anchors” to your body helps you activate the muscles in your toes, arches, and ankles.

Decompression – With this, you are actively lifting your rib cage up, whicn engages your sternocleidomastoid muscles, which help in the movement of the rotation of your neck and head. You also want to breathe into your rib cage while you are activating the muscles in your core. When you exhale, keep your abdomen lifted.

Integration – Foundation exercises integrate the muscular chains in your body. By doing these exercises, most people feel a difference in their muscles and pain within one to two weeks. After three weeks, profound differences are often noticed, especially if you are practicing the exercises for five to 10 minutes each day. Because you aren’t exercising your muscles to the point of straining them, you do not need to worry about a recovery period because you are not breaking down microfibers in your muscles that need time to repair.

Rather, you’re repatterning, which means you are teaching your body how to move better. Doing exercises that improve your posture such as the exercises in Foundation Exercises are an important part of properly supporting your body on an everyday basis, and will help you safely perform high-intensity exercises without putting yourself at risk for injury.

This stretch helps reinforce the correct movement of your spine while strengthening your back by distributing your weight through the muscle chains in the back of your body. This makes your weight shift back to your heels and pushes your pelvis out. This helps lengthen your hip flexors, which is a major factor in the strength of your core. Having powerful hips gives you flexibility, athletic ability, and balance.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and thrust your hips out behind you while lengthening your abdomen and widening your chest. Stretch your arms backward and point your thumbs out. You should feel a stretch in your lower back while doing this pose, and hold it for 20-30 seconds.

2. Next, move your arms as high as possible overhead with your thumbs facing inward toward each other, while pushing your hips back and lengthening the muscles in your back. You should feel the stretch in your back. Engage your hamstrings by pushing your knees together and slightly straightening your legs.

3. Then, walk your hands forward with your feet on the floor so your body is in the shape of a V. Push your hips up and back until you feel a deep stretch between your hips and your hands. Make sure that your knees remain slightly bent while you are doing this stretch.

4. Finally, place your hands on your shins, while holding your weight on your heels. Widen your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together while you gradually raise your chest and extend your back. You will start to feel the muscles in your lower back stretch, at which time you need to push your hands out behind you and push your knees back so your weight is maintained on your heels.

Holding all of these poses for 20-30 seconds can reduce back pain naturally and in a very inexpensive way. You can do these exercises any time you feel back pain coming on.

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