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January 28, 2021

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

Let’s be honest, if you’ve got lower back pain, you’re probably missing out on a lot of fun in life. Fortunately, here are a few simple tricks you can do at home, without any equipment, to improve, and hopefully, eliminate your low-back pain.

DISCLAIMER: Before following any advice given here, please refer out to a doctor or other medical professional.

What Causes Low-Back Pain?

 

Aggravation of the low-back usually occurs due to improper alignment, or if our mobility has been disrupted. Usually misalignment is caused by a previous injury, or by improper repetitive movement over time. As many of you know, it takes only one vertebra to be out of alignment to experience pain. 

Discomfort also occurs if two or more vertebrae are stuck together. Consider that each vertebra has 4 joints/facets that are held together with tiny ligaments. That’s 20 joints that can be sprained or fixated potentially leading to aches and pains!

 

3 Tips to Reduce or Eliminate Low-Back Pain

 

You can resolve low-back pain at home by taking the proper steps. First, you’ll want to reduce any inflammation, if possible. This is beneficial to remedy joints, nerves, and soft tissue that are irritated, raw, and swollen, causing discomfort and/or aggravation. In particular, your doctor or chiropractor may recommend oral anti-inflammatory medication, applying ice and/or stretching.

Here are 3 tips that you can do in the comfort of your own home to try and remedy that pesky low-back pain!

 

Tip #1 – Your Low-back Wake-up Call

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

How you start your morning contributes to the flow of the rest of your day. Your initial actions when you wake up prepare your body for sitting, standing and moving about your day.

Here’s an example of how to stretch your low-back before you even get out of bed each morning:

  • Lying on your back with legs bent, gently pull one knee toward your chest
  • Relax your low-back muscles while holding this position for 3-5 seconds, or longer if desired. 
  • Slowly switch legs.
  • Now, do the same thing, but bring both knees toward your chest.
  • Repeat 5-10 times to wiggle free from stiffness 

 

Tip #2 – Your Core is Key to Resolve Low-back Pain

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

Strengthening your back is obviously important, but it’s just as important to strengthen your entire core. All the muscles extending from your head to your pelvis deep within your trunk provide support for your spine.

Exercises to aid with low-back pain are those that provide simple, low-impact movement of the whole body. The more you move, the more your lymph and circulatory systems flow. This increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the joints keeping them healthy and removes waste products from your body.

Examples of Exercises for Mobility:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking

 

Specific Exercises for Building Core Strength:

  • Pelvic tilts to create movement in the pelvis.
  • Partial abdominal crunches lifting the head and shoulder blades off the mat.
  • Crisscross, also referred to as Bicycles to strengthen the obliques

 

Give the core a hand by strengthening the glutes, quads and hamstrings with these exercises: 

  • Glute bridges to activate the glutes & hamstrings.
  • Step-ups
  • Walking lunges
  • Single leg deadlift 
  • Elevated split squat

 

On the other hand, if lying on your back to exercise is not comfortable, then perhaps getting down on all fours for:

  • Cat-cows
  • Bird-dogs
  • Planks, either low planks on your forearms or high planks with arms extended 

Many exercises are beneficial and improve low-back pain but only if they are performed properly. Please be mindful when involved in the following to make sure your form is correct. If an exercise is too difficult to hold proper form, then modify the exercise appropriately.

Here are some exercises & behaviors you may want to be cautious of when dealing with low-back pain:

Planks

I know this may sound contradictory since I mentioned planks as a beneficial strengthening exercise above, however, ensure that you have proper plank form. To do this, align your body in a straight line from your head to your toes. If your low back sags or if you experience pain, try planks on your knees, elevated on a bench/chair or against a wall. 

Prone positions

Although prone positions are beneficial for building core muscles, please use caution. Prone positions, such as Superman, can compress the spine by lifting your upper body and lower body too high off the floor. Instead, focus on making your body as long as possible by reaching with your fingertips and toes or lift only the upper body or lower body independently. 

Excessive bending

Exercises that pull on the low-back such as, trying to pick something up off the floor without bending your knees. This movement can strain your low-back, especially if you cannot comfortably touch your toes with straight legs and/or if your hamstrings are tight. In other words, the low-back tries to provide the slack necessary to bend farther and could increase the chance of injury. 

Quick twisting movements

Remind yourself to engage your core to support the low-back before slowly rotating the torso. 

Contact or high-impact sports

Even though these sports may be fun, there is a risk of injury to your low-back if your core is weak. Low-impact exercises where there is always a grounded body part (whether it be a hand, foot or even a behind) can build muscle for more strenuous activities.

Heavy lifting that compresses the spine

Lifting heavy weight can increase the chance of low-back injury, even with proper precautions. In fact, it is possible to build muscle using body weight or light weight exercises. 

 

Tip #3 – Strike a Pose to Relieve low-back pain

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

Posture! Posture! Posture! 

Be mindful of your posture whether sitting, standing or lying down by:

  • Engaging the core to support the low-back
  • Aligning your head with your spine by lengthening through the back of the neck and pulling your chin back so your ears are over your shoulders
  • Slightly pulling your shoulders back and shoulder blades together
  • Using lumbar support when needed

Granted, nobody enjoys a moment of “Ouch! My back!”, as it impacts our enjoyment of life. Starting with the wake-up call exercise above and following through with these simple tips will help improve your low-back pain by keeping your joints mobile and your core strong.

For more on posture, check out this article!

If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it with someone suffering from low-back pain.

 

Swing over to our YouTube channel to check out our latest videos here:

Hybrid Fitness YouTube Channel

And remember…small steps, big results.
January 19, 2021

How To Properly Wrap Your Wrists For Boxing

 

Have you ever noticed that boxers and fighters have their wrists and hands wrapped up before a fight?

Have you ever wondered why?

In this article, not only will you learn the why, but more importantly the how to properly wrap your wrists and hands prior to participating in boxing and/or any other striking sport.    

Properly wrapping for boxing, or any striking sport is extremely important for the health and longevity of your hands and wrists. The structure of the hand alone consists of 27 bones, not to mention numerous joints, ligaments, and tendons that can be easily injured from the impact of repetitive punches. 

Wrapping thoroughly around the wrist joint, knuckles, and hand will keep everything compressed, therefore reducing the risk of injury. Not only that, but it will help you punch harder, as well! 

As you train more and more, your punching power will increase along with the amount of force and impact, so it’s important to learn how to wrap before even attempting something like boxing.

Wrapping your wrists will reduce the risk of hyperextending and injuring your wrists, and adds an extra protective layer to the knuckles as well to help keep them protected.

Boxing gloves should fit snug and not wiggle around too much, so wrapping also helps limit the space inside for a tighter fit. The wrapping process can be daunting where it includes numerous steps, but it’s important to learn early on, and properly, so you don’t injure or limit yourself along the way. 

Like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Follow along with the step-by-step guide below, and you’ll be a wrist wrapping pro before you know it!

Let’s go!

 

Step 1

  • Place the starting loop around your thumb, and begin wrapping around the back of your hand.

How to wrap your wrists

 

 

Step 2

  • Wrap completely around your wrist 3 times.

How to wrap your wrists

 

Step 3

  • Wrap around your palm and knuckles 3 times, leaving your thumb free.

How to wrap your wrists

 

Step 4

  • From the underside of your hand, wrap around your thumb, continuing between your pinky and ring finger towards the palm, and wrapping around the palm and knuckles as you did in the previous step.
  • You should be back to the same position as you were at the beginning of this step.
  • Once again, wrap around your thumb, but this time continue between your ring and middle fingers. Continue around the palm and knuckles, until you are back in the same position as the beginning of step 4. 
  • Repeat one more time. This time taking it around the thumb and continuing between your middle and index fingers.

How to wrap your wrists

How to wrap your wrists

 

Step 5

  • Once you’ve wrapped between each finger, wrap around the thumb and continue over the back of the hand.

 

Step 6

  • With your palm facing up, wrap around your thumb and down over your palm around to the backside of your hand, in the opposite direction of the way you’ve been wrapping.

 

Step 7

  • Repeating Step 3, wrap around your palm and knuckles 3 more times, excluding your thumb.

 

Step 8

  • Wrap any excess wrapping around your wrist, and fasten the velcro securing strap.

 

There you have it! Your wrists are wrapped, and you’re ready to strike!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it! 

Keep your eyes peeled for the 6 numbered punches we’ll be covering soon!

If you enjoyed this information, please check out our other fitness & health articles here:

https://hybridfitnessgym.com/articles/

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