Running isn’t easy. At times it hurts. When the pain is more than the typical sore muscles and fatigue, there’s a problem. Thankfully there are answers. More often than not, the problems stem from the runner and not the activity itself.
I’ve had my share of pains through out my running career and thankfully I’ve had the help of a physical therapist to work through them and find their cause.
Like so many other therapists, assistant professor of physical therapy and director of the running clinic at Washington University in St. Louis, Gregory Holtzman, is helping runners overcome the technique problems that may be hurting them. In an article from MSNBC, we learned that Holtzman evaluates and records runners in his clinic to pin-point the issues that they are struggling with. He finds that there are five common issues that runners are diagnosed with in relation to their struggles.
Back exercises are often over-looked due to the popularity of abdominal exercises. Below is a list of back exercises that can be performed at home or anywhere that you feel inclined to exercise. The exercises mainly target the lower back, but also help improve core stability, balance, and coordination.
Core stability is defined as the ability of the muscles of the trunk to stabilize the spine during movement. Dozens of muscles help stabilize the core and most are isolated in the exercises below. Balance is defined as the state of equilibrium and the following exercises help improve the strength and endurance levels of your muscles that help make balance possible. Coordination is defined as the skillful and effective interaction of movements. In order to maximize coordination, you must challenge the body by performing coordination based exercises and movements that allow the body to work and move more efficiently. Each exercise below targets a slightly different part of the back and helps improve coordination.
What is the difference between isometric core exercises and crunches? First off, isometric (iso meaning same, and metric meaning distance) exercises are those in which the joint angle or muscle length do not change during the movement, or, in other words, the body is held in a non-moving or stable position to help isolate the targeted muscle group. This type of movement is great for improving muscular strength and endurance without placing too much stress on the body.
Crunches are great for core strength and endurance, as well, and isolates the abdominals extremely well, but places unnecessary stress on the neck and back. For most, this is no big deal, and the body can handle the stress, but for some with injuries or general weakness, those movement can cause pain, and even injury. (more…)
Do you have good posture? Are you hunched over at your desk while typing on the computer? Proper posture may not seem like that big of a deal, but realistically, it truly is. Proper posture is about more than holding your head up high; it is crucial for eliminating any unnecessary strains to certain muscles, joints, bones, or organs.
With correct posture, you can look taller, slimmer, and come across as being extremely confident- all of which are “A-OK” in my book. (more…)
Guest blogger, Leeann Carey, is the founder of Planet Yoga Teacher Training Programs and an acclaimed yoga instructor with over twenty years of teaching experience. Leeann has trained everyone, from World Champion Los Angeles Lakers to celebrities and from students looking for a great workout and people on the healing path from injuries or chronic health issues.
I remember the days when I used to spring out of bed in the morning or read a book without squinting my eyes and furrowing my brow. I’m in fairly good shape for my 49 years of healthy living, but as of late, some mornings I wake up with an achy lower back. Millions of Americans complain of lower back aches when there is nothing structurally wrong.
Perhaps you strained your back lifting something or used poor bio-mechanics throughout the day to perform daily activities. Maybe you spend most of your day sitting at a computer which our bodies aren’t built for. Of course, accumulated stress can settle in your back without you even knowing it. (more…)