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back pain

3-Part Workout to Make You Sweat

jumping ropeHave you been doing the same workout routine day in and day out? Well, it’s about time to change that. I have designed a workout that works your entire body while making you sweat from head to toe. The workout is designed to keep you moving from one exercise to the next without pausing or taking time to catch your breath; which means this workout may not be for everyone.

If you have heart problems or have been told what to do by a doctor; please listen to their advice. This workout starts off with a nice heart-racing warm-up and and back-burning cool-down. Lower back pain is one of the biggest problems the majority of my clients have, thus I tend to work the lower back at the end of each workout to help increase strength and flexibility without taking away from the actual workout. Be careful and please use proper technique while performing these movements.
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Obesity and Back Pain

Obesity is a pain in the neck… and the back. It’s not just a concern for long-term life or death health issues, but it also affects your day-to-day functions. Among the many side effects of being heavy, one of the more pressing issues is low back pain.woman with back pain

According to researchers, the percentage of people in North Carolina suffering from chronic low back pain has more than doubled since the early ’90s (from 3.9% in 1992 to 10.2% in 2006). They see the state as a mirror image of the nation as a whole.

The pain is not only agonizing to deal with each day, but the problems resonate even further. That is, you’re less productive.
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Top 5 Back Exercises

back musclesThe “Back” is made up of three main muscles and several smaller ones as well. The main three consist of the Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, and The Rhomboids. The Trapezius is a diamond shaped muscle located near the top of the back and it helps with neck and shoulder blade movement. The Latissimus Dorsi (largest muscle in body) is located near the sides of the back (wings) and it is used for pulling the shoulders downward and toward the back. The Rhomboids are located in the center of the back and are used to squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Top 5 Back Exercises
cable lat pulldown weight training
cable lat pulldown with wide overhand grip

(Click on image to view this exercise…)

Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down
cable lat pulldown weight training
cable lat pulldown with medium neutral grip

(Click on image to view this exercise…)

Neutral/Close Grip Lat Pull-DownStanding Cable, Barbell, Dumbbell Shrug
cable shrug weight training
cable shrug

(Click on image to view this exercise…)

Seated Cable Row
cable row weight training
seated cable row with medium neutral grip

(Click on image to view this exercise…)

Low Back Extension
hyperextension machine back extension weight training
back extension on machine with arms across chest

(Click on image to view this exercise…)

See the rest of Matt’s Top 5 Exercises for muscle groups like the shoulders, biceps and triceps.

Chiropractics 101

I’ve just recently started to research and investigate the practice of chiropractics. Coming from a medical family, I have often looked upon this form of health care with hesitation and doubt. But since many of my friends have had successful treatment outcomes after visiting with a certified and trained chiropractor, I thought I would give it some further inspection. In doing so, I’ve learned about the basic premise of this system of medicine.

Chiropractic is based upon what science has told us namely, that our nervous system, comprised of brain, spinal cord and millions of nerves controls the function of every tissue, organ, system and even cell in our body. Our typical daily activities of daily living cause the normal positioning of the spine to get jolted out of its healthy stance. In doing so, the nervous system is rendered dysfunctional and this can lead the physical signs and symptoms of some type of illness, ache or pain that we feel.

A chiropractor will then try to manipulate the spine through specific adjustments to place it back in its original position. It is definitely a very compelling and fascinating premise and for me, arming myself with knowledge and information and then combining with a healthy punch of intuition is my best course of action before I take any action.

A Cardio Conundrum

How much cardio is too much cardio? It’s a question of personal interest. Not that I’ve been hitting the treadmill every day. But, I evidently overdid it on the eliptical machine a couple weeks back.

Back being the operative word.

My lower back has been tense and sore ever since my cardio routine of a couple Saturdays ago. I attribute it to maybe too light on the stretching and a little too much on what was a new machine for me.

Anyway, back to the initial question.

A reader asks MSNBC Contributing Editor Jacqueline Stenson how much is too much.