Monthly Exercise Success Tips- May 2017

Training Tip of the Month

“Abdominal training should be meant to prevent excessive movement of your spine.”

Consider performing exercises like stability ball rollouts and anti-rotation presses instead of sit-ups and crunches. Learn how to perform these two core exercises: 

Stability Ball Rollout

Tall-Kneeling Anti-Rotation Press


Article Review

How Your Butt Can Hurt Your Low Back

This month’s article, How Your Butt Can Hurt Your Low Back, comes from Time.com. I’d argue the title should be changed to “How the Lack of Your Butt May Hurt Your Low Back.” Articles like this can be informative and help shed light on why you may be having pain, as well as what you can do about it. When talking about how your butt can affect your low back, it’s more important to talk about how your lack of hip flexibility and hip strength can cause your low back to do more work than it should.

The article states that about 80% of adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Why is this number so high? The reasoning is likely different for everyone. Everyone’s anatomy and exercise history will play a part. How well or not well you move will also determine which areas of your body you place more stress on, while sitting in chairs for hours a day can also play a role.

Regardless of the reasons as to why your back hurts, it’s important to get assessed and find out how you can create more stability and mobility around your spine and hips to give you more movement variability. This will help prevent “wear and tear” injures and prevent certain areas from getting and staying tight.

The article also talks a lot about your SI joint, which is the interfacing surface between your sacrum and pelvis on both sides. 

Like any other joint, it needs to have stability in all of its range of motion, and if it doesn’t, you may be predisposed to movement compensation and overuse injuries at your low back.

Check out the exercises below that will work on four movement variables — all of which are important for keeping your lower back healthy.

1. Awareness of Your Spine in Space

2. Mobility of Your Hips Without Spinal Movement

3. Hip Flexor and Hip Rotation Mobility

4. Strengthen Hip Extension


Develop Awareness of Your Spine in Space

Mobility Of Your Hips Without Spinal Movement

Lengthen Hip Flexors

Stretch Glutes

Strengthen Hip Extension

Remember, these are not the end all be all. If you are experiencing back pain, make sure to get assessed and find out exactly what your body needs to improve how you move.


Client Highlight

Paul Lopez

Paul was one of my first online clients. We actually spent some time training together in Boston, and he was able to create a strong foundation that has allowed him to make so much progress. Sometimes you have to take a couple steps back to move many more forward.

High intensity programs done without much regard for exercise selection and how you move will get you good results early on, but will come back to bite you in the end, as your body cannot continually meet and recover from the demands you’re placing on it. Paul is an awesome example of someone who recognized that he needed to take a few steps back to travel many more forward. And because of that he has:

  • Improved muscular balance. “It’s not just chest and biceps for me anymore”
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion, especially in the shoulders
  • Increased core strength
  • Improved cardiovascular endurance without the reliance on long-duration, low-intensity cardio