this tour life

your back bothering you? fix your posture.

July 28, 2014
by

we asked Martina Plunger of fysio.com what we could do to help when  our backs start getting sore, so here she is again with some quick and easy excersises to help relieve and prevent back pain


Today I am going to explain why having good posture is really important when it comes to touring. While on tour you will not always sleep on the best beds, or sit on the best chairs/seats (airplane, road case, van etc…). Not to mention how working on your laptop or playing with your phone makes us all look like the hunchback of Notre Dame ;-)

Sitting “comfortably” (note: comfortable is not always healthy ;-) ) or slumping in a chair puts your spine in a “round” position which is not good for your bones, muscles or nerves. To maintain good posture, you need to try to avoid that “round” back as much as possible. The thought of sitting/standing straight might bore a lot of people but it is more important than you think. you can help your posture just by trying to stretch your back Once in a while by bending backwards as much as you can while you give support to your back by placing your hands above the buttocks. But in order to maintain good posture in the long run it is important to exercise your shoulder and back muscles regularly.

Elastic bands provide countless ways in which to exercise your body no matter what your fitness level is. Here are some exercises using an elastic band (Theraband, Dynaband….) that can help correct and maintain your posture.

What do you need?

Your own body and an elastic exercise band.

      • If you do not have the chance to get one of those bands, get creative, even nylon stockings will work in the beginning.

 

How much time does it take?

No more than 10 minutes!

Once you do them daily, your posture will begin to improve.And once your posture improves, your concentration at work will last longer, back and neck pain can disappear and you will be happier!

 

*below the video, i have included pictures and written instructions for each exercise.

 

 


 “ELBOW PULL DOWN”


elbow_pull_down

You will feel the exercise working the muscles around the shoulders, shoulder blades and sides of the back. Do these movements slowly, this will enhance more muscle activation.

  1. Grab your elastic band with your palms facing downwards.

  2. Bring your arms up so your arms are in one line with your ears.

  3. Extend your arms back a little bit further so your arms are behind your head.

    • From now on your arms need to stay behind your head.

  4. Move your arms to the outside, so the band gets stretched (be the Y in YMCA.)

    • Make sure the band does not feel too tight, but also not too loose.

    • It is important that the band stays stretched during the whole exercise.

  5. Move your elbows down.Bring your arms up into an extended position (the Y) and repeat the movement 10 times.

    • When bringing your elbows down, imagine you are pulling something really heavy.

    • You will see that only the thought will give you extra muscle tension.

After 10 times, rest for 20 seconds and repeat the exercise.


 “SHOULDERBLADE SQUEEZES”


shoulderblade_squeeze

You will feel the exercise working your muscles around your shoulder blades.

  1. Grab your elastic band with your palms facing upwards.

  2. Raise your arms to chest height or to shoulder height.

    • Some people prefer different positions with the arms, there is no strict rule where to put them, as long as you do not bring your arms past shoulder height.

  3. Stretch the band to the outside and to the back.

    • The trainings-effect starts, as soon as your arms go past your body.

  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.Hold this position for 2 seconds.

    • You should feel your chest opening while your shoulder blades are coming together and your arms are stretching to the back.

  5. Bring your arms slowly to the front and repeat the whole movement again 10 times.

After 10 times, rest for 20 seconds and repeat the exercise slowly and controlled.


“ARM- AND BACK EXTENSION”


arm_and_back_extension

You will feel the exercise in between your shoulder blades. You will also feel your back extending while your chest opens.

  1. Grab your elastic band and bring both arms behind your back.

  2. Stretch the elastic band while making sure your arms stay fully extended.

    • Keep the band stretched during the whole exercise.

  3. Now bring the arms up as high as possible.Make sure you keep your shoulders low.

    • While moving the arms up, they will also move a bit to the outside.

  4. Repeat 10 times.

After doing the exercise 10 times, rest for 20 seconds and repeat 10 times.



EXTRA!


“CORE STRETCH”


core_stretch

This exercise is a great way to stretch your core muscles and gives you a nice and lean feeling in your upper body.

  1. Grab an exercise stick by the ends and bring it up onto your shoulders behind your head.

  2. Suck in your belly button in to create good muscle tension in your abdominals.

  3. Move your upper body slowly to the right.

    • Keep the tension in the abdominals and do not move the pelvis.

  4. Rotate back to the starting position and move your upper body slowly to the left.

    • As the pelvis stays stable, you will feel the exercise on the sides of the stomach.

Repeat 10 times, slowly and controlled.

 

 

-Martina Plunger of fysio.com.


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