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Found 6 results

  1. What are some good alternative stretches for improving extension in the spine, for back bends, without aggravating the tendonitis in my triceps? Stretches like the box bridge cause too much stress on my elbow and triceps on my right arm. Any kind of pressing movement will give me a slight pain in my elbow. "Ex. 2 backward bending from the floor", only works if I press mostly with my left arm, and only add the support of my right when I can fully extend both arms. With the elbows on the floor I still feel a pain in my elbow. Passive backbends over a support do not cause pain though I feel as if I either am doing the exercise wrong, thus feeling no stretch, or I need to make it more intense. The rehab process is going great and its getting better. I just don't want to put any undo stress on my elbow. Also, I don't want to lose time working on my upper back for the sake of my elbow. If needed, I can explain with a video to illustrate the issue.
  2. An interesting article for people working with gymnasts, and related activities like contortion: https://hybridperspective.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/bridge-mobility-why-your-gymnasts-may-be-struggling-possible-injury-prevention-for-the-lower-back/
  3. I am prompted to address this (1) because it has been in my mind for a long time, and (2) because of a recent comment (by Edd) in relation to Kit’s L3 Floor Backbend video which deals with this issue and recommends relaxation of the back muscles in backbends. In addition, many yoga instructions say to keep the back muscles relaxed in a backbend. Kit has always said to keep the back muscles relaxed. So clearly, some people think it is a good idea and therefore it must work for some people. However, I disagree strongly, at least as it relates to some others (including me). If I try a backbend and do not control it by using the back and abs muscles correctly (see more below), I tend to “crunch” the lower back. In fact, in my 20s, when I did not know anything about stretching, I damaged a facet joint in this way (shown on a much later CT scan). By keeping the muscles tight and in control, I experience a safe and comfortable bend. Some other people have also found that keeping the muscles relaxed leads to pain, which disappears when the muscles are activated. In addition, backbending contortionists use the back muscles enormously to control and support their bending. What muscles are being used? I find two types of muscle action. (1) The abs – probably via their fascial connections, which seem to tighten a girdle around the waist, which then supports the spine. (2) The spinal muscles – and these are probably the deep spinal muscles, the multifidus and rotatores. Developing conscious control of these muscles takes time but is well worth it. In contortion work, an essential component is the feeling of “lifting” and “lengthening” the spine by use of the spinal muscles when in a backbend. I am currently spending time on an exercise to particularly develop this feeling – it is like the yoga camel with arms overhead, but unsupported. Kneel up, and have a pile of yoga blocks on the floor behind you (I start with 4 high). Arch over backwards with arms overhead, remove the top block, come up, go over again, remove the next, etc, until you have removed all the blocks and touched the floor and come up (this feels better than a common similar exercise from standing, because you don’t have to worry about balance and if you cant hold the arch, you just sit back onto the floor). Repeat as many times as you can. If you manage to get the “lifting and lengthening” feel in the back muscles (most strongly in the upper lumbar/lower thoracic region) then when you are coming up out of this bend you get a lovely strong feeling as though someone has their hand behind your spine and is lifting you up. It is a strong feeling in a position in which we normally feel weak (I am currently using this exercise for an aerialist who needs to develop the use of her deep back muscles to control her backbends). Why do different people find different patterns of activation useful? I wonder if it depends on the degree of muscularity and pre-existing flexibility. Maybe an unmuscular loose lanky person like myself needs strengthening and stabilising, whereas a less flexible and more muscular person needs to get the back muscles out of the way somehow, and can push their (less flexible) spines quite safely when relaxed. Note that Iyengar says contract the buttocks when in the camel (Light on Yoga, ex 16) – we expect that this will lead to a chain of activation including the deep spinal muscles. In this context, I’d be interested to see what Craig thinks, as he is quite muscular, and also seems to have quite a flexible spine. For deeper bends (head onto feet) then I need to contract the spinal muscles in the thoracic area hard to deepen the stretch in the upper spine (I have not done this for a few years now by the way; I have lost some spinal flexibility over the years, but then I am nearly 70). Jim.
  4. I have noticed in every training session that the muscles along my lumbar spine are much much tighter than all of the other muscles in my posterior chain. I haven't been able to find any videos on the vimeo page that specifically target the fascia of the lumbar spine. I was wondering if you could help direct me to the videos that you think would be the most helpful. Also, are there any videos of fascial release techniques for the lumbar spine? I'm really struggling to get a good stretch through that area. Thanks for all the great vids and all the great info on the forums!
  5. Hi Guys, 25 year old active male here hoping to get some advice. I have very exaggerated spinal curves (Picture Below) that developed during my teenage years as a result of some awful sitting/sleeping habits. This has lead to some postural issues such as anterior pelvic tilt, kyphosis,rounded shoulders, forward head etc. It is really effecting my sport, gym and mobility work and I would deeply love to think that this issue can be reversed and am willing to do whatever it takes really. The issue is, that physios and PT's have not been able to help! I have begun sleeping on my back with only 1 pillow under my head. This, combined with postural awareness throughout the day and foam rolling/ peanut mobilisation has helped, but only seems to be taking me so far. I would love to hear some peoples thoughts on the issue and if you think it can be reversed? If so, how would you go about it and what resources would help? For instance, I am quite sceptical of chiropracters and don't want to fall into the trap of paying for instant relief but not seeing long term results... Would love to hear Kit's thoughts on this and also some advice on which of his series' would be most applicable!? Any thoughts appreciated Thanks, David
  6. Hello everyone, I joined the forums some time ago but this is my first post and I want to make myself present before posting any request. I don't really think that personal details are that important, but here it goes. My name is Kinshiro, I am 19 years old, 1.87 metres and 75kg. I joined the forums because I really need help. Short story. I have scoliosis and I recieved chiropractic treatment for some months 8 years ago, but I had to cut because of financial difficulties. After the short treatment, however, the pain disappeared. When I was 14 years old I decided that I did not want to suck and feel bad about myself. So I started training and moving. I went from swimming to calisthenics and from calisthenics to weighlifting (no machines, real weights) and from that to gymnastics-oriented training. During the last 3 years, I trained sometimes with high volume, others with high intensity. I managed to deadlift 160 kg and do pullups with +40kg, but that doesn't matter anymore. At some point I stopped and just focused on free handstands with open shoulders. To add some lower body, I included KB swings with a homemade KB and everything was kind of fine until one year ago. During the period that I've described, I had some injuries. I had knee pain, rotator cuff and elbow tendinitis, I got tight intercostal and serratus muscles, thoracic outlet syndrome and some other minor ones. One year ago, however, while using the homemade KB I had an almost deadly accident. The KB broke and I fall against a wall and hit my head in the left side of the back. I still have the video if any of you want to see details, I don't mind. After the accident, I didn't train for about two months to make sure that I didn't have any major brain injury. Then I continued with handstands, band training, occasional pull ups and bodyweight squats. I must admit, however, that after the head thing, I became some sort of chicken-shit and didn't train as hard or as smart as I could. Sometimes I would take 3 days off because it didn't feel right to exercise, I was afraid. Fast forward to the last 6 months. I found myself with rotator cuff disconfort in the left arm (side of the head accident) and having a difficult time getting my arm overhead (shoulder to ear), I tried to fix it with self myofascial release and apparently I made it worse. Sometimes I would "mobilize my shoulder" (band traction, flossing, first rib, etc) for 2 hours just to be able to lift it overhead. So two months ago I gave up and went to a PT. She said that I had actually done a lot of damage to my rotator cuff but that was because my left scapula was not upwardly rotating. Then, I discovered a huge knot in the supraclavicular area, near the trapezius and then I listened to the PT and took a month off. After the month, some weird lumbar pain appeared in the right side. The PT says that all of that is the result of the accident and I agree with her. She says that the contusion damaged cervical nerves. But she also helped me a lot with the rotator cuff and to release some muscles and disconfort. She couldn't, however, make my shoulder move freely again. Now I just can hit the 170 degrees with some disconfort. The last months have been character building days. I've been through depression because of lack of movement. And now I just keep asking myself why nobody ever told me that a head contusion could damage anything besides the brain. Today I went to a chiropractor. Had the X rays and stuff. Payed a lot of money and was diagnosed with scoliosis and kyphosis in both cervical and lumbar. The chiro says that my shoulder and the lumbar pain are the result of my spine. I do believe in that, but I don't really have the money to receive chiropractic treatment. What's more, I've read several times that it's not really the best tool. So here I am. I don't really know if it is the scoliosis or the head contusion, whatever it is I will solve it and will get back to moving again. I am, of course, looking for other options and willing to listen to anyone with good advice. Thanks for reading, I will check back in a few hours if anyone needs more information. I am really thankful for this community. PS: I am attaching the photos of my x rays in case anyone wants to see what are we up to.
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