Some Exercises to Help Avoid the Injury Bug

Athletes, whether weekend warriors or high-level performers, all have a singular focus usually on things such as speed, score, statistics, endurance, and the like. Usually, the last thing in mind is prevention. But whether you play for the Cowboys or you’re playing in a flag football league with your work pals, you should also focus on injury prevention.

With that in mind, here are some exercises from Dr. Tinley at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders to keep you from injuring your back.

Posture Check and Other Exercises

The back is the part of the body most prone to chronic injury, so you need to give it some attention to stay pain-free. Maintaining proper form and posture is important to keeping your back in the game. Try keeping your stomach slightly pulled in, shoulders rolled back, and chest out. Try this mini stretch every morning, or when you wonder if your posture is slumping.

  • The Posture Check Stretch: Begin by stretching your arms over your head and slightly toward the back. Now, bring your arms down and roll your shoulders forward three times, then backward three times. Now roll your neck in each direction three times and stretch your neck by keeping your face facing the ceiling for 10 seconds.

As mentioned in last month’s blogs, this is especially important if you’re new to working from home, as your new “office” chair (the couch) may not provide the kind of support your back needs.

  • Superman Holds: Most people associate Superman exercises with being on your hands and knees and stretching out one arm and the opposite leg. This is similar but different. Here, you lie on your stomach on the floor. Squeeze your glutes to raise your feet and legs, engage your mid back, and squeeze your shoulder blades to raise your arms off the floor in an extended position. Focus on firing your entire posterior chain to begin the movement, so that you don’t place all the strain on your back. Keep your neck in a neutral position, not looking up. Hold this position for a two count before lowering back to the ground.
  • Band Bent-Over Row: There are many different row exercises that are good for your back. This one uses a low-resistance band. Take it and set it out on the floor. Stand on the middle of the band, grabbing the two ends in either hand with an overhand grip, hinging at the hips and slightly bending your knees to keep them loose. Don’t round your back. Squeeze your back to pull the band ends simultaneously to your chest, or as close to your hip height as the band allows. Pause for a moment at the top and then slowly return to the original position, holding off the band’s resistance.

OK, there are three to get started. In February’s second blog, Dr. Tinley will give you a few more exercises for your back. Until then, if you’re experiencing chronic back pain, give him a call at (817) 916-4685 to schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Back Pain

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