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Fix your posture - how to relieve lower back, neck and shoulder pain with suppor

 

 

 

Fix your posture

How to relieve lower back, neck and shoulder pain with support exercises to become pain-free

 

Copyright 2016 Feyyaz Alingan

Published by Feyyaz Alingan at Shakespir

 

 

 

 

Shakespir Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchaseit, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Shakespir.com oryour favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Copyright & Disclaimer

Improve your posture effectively

It wasnt always this bad

Muscles that cause neck pain

Sitting is the new smoking?

Before you exercise, you should do this

Taking care of the upper body

Smoothing out the lower body

Get rid of headaches and neck pain

Train your lower body with one exercise

Make a health plan

Dont be lazy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Notice

No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without expressed written, dated and signed permission from the author. All copyrights are reserved.

Disclaimer and/or Legal Notices

The information provided in this book is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor and this is not meant to be taken as medical advice. I can’t promise results.

 

You should consult your physician to insure the tips given in this document are appropriate for your individual circumstances.

If you have any health issues or pre-existing conditions, please consult with your physician before implementing any of the information provided in this book.

This product is for informational purposes only and the author does not accept any responsibilities for any liabilities or damages, real or perceived, resulting from the use of this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It wasn’t always this bad

 

When it comes to fixing your posture, it isn’t just enough to do a few exercises for your neck and be done with it. The problem may run deeper.

 

So in order to properly fix or optimize your posture, when you’re working at an office, we have to look at the system as a whole.

 

Chances are you sitting at your office job and have been for the last couple of years. Unfortunately depending on your job, you will sit for 8 hours straight, without any movement at all.

 

This can be counter-productive, as our bodies were made to move. Millions of years of evolution have changed our body structure in a way, that has been optimized to walking long distances (to explore), running short distances (to hunt), squatting up and down (to gather), climbing smaller obstacles (for safer environments or new paths) and playing for fun (that’s still the same!).

Take a look at these examples and compare the bodies on a skeletal level:

 

(Source: http://cogweb.ucla.edu/ep/Paleoanthropology.html)

 

We have stabilized feet, through a foot arch, a long achilles tendon, a narrow waist with a large hip joint and knee joints and a big gluteus. All these things contribute to the fact that our bodies are walking and running (or moving) machines.

 

If you’ve seen a primate walk or run, you see that they kip from side to side to walk, which is very inefficient and needs a lot of energy.

 

You wouldn’t be able to run for long hours if you’re body would be shaped like that. But with our body, we can easily walk and jump for hours!

 

Now imagine yourself as your body: Stuck in an office for 8-10 hours, just sitting and doing mental work.

 

We have, however, one thing going for us and that’s adaption, no matter where we are or what we do. So if you’re sitting for multiple hours a day and working on a computer, chances are your body is optimized for that.

 

(source: http://www.top.me/fitness/dont-slouch-five-exercises-to-improve-bad-posture-1464.html)

 

You’ll probably look like this and at the first view there is nothing wrong with that, because if all you ever do is work, that is a good position to be in. But naturally, our body wants to move and change positions, so with a posture like this, even if you do something simple like pick up your keys from the floor or go to a spinning class, chances are you will injure yourself.

 

So our goal is to fix that in an active and passive way. Unfortunately the fix isn’t just “sit straight!”, but a more holistic, practical and active approach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muscles that cause neck pain

 

In the last chapter we looked how our evolution shaped our bodies and why we were made to move. We also discovered that fixing and optimizing our posture is not a passive thing, such as “sit straight” for 8 hours, but rather a practical and active approach that has to look at the whole system involved.

 

Today we’re going to discuss this system and look at all the muscles that are involved in our daily posture.

 

The upper body:

 

If you think about posture, you immediately fix your spine, sit up straight and get into an uncomfortable, but “right-feeling” position. So you already know and can feel that your neck and back are involved.

 

But as mentioned before, we have to look at the entire upper body first.

 

Let’s start from the top: Your head defines how your neck is positioned, if you can’t move your eyes comfortably, chances are you’ll move your entire neck with it. (Here’s an action tip, that’s partly related to posture: Take regular breaks where you can rest your eyes. People recommend taking every 30 to 40 min. off screen and focusing your eyes on something wider away.)

 

Your neck is made of a lot of fine muscles that you can see here:

 

(Source: http://www.muscleseek.com/muscles-anatomy-muscles-location/neck-muscles-structure-exercises-problems-diagnosis-treatments/)

 

All these small muscles take part in your head and neck position and mostly connect to your chest, shoulder and trapezius muscles. They are also very commonly responsible for headaches that you have. Your neck tends to get really tight due to stress and bad posture. That in turn can cause you headaches.

 

The trapezius is a muscle on your back, which you often times will feel when you’re getting a massage. It looks like this:

(Source: http://www.somastruct.com/the-trapezius-muscle-myth/)

 

Almost everyone I’ve come across (from coaching clients, to friends and family) have had certain knobs (= tight muscle spots) somewhere on their trapezius.

 

It will be one of the main muscles that we work on, but more on that later on.

 

The shoulder muscles, which are also connected to your neck are made of the deltoids, which are basically the front, middle and back part of your shoulders, as well as some muscle, which is called subscapularis (“under the scapula”, which are your shoulder blades).

 

(Source: https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/expert-insight-article/47/5001/dynamite-delts-ace-research-identifies-top)

 

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscapularis_muscle)

 

These play an important role in connection with your chest muscles, as they can cause problems in your arms, due to tightness.

 

Let’s look at the chest muscles first though:

 

(Source: http://mobilitymastery.com/pec-and-front-deltoid-release-for-relaxed-shoulders-and-necks/)

 

It’s a very simple muscle, it has a major (bigger) and a minor (smaller and under the major) part. In my case I’ve had a lot of problems with the pec minor but couldn’t really fix the issue, because my pec major was also too tight, to really work the minor. But I’ll go into these details later on.

 

Last but not least, the arms:

 

(Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Upper+arm)

 

This top view, starting from the deltoid shows the most important parts: biceps, triceps and forearms. See, the tightness in your shoulders automatically connects to your upper and lower arm, meaning that if you have bad shoulders or a tight chest, chances are your biceps and forearms are affected as well. This can cause many ugly problems, such as carpal tunnel or pain in the elbow.

 

As you can see, the back is very little involved when it comes to problems with your posture. However, the lower body plays another vital role and that, we’ll explore in the next chapter.

 

 

 

Sitting is the new smoking?

 

We just looked at the upper body and which muscles are involved when it comes to your posture. We’ve seen that the neck is connected to the trapezius, the chest and the shoulders. And these muscles in turn can be tight, causing problems with our arms, such as carpal tunnel. The back has very little involvement in how your posture is built.

 

Today, we’re going to look at the lower body and see how this plays into the grand scheme of things.

 

Muscle-wise, it’s easier to work on the legs, because they are generally bigger and easier to work with. Take a look here:

 

(Source: http://www.christinacarlyle.com/easy-at-home-lower-body-workout/)

 

For us, in terms of importance, we’ll look mainly at the quadriceps, the glutes, the hip flexors and the hamstrings. Calf muscles are generally not a problem, and although the feet are very important, they would go beyond the scope of this book.

 

In addition to the main muscles involved, another very important part is the entire hip and hip joint. But instead of looking at all the separate muscles and bones in and around the hips, let’s look at the main issues that happen when you sit:

 

(Source: https://letsbands.com/en/blog/pelvic-tilt-hollow-back-back-pain.html)

 

Depending on your sitting position, chances are you fall into either category A or B. Probably A if you have been told to sit straight and probably B if you’re browsing through the web or working away.

 

The issue with the seated position for a long time is that the hip flexors can get really tight, simply because you don’t extend them at all! Decreased hip mobility in turn will limit your performance outside of work.

 

Whether it’s going for a quick play of tennis or picking up your kids and playing with them, tight hips can cause problems that show up in different ways.

 

Another important, but oftentimes problematic area is the psoas.

 

(Source: http://www.yoganatomy.com/the-psoas-muscle/)

 

In a seated position, the same thing that happens to the hip flexors, is happening to the psoas:

 

(Source: http://www.crossfitriverland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/psoas.jpeg)

 

So the shortened psoas muscle is pulling down the lower part of your spine, because it got so tight due to you sitting all day. Can you now slowly start to see the problems that can occur due to bad posture and long sitting?

 

So in the upper body we have the hunched back, which can result in problems in our arms, neck and head such as headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and neck pain. And in the lower body, since we’re sitting all day, we don’t move the important small muscles such as the hip flexors and the psoas, which in turn become tight and pull down the whole system, causing tight hips and lower back problems.

 

Up next, we’ll discover how to tackle these problems best so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you exercise, you should do this

 

In the last chapter we learned how the lower body works (or doesn’t!) when we sit and why that is problematic. The main muscles and issues that we found were the shortened hip flexors and psoas, due to us sitting 8-10 hours in an office.

 

Now normally when you have a problem in the back or posture area, fitness trainers almost always recommend exercise. While exercise has its place in this document, it won’t be until later that we need to strengthen those muscles.

 

Why?

 

See, when you have been sitting for the last 5-10 years (not even counting school!) for an average of 8 hours per day, it adds up. So chances are your hip flexors are a bit tight, your psoas is working overtime and maybe your shoulders and chest are basically glued together because you have a hunched back.

 

Putting you under a barbell to strengthen your chest would increase your risk of injury That’s why we have to loosen up the soft tissue first (remember, soft tissue is muscles, tendons and everything in between bones).

 

Yoga and similar stuff can help, but won’t be helpful if you’re really tight in certain places and have a hard time relaxing that specific area, simply because neurologically you have been trained to keep that muscle tight.

 

So we have to use the following tricks:

 

*
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. tools to help with our soft tissue;

*
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. ease into it with breathing;

*
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. do it regularly (yes, that’s not a tool).

 

Let’s look at the tools first:

 

Foam Rollers

 

Maybe you have seen them at your local gym or yoga place, but foam rollers are some of the easiest and best tools to work on your soft tissue in the beginning. You can get a whiter, more foamier one which is usually softer in its material. And a black one for more advanced work.

 

 

 

Alternatively, you can use a metal water bottle, but I wouldn’t recommend this for beginners as the pain can be substantial if you’re not used to working your soft tissue

 

Tennis or Lacrosse Balls

 

Again a softer and harder variance of the tool. The tennis ball is oftentimes pretty easy to get, soft enough to get started and easy to take it with you wherever you go. The lacrosse ball is a bit heavier, harder and, depending on where you are, harder to get.

 

And that’s it! No fancy equipment, no high prices and nothing that you can’t get at your local sports store. A foam roller will cost you between 10-30 USD and a tennis ball maybe 3-5 USD

(pro tip: ask around at your local tennis store, they always have some laying around).

Breathing and regularity

 

In the beginning, the soft tissue work that we’ll look at will feel uncomfortable. Remember, you’re trying to work out of 10 years of instilled habits, so your muscles and nerves will work against you at first.

 

The trick is to breathe out and relax more as well as possible. I will show you breathing- specific tips with each move, if necessary.

 

Regularity is another important trick to keep in mind. You won’t have success if you do these movements once per month; it’s a numbers game really. In the beginning, you have to put in more work so that you can tip the scale and after a while you can easily maintain whenever and however you want.

 

In the next chapter, we’ll look at specific ways on how to use these tools for the upper body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking care of the upper body

 

In the last chapter we looked at all the tools that are needed to loosen up our tight muscles. You don’t need a whole lot: a foam roller, a tennis or lacrosse ball and some regularity in your program.

 

Today, we’ll look at how you can use those tools to easily loosen up your muscles in your upper body, so that you can improve your posture easier.

 

Remember: Just training tight muscles isn’t going to help, you first have to loosen them up and then work on the proper movement patterns.

 

There are three parts that are important for now (there is of course more, but this is out of the scope for this document): Your neck, chest and upper back.

 

Let’s get started with the neck: Take your lacrosse ball and try to reach all the neck muscles on both sides as well as about 45 degrees from the front and back.

 

 

 

In these images I’m using a different type of ball, but it works the same way with a tennis or lacrosse ball would; you just have to elevate it.

 

Spend around 3-5 min on each side and really ease into it. Pain is not good, but discomfort is.

 

Next up is the chest:

 

 

The idea here is that you move your arm behind your back to really expose the part where your chest connects to your shoulder

 

 

Again this can feel a bit uncomfortable, but really try to breathe into it. Give it another 3-5 min for each side.

 

Last but not least, we’ll make sure that our entire upper body is relaxed by foam rolling it. This is how it looks:

 

 

Close your arms in front of you and round your upper back to really get into the foam roller.

 

Try to lean on one side for a good minute and then the other.

 

Next, we’ll look at the exercise for the lower body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothing out the lower body

 

In the last chapter we talked about how to use the foam roller and the tennis ball to loosen up our upper body muscles.

 

Although not directly involved, the lower body plays an important role in overall posture and health.

 

We will look at three possibilities to both strengthen and the stretch the necessary muscles.

The most important parts involved when we sit are the quadriceps muscle and the gluteus maximus, aka the butt. Let’s start with the quads first:

 

Use your foam roller to roll on both your middle and inner quads.

 

 

Depending on how tight your muscles in that region are it can be a bit uncomfortable, but again we want discomfort, not pain!

 

Breathe into it and make sure to work both sides for 2-3 minutes on both legs.

 

Once that’s done it’s time to stretch the tight hip flexor muscle that’s bothering your spine where you’re seated down:

 

 

Don’t pull your muscle forcefully. The idea is to feel a stretch here and ease into it. You can use a couch or a chair to help with the movement.

 

Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side

 

Last but not least, we’ll use our tennis ball to sit on it with parts of our gluteus maximus. The idea here is that it should take care of your tight hips, so you’ll get in a position where you have one leg over the other and sit on that side onto the tennis ball:

 

(Source: youtube.com)

 

Find a spot that’s specifically uncomfortable and rest on it for about 15-20 seconds. You’ll feel how it’ll get easier with time, mainly because the muscle loosens up.

 

That concludes the lower body work.

 

In the next few chapters we’ll talk about exercises once you’re muscles are loosened up and a routine on how to implement this, even when you’re at the office. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get rid of headaches and neck pain

 

In the last two chapters we talked about loosening the muscles first in order to properly strengthen them and do the exact exercises needed to keep our good posture.

 

Today, we’ll look at some of the upper body exercises you can do to strengthen your posture-involved muscles.

 

We’ll again focus on the muscles that we’ve loosened up in the past, so let’s start with the neck.

 

This exercise can help you strengthen the neck in the right position:

 

 

Hold the “straight” position for 2 seconds and then move your chin up again. Do it for 3 sets and 10 repetitions, all in all.

 

Next up is the chest.

 

We can strengthen it fairly easy with an exercise called dumbbell bench press. The barbell bench press is too difficult for beginners, so we’ll start with that:

 

(Source: [_ www.teemajor.com)_]

 

Bring the dumbbells together in the top position and lower slowly. The weight isn’t important in the beginning, so pick a small weight and repeat for 3 sets of 10.

 

In terms of the back and strengthening it, we’ll use a different approach. We’ll use something called passive hangs to strengthen our scapulas (the shoulder blades). Here’s how it looks

 

 

Start out with the passive hang and hold the position for 20-30 seconds, repeat for 5 more sets. Your grip may suffer in the beginning, but you’ll get stronger and the hanging will become easier.

 

That’s it for the upper body, in the next chapter we’ll have a look at possible lower body exercises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train your lower body with one exercise

 

The lower body isn’t directly involved in good posture, as we’ve seen in the last few chapters. However, tight hip flexors can cause pain and muscular imbalances in your body that may lead to poor posture.

 

For this reason, we need to make sure that we can strengthen our legs in appropriate ways.

One of those ways is simply to squat.

 

In a lot of countries in the world, the squat is the way the people go to the toilet, and while you might dismiss it as being silly-looking, think about all the benefits it brings:

 

*
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. improves digestion,

*
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. stretches your hip flexors,

*
p<{color:#000;background:transparent;}. strengthens your legs in their entirety.

 

So instead of more specific exercises for the legs, we’ll only do a squat from time to time.

 

This is how it looks:

 

 

Try to squat as often as possible: when you’re waiting for the bus, in between training sets, during meetings (yes, some will at you look funnily!) or even when you’re working!

 

I prefer to work in a squat from time to time and I know a lot of people who do. One way to organize a cheap squatting desk is by getting the LACK table from IKEA. It’s perfect if you want a standing desk and perfect as a squatting desk if you remove it from your main table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a health plan

 

In the last few chapters, we talked about anything from the anatomy of your upper and lower body, to why massage is really import to loosen up tense muscles and how to do it. We then looked at exercises for the upper and the lower body, which help us strengthen the muscles in the right places to keep a good posture.

 

If you’re reading this, chances are that you either work in an office or at least in an office environment (working from home or a coffee shop).

 

My suggestion here would be to simply switch between desks if you can, or get creative. What does this mean specifically?

 

That means switch your desk every 1 to 2 hours and change the position you work in.

 

Concretely:

- Start with 1 hour of standing;

- Switch to 5-10 minutes of squatting;

- Stand up and walk to get some water or go to the toilet;

- Sit for 1 hour.

and repeat this cycle 2 times.

 

The times in the above protocol aren’t set in stone, nor specifically designed for you, but they are meant to give you a pointer in the right direction.

 

What if you don’t have a standing desk or can’t squat?

 

Then you need to be creative. If your boss doesn’t allow you to work in a standing position (or doesn’t organize some standing desk to rotate), talk to him/her about the importance of rotating desks. It not only helps your body to move, it also makes you more productive and more creative. Switching work places has been shown to increase creativity, so why not use this fact as an argument?

 

A cheap alternative is the LACK table from IKEA (already previously mentioned ) to create your own standing and squatting desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be lazy

 

In this last installment of this book, we’ll discuss the importance of starting to improve your posture today.

 

See, every day that you’re not moving, you’re missing out, because your body adapts to the things you do or don’t do (which in this case is not moving).

 

A teacher of mine once said: “Move it, or you’ll lose it.”

 

And while it sounds like a wise Chinese proverb, it is actually true. Your body and your posture are the result of the last 10-20 years of your movement habits.

 

If you’ve been sitting for 8-10 hours every day for the last 10 years, your body will look and perform like that.

 

As we’ve learnt in the last few chapters, our bodies were meant to move and the muscular system is quite complex, but adaptable.

 

The dark, but simple truth is: If you don’t start with improving your posture today, it will only get more difficult with time.

 

So start with a few massage exercises for your neck or your upper back. Go stretch your hip flexors during the work day. Try moving desks and do some exercises when you’re working at a desk.

Your body will thank you.

And you know what? You’ll not only perform better in your daily life, such as when you have to tie your shoes or pick up your keys. You’ll also feel better, radiate more self-confidence with your posture and live a more creative and fulfilled life.

Get started today!

 

P.S. turn to the next page where I’ll show you 7 more exercises you can get and do today!

 

Improve your posture effectively

 

…and more!

 

 

Sign up for the Posture Mailing List and get a

FREE document showing you

7 Posture Exercises that will help you today

 

Click here to get started

 


Fix your posture - how to relieve lower back, neck and shoulder pain with suppor

Attention: You may be reading this while slouching your back! Poor posture is so common nowadays that we don't realize it. We do feel it however, once it's too late: Lower back, neck and shoulder pain can show itself after some minutes or hours working on a computer. If you work in an office, you should give this book a read. Countless studies have shown that a great posture not only helps with your self-confidence and radiance, but it can also help you to be more healthy at work. In this book, you'll learn: - How we got to the point of poor posture - What muscles are involved in your daily posture - Whether sitting is the new smoking - How to relax the muscle, before strengthening it - Which muscles you specifically need to strengthen for better posture - How better posture can lead to higher productivity ...and much more! Learn how to fix poor posture and increase your productivity at the office. It's really simple: Better posture means less pain, less pain means more happyness and more happyness equals greater productivity. After learning how to improve your posture with the right techniques we will discuss a routine you could do whether you’re at the office or working from a coffee shop. The book is split into easily digestible chapters so that you can get through quite easily. Every chapter will be a concise lesson to teach you how to improve your posture, starting with the basics. No previous knowledge on the human body or biology is needed to understand the topics in the book! I made sure to make it beginner friendly and show you all the tools that I use to improve my posture. We'll use simple, cheap and effective tools such as a lacrosse ball or a foam roller to fix your posture.

  • ISBN: 9781370063260
  • Author: Fey A.
  • Published: 2016-08-01 09:50:17
  • Words: 4168
Fix your posture - how to relieve lower back, neck and shoulder pain with suppor Fix your posture - how to relieve lower back, neck and shoulder pain with suppor