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07.04.2024
Category: 2014
Written by: Nick Jack
Hits: 75

One of the most misunderstood parts of the body is the function of the core, especially when it relates to back pain. There are many people who believe that the key to good function of the core and spinal health has everything to do with spinal flexibility and the ability to flex and extend the spine through full range of motion. The more supple the spine the stronger your muscles and the healthier you will be is the philosophy behind these type of methods. While it is good to have an adequate amount of spinal mobility, big problems often occur when it is repeatedly flexed and if it is not controlled. It is not more spinal mobility that people need when they have back pain, it is the exact opposite being stability or “good stiffness” that is required to prevent buckling and compression of the spine. In order for this to happen the muscles of the core must be trained to resist or prevent motion of the spine instead of creating it. This often leads to the second mistake, where people try to train the muscles of the torso to become stronger believing a stronger torso will protect them for this is exactly what I just referred to. Unfortunately, the strength of these muscles are dependent on the function of muscles above and below them and are very easily sacrificed or negated if there is a dysfunction. For example, if you do have not adequate hip mobility or a good understanding of functional movement patterns like bending it will not matter how strong your core is in isolation. In this article, I will explain in more detail why stiffness of the spine is more important than mobility, and how strength of the core and erector spinae must be obtained through functional movement as opposed to machines.

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22.02.2024
Category: 2014
Written by: Nick Jack
Hits: 162

This is a question I have been asked several times in recent months on You Tube and also via email as there has been a lot of discussion around the potential benefits of this exercise for your spine and shoulder. To me, this question reminds me about the benefits of backwards walking for knee pain that I discussed last year in that there are undoubtedly some obvious benefits to using an exercise like this, but the overall impact it can have is usually overstated. In some cases this can even be detrimental to the overall health and stability of the body defeating the purpose of using it in the first place. In this article, I will go into detail about how to do this correctly, and analyse the pros and cons of using the dead hang to rehabilitate a back or shoulder problem to help you determine if it is something that will benefit your body.

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12.01.2024
Category: 2014
Written by: Nick Jack
Hits: 270

This is a really interesting question and one that I am regularly asked by people looking to get in good shape. Unfortunately, like nearly every question about health and fitness the answer I usually give is, it depends. We are all individually unique with our needs and where we are at with our health and fitness journey so the timing of when to really up the intensity with your cardio training efforts will vary significantly from person to person. You have to appreciate that this type of training is very stressful to the body and problems can easily arise if you are not moving correctly to begin with, or if you have significant weaknesses present. I have found that cardio training tends to be highly over-rated in terms of the rewards it provides to the body and as a result it is regularly over-used and even abused often leading to chronic injuries that could have been avoided if a better plan was put in place. In this article, I will explain how I know when the time is right to shift my training focus to higher intensity type of cardiovascular training.

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