Hey, this is Rick Kaselj from ExercisesForInjuries.com. I wanted to go through a concept of self-traction related to workouts for your lower back.
CLICK HERE to watch BEST Stretch to do Before Your Workout for Your Low Back on YouTube
What traction is, is to put a light stretch on your lower back to decrease the pressure built up in the discs in your lower back.
So what happens is when you go to bed, and you lie on your back, sleep gives your body a chance to recover and what happens with your back is it ends up expanding, and the discs end up expanding, end up being larger in height compared to the end of the day.
The discs compress and get smaller when you get up and start doing things and moving around. And this is especially true if you end up doing activities with higher stress on the back.
For example, if you do a lot of sitting or a lot of driving, sitting and driving puts about 40% more pressure on your back and more pressure on the discs. As these discs get smaller and smaller throughout the day, we can end up decreasing the pressure in the back by elongating those discs, and you can do that by something that I call Self Traction.
How to do Self Traction?
If I am in a gym setting, I can end up using a chin-up bar or a squat rack and what I want to do is I want to end up grabbing the bar above me.
My hands are underneath my shoulders. I am letting myself hang, and the big thing I am focusing on is I am letting my hips drop.
Dropping the hips and looking at getting traction through my back.
I will do that for about 15 seconds if this is your first time doing this. You will end up going light. Because it ends up benefiting 95% of people, but 5% of people it doesn’t work for, and we want to start gently instead of aggressively and irritating things.
Suppose you end up being tight in the shoulders and the mid-back tightness. It might take a bit of tweaking when it comes to the technique to hit that low-back area.
I will end up doing another repetition, hands directly underneath my shoulders.
I am focusing on dropping those hips and letting those hips drop.
And then, I want to do a self-test to see how my back feels.
Does that make my back feel better? Is there no change, or does it ends up making it worse?
Doing the Technique Right way.
You can check to see if you have done the technique correctly. See if you have gone too aggressively; make sure you have done the technique right. If there is no difference, it’s not better or worse. Suppose you feel better like it makes my back feel better. I want to build on the good, and I want to build on my back feeling better.
This would end up doing another repetition, and then I get more comfortable as I do more repetitions. I can isolate more in that back area because a lot of times, the first rep might focus more on the shoulder, a second rep might be a little bit more mid-back, and finally, in the third repetition, I can target and hit the low back a lot better, and for me, that ends up feeling better. My back feels looser, and my back feels happier.
Give that a go if you have a stiff and achy back. If you end up doing a lot of driving or you end up doing a lot of sitting, try the Self Traction. Especially if you work in a gym, you can use a squat rack or a pull-up bar and hang from the pull-up bar or the squat rack and stretch out your lower back.
This is Rick Kaselj Signing Off
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