Squatting for a Stronger Back


If you're frequently suffering from lower back pain and often visit a chiropractor, you may be lacking in muscular strength in the stabilisation muscles that support the spine and upper body.  Whilst normally associated with lower body training, the squat is a fantastic exercise for building core strength whilst promoting good posture. So you can actually make your back stronger whilst simultaneously training your legs just through abdominal contraction and an offset centre of gravity.

Hips and Heels

The two aspects of the squat that people most frequently get wrong is the distribution of weight on the feet and the movement of the hip, both of which if performed incorrectly, can actually cause more harm than good by placing excessive strain on the lumbar region of the spine and the patella. The best way to address this is to imagine you are closing a car door behind you and you have a handful of shopping bags, begin the move by immediately moving the hips back, keeping the knees above the toes. Keep the chest up and the shoulders pulled back as you look at yourself in the mirror to check your form. When you've gone down as far as you feel comfortable, wriggle your toes. If you can move them and maintain stability, you've got the weight distribution right. Now push up through the heels and reverse the movement, all the while contracting the abs to stabilise your midsection.

Squat Variations

Now you've got the basic squat down, you'll have stronger hamstrings and core, which will assist in preventing lower back pain; however, there are a few variations that will help you to work the abdominals, obliques and lumbar region even harder.  

The goblet squat is perfect for when the squat rack is in use and requires nothing more than a weight, preferably a dumbbell or kettlebell. Perform the squat in exactly the same way as normal, but hold the weight close to your chest with your elbows tucked in to your body and just about resting on your hips, so that your forearms are running vertical. This variation of the squat will off-balance your centre of gravity and cause your core to work overtime to contract and stabilise you to prevent you from falling forwards.

The close leg squat requires your feet to be placed together as you perform the exercise. Weights can be used in any position to increase stability and strength training and the principle of movement is the same, imagine there's a pane of glass in front of you and as you move up and down your nose gently brushes it. This variation is great for forcing your obliques into play and working the outside of the legs, but just be careful not to let the knees come over the toes. 


27 October 2016

Helping my kids' backs

My kids get really sore backs from all the time they spend sitting down at school at their desk. It's really hard on growing bodies to always be confined like that. I take them to the chiropractor to get regular adjustments, and it really helps relieve their sore their as well as helping them to sleep better at night. I love that they have so much more energy and vitality after their treatments. Our chiropractor is a total genius! This blog is all about how great chiropractic treatment can be for kids and teenagers. It should be really useful for parents and caretakers who want to help their kids.