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Identify solutions for back pain and strengthen deep core muscles. Learn techniques that will release tight muscles and strengthen weak muscles. Identify posture and breathing that supports a healthy lower back. Video instruction will help you realign with stretches and establish a daily habit of core exercises appropriate to your level of beginner, intermediate, or more advanced. Checklists for the exercises will allow you to track your progress. An introduction to functional exercise video will show you the proper way to continue progressing when and if you're ready.
Last, we'll cover the ergonomics of sitting and standing during work and play and provide tips for making small changes that will promote healthy postures and reduce the incidence of back pain in your activities of daily life.
If you are suffering from back pain or you have in the past and wish to prevent it from happening again this course is for you. If you have avoided exercise because you believe it to be too hard or painful this program is a more gentle approach. Some of the techniques even fitness professionals have used in the past have contributed to the problem as opposed to help solve it. More recent research is applied in this course. Each back pain problem is unique and every individual is unique. This program will guide you through how to choose the options best for your back pain and identify when to leave one out if it doesn't fit your needs.
The goal of this course is to reduce the incidence of lower back pain and or reduce the intensity of pain, or both. Though this course is intended for people with acute or chronic lower back problems it may also help athletes and weekend warriors improve performance by building a better foundation for core strength.
This course doesn't replace the advice of your physician or medical recommendations. Seek medical advice before beginning this or any exercise program.
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|Section 1: Introduction to Back Pain Prevention|
|Welcome! In this introduction I describe who this course is appropriate for, how to use it, and why I created it. I outline each of the sections and preview the progression so that you'll know what to expect as you begin. Your lower back pain may be from your lower back or a symptom of problems elsewhere. I'll point out how the progression from flexibility to mobility to stability will help lay the foundation for a strong core without pain. I do also advise you to seek the advice of your physician before beginning this or any other exercise program. Particularly if you are working with a health professional its important to integrate your program so that it all works for you in a positive way.|
|Lecture 2||1 page|
|In this brief description of the muscles and actions of the body that can effect the lower back and core I'll familiarize you with some of the vocabulary terms I'll be using during the video sequences. The article will give you some insight about traditional exercises that may not be in your best interest. You may have tried them with the best of intentions and now you'll be onto a better approach for your needs.|
|In this section I'll give a quick tutorial on just how to breathe to help activate your core muscles. This technique will help you throughout your day as well as throughout the exercises and stretches that follow.|
|Section 2: Releasing Tight Muscles that act on the Lower Back|
|In this introduction to the why and how of the stretches I'll discuss the reason why focus on flexibility is the best place to start, and why though you won't always be stretching your lower back directly, you will be beginning to allow it more freedom of movement by releasing the muscles that pull on it.|
|In this lecture I'll take you through the stretching sequence explaining each stretch as I go. I'll hold each on the right and the left side so that you can follow along and complete the sequence together with the course using the tips to provide proper form. The reminders will be here for you when you need to refer back to them even if you gain confidence and perform them on your own.|
|Section 3: Mobility|
|In this lecture I show you two floor exercises that will increase the mobility of your spine and begin to help engage the proper muscles in moving your spine and torso. Not only should these feel good, but you'll improve your ability to do them with better articulation within just two or three days of practicing them consistently. You won't find them intense or hard though they might challenge you at first if you've not done them before.|
|In this lecture I'll introduce you to two ball exercises designed to enhance mobility in the spine. The roll out will bring you to full flexion and extension with the support of a ball under you. Around-the-Clock will enhance mobility of the hip and pelvis specifically.|
|Section 4: Deep Core Muscle Strength|
|In this lecture I cover just four key exercises that begin to strengthen your deep core muscles. I'll describe them and the cues you need to do them correctly and identify when you have reached fatigue or, when you are successful and may want to look to the next progression in intermediate section. Watch this first, perform it with me and then begin to track your consistent exercise so you can attach that to your results.|
|I'll progress the beginner sequence of exercises to the next level here. Remember you can always choose to return to the level that suits you best for any of the exercises. Mix and match and make it fit your needs. If you're still challenged by the beginner version wait to add this change until you've mastered it well for at least several sessions consecutively.|
|In this third sequence of core exercises I take the intensity up a notch with the exercises in beginner and intermediate sections. Then we add some additional options so that you have progression ideas for the weeks and months ahead. This section finishes with a new exercise not previewed in the other sections.
|Lecture 11||1 page|
|The Daily Exercise Checklist is here for you to print and use as you go through the course. It will be your accountability partner. The stretching sequence can be done on a daily basis, as can your mobility exercises and core exercises. You may decide to stay with stretching only for a week or more if you're benefitting from that alone. You'll be able to see your actual accomplishments over weeks and be able to compare the way you feel and the corresponding lower frequency and or intensity of back pain associated with your regular performance of the exercises.|
|Section 5: Functional Core Exercise|
|This functional exercise introduction addresses the timing and manner in which you should introduce functional exercises into your routine. I'll discuss how to proceed as you begin with this set of more complex movements so that you can use them safely and effectively.|
|I demonstrate functional exercises that are more complex and dynamic in nature. In many of these shots I will focus the view on my core so that you are aware of the form and focus there rather than the movements of the limbs. I use a medicine ball, a large physioball and a golf club or you could use a dowel or baseball bat. I strongly recommend watching this video first and deciding which one of the exercises you'll try first. Performing one at a time and allowing your body to give you feedback will ensure you don't do too much too soon.|
|Section 6: Ergonomics of Daily Living|
|In this section I address the importance of ergonomics, or the set up of your work (or play) stations, and how they affect your body. I tackle sitting at a keyboard and provide benchmarks for the relationship between you and your chair height, floor, computer screen and more. I also address standing for long periods of time and how to make that a more lower back friendly task if your job demand that of you.|
|Lecture 15||1 page|
|In the checklist I provide you a user-friendly way to determine step-by-step if your work station needs a makeover. I provide reminders for proper body mechanics when standing for long periods of time. Both seated and standing position reminders help you make more of your day about healthy positioning for your body.|
|Section 7: Back and Core Care Management Plan|
|In this last section I wrap up how to continue to use the tools you've learned in the course. I discuss how often you should stretch, perform the core exercises and when and if you should perform functional exercises and expand to other exercises beyond this course. I'll update the course with new information as I hear feedback from you about what would be valuable. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.|
Debra has 28 years experience as a fitness professional. She has a B.S. in Exercise Science and M.S. in Exercise and Sport Psychology. She has been a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, director, manager, owner, and University Senior Lecturer.
She is certified in numerous areas including yoga (200 hr RYT), Pilates (Stott), Strength & Conditioning (NSCA), Advanced Exercise Specialist (ACE) and is a Professional Speaker member of the National Speakers Association and an international presenter in the fitness industry. She provides continuing education for fitness professionals on core conditioning, cueing, business tactics, assessment and exercise prescription. She presents for IDEA, Canfitpro, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a regular contributor to industry publications. Debra trains the trainers.
Very early in her career, right before she was to begin a graduate assistantship that would consist of teaching group fitness classes twice daily four days a week, she was thrown from a horse onto a pile of lumber. Her own recovery from that back injury was both a curse and a blessing. Core conditioning and back care has been a key focus for her since that day in 1988.
Currently working on a book for Boomers who want to navigate fitness in the second half, she will present at the International Council on Active Aging in November 2013.
Debra knows both the art and the science of exercise. She will communicate to you the things you need to know in a way that you can understand and apply them in your own life.