Posts Tagged ‘Back’

Stop stretching

January 14, 2018

I hear this advice all the time: Do stretching. Get flexible.

That is bad advice.

Your muscles are like springs. Kind of like the springs in your car. Do you want loose springs in your car? Of course not. You want firm springs.

When you bend down to pick up an object, you want tight hamstrings (ham-springs) to firmly move you back up to the standing position.

The back is not designed to bend or twist. It is designed to stop motion and hold your torso stiff. Stop doing crunches, sit-ups, bends, and twists. They will ultimately harm your back.

Measure your height first thing in the morning

December 26, 2017

A little known fact is that we are all actually taller first thing in the morning than we are before we go to bed at night. This comes down to our discs. The discs in between each of our vertebrae are packed with very concentrated protein chains that love water. In scientific terms, this means they are “hydrophilic.” When we lie horizontally, the discs fill with fluid and gently push the vertebrae away from one another, lengthening the spine. The reason our backs are often stiff in the morning is that the discs are so full of fluid, like water balloons ready to burst. When we get up in the morning and our spines are once again vertical, the excess fluid in each disc begins to seep out and an hour or two after rising from bed we have returned to our normal heights. This natural ebb and flow is healthy and is what allows the discs to obtain nutrition.

The Back Mechanic, by Stuart McGill, Ph.D.