Archive for the ‘Exercise & Fitness Tips’ Category

Langley Chiropractor Blog | Benefits of Planks

March 7th, 2017 Comments Off

If you ever ask Dr Freedman or Dr Armstrong what you can do to strengthen your back, chances are high they will recommend the plank pose as part of your strengthening routine.  Check out this quick article to learn why.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/planking-each-day-keeps-the-spine-doctor-away/article34220822/

Langley Chiropractor Blog | Some of our favorite back exercises

April 26th, 2014 Comments Off
Posted by Dr. Jody Freedman

After we get rid of our patients back pain, our patients often ask how they can keep it away? Exercise is usually the answer and this video contains a few of our favorite core / back exercises from our favorite low back guru Dr. Stu McGill from the University of Waterloo. However, as any good chiropractor will tell you, no two backs are created the same … so these exercises may not be appropriate for your back and these versions may be more complicated than what you are ready for. If you have any questions, book an assessment and we can guide you the right way.

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Langley Chiropractor Blog | The 10 exercise machines you must avoid

August 17th, 2013 Comments Off
Posted by Dr. Jody Freedman

I saw this well researched article in Men’s Health that I had to share with our patients and Langley community.  I often mention to my patients that just because a machine is in a gym or an exercise it taught by a fitness instructor, doesn’t mean that it is safe. Below are some great examples:

1. Seated Leg Extension

What it’s supposed to do: train the quadriceps

What it actually does: it strengthens a motion your legs aren’t actually designed to do and can put undue strain on on the ligaments and tendons surrounding kneecaps.

A better exeercise: one-legged body-weight squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift one leg up and bend the opposite knee, dipping down as far as you can with control while flexing at the hip, knee and ankle.

2. Seated Military Press
What it’s supposed to do: train the shoulders and triceps

What it actually does: overhead pressing can put shoulder joints in vulnerable biomechanical positions. It puts undue stress on the shoulders and the movement doesn’t let you use your hips to assist your shoulders, which is the natural way to push something overhead.

A better exercise: Medicine-ball throws. Stand one metre from a concrete wall. Bounce a rubber medicine ball off a spot on the wall one metre above your head, squatting to catch the ball and rising to throw it in one continuous motion. Aim for 15 to 20 reps.

Alternative: standing alternate dumbbell presses. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, elbows bent, and a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing out. As you push the right dumbbell overhead, shift the right hip forward. Lower the weight, then switch to the left side.

3. Seated Lat Pull-Down (behind the neck)
What it’s supposed to do: train lats, upper back and biceps.

What it actually does: unless you have very flexible shoulders, it’s difficult to do correctly, so I can cause pinching in the shoulder joint and damage the rotator cuff.

A better exercise: incline pull-ups. Place a bar in the squat rack at waist height, grab the bar with both hands, and hang from the bar with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your torso stiff and pull your chest to the bar 10 to 15 times. To make it harder, lower the bar; to make it easier, raise the bar.

4. Seated Pec Deck
What it’s supposed to do: train the chest and shoulders.

What it actually does: it can put the shoulder in an unstable position and place excessive stress on the shoulder joint and its connective tissue.

A better exercise: incline push-ups. Get into a push-up position on the floor, but with your feet resting on a bench. Aim for 15 to 20 reps. If this is too easy, progress to regular push-ups and plyometric push-ups (where you push up with enough force that your hands come off the ground), and aim for five to eight reps.

5. Seated Hip Abductor Machine
What it’s supposed to do: train the outer thighs.

What it actually does: because you are seated, it trains a movement that has no functional use. If done with excessive weight and jerky technique, it can put undue pressure on the spine.

A better exercise: Loop a heavy, short resistance band around your legs (at your ankles). Side step out 20 paces and back with control. This is much harder than it sounds.

6. Seated Rotation Machine
What it’s supposed to do: train the abdominals and obliques.

What it actually does: because the pelvis doesn’t move with the chest, this exercise can put excessive twisting forces on the spine.

A better exercise: do the cable wood chop. Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your right side facing the weight stack. Rotate your body to grip the rope with both hands. Your torso should be turned toward the cable machine.

In one movement, pull the rope down and past your left hip as you simultaneously rotate your torso (your right foot should pivot). Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Aim for 10 to 12 reps, switch sides and repeat.

7. Seated Leg Press
What it’s supposed to do: train the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

What it actually does: it often forces the spine to flex without engaging any of the necessary stabilisation muscles of the hips, glutes, shoulders and lower back.

A better exercise: body-weight squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides. Now squat down as if sitting in a low chair, while reaching your arms straight out in front of you for balance. Focus on descending with control as far as you can without rounding your lower back or letting your knees drift inward. Aim for 15 to 20 for a set, and increase the number of sets as you develop strength.

8. Smith Machine Squats
What it’s supposed to do: train the chest, biceps and legs.

What it actually does: the alignment of the machine – the bar is attached to a vertical sliding track – makes for linear, not natural, arched movements. This puts stress on the knees, shoulders and lower back.

A better exercise: body-weight squats.

9. Roman Chair Back Extension
What it’s supposed to do: train the spinal erectors.

What it actually does: repeatedly flexing the back while it’s supporting weight places pressure on the spine and increases the risk of damaging your discs.

A better exercise: the bird dog. Crouch on all fours and extend your right arm forward and your left leg backwards. Hold for seven seconds. Do 10 reps and switch to the opposite side.

10. Roman Chair Sit Ups
What it’s supposed to do: train the abdominals and hip flexors.

What it actually does: the crunching motion can put undue stress on the lower back when it is in a vulnerable rounded position.

A better exercise: the plank. Lie face down in the floor. Prop yourself up on your forearms, palms down. Rise up on your toes. Keep your back flat and contract your glutes, abdominals and lats to keep your butt from sticking up. Hold this pose for 20 to 60 seconds.