The Power of Habits

Habits!  Good or bad, they can significantly affect how our bodies move and feel.

Here is a quick example, bending over or squatting.  We do this throughout our day to sit or pick something up.  How you do either has become a habit.  Do you think you bend in a good way or a not-so-good way?

Let's take a look at some examples:

From the pictures of our model above, if you are doing more of a straight leg bend or a squat-type bend, you want to make sure you are bending and moving through your hips and not your back.

It sounds simple enough, yet, time and time again, people struggle with back pain.  They pick something up, and they feel pain in their back.  They get done working out and need to stretch their back because it feels tight.

So what is the secret to creating a good habit of bending?

  1. Bend at the hip joint.  This is where your thigh bone comes into your pelvis or the crease at the top of your leg.  If you struggle to move through this joint, it may be because some muscles around it are tight.  Commonly the glutes on the back side of the joint are tight.  You may need to release them or start by letting your glutes relax and see if it feels easier to move through the joint.
  2. Bend the knees too.  It is ok to bend your knees when sitting or lifting, but you need to bend at the hips, not just at the knees.
  3. Lift less weight.  If you can't keep the pressure out of your back, decrease the weight you are trying to lift.
  4. Bring the weight closer to you.  If you notice the model when performing correctly, his tailbone appears almost to be pointing up, and when he is doing it incorrectly, it points down.  If you are trying to deadlift weight from the ground and put it higher, it will help maintain optimal/healthy alignment of your joints.

In the end, the key is consistency.  You can't just move correctly every once in a while and think your back will feel better or have lasting change.

Be consistent throughout your day, including when you exercise.  Allow your good habit to drive out your bad habit!

Do you have questions about how you are performing your everyday movements?

Reach out.  We can help.


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