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Back Savers

How is your back? Can you not sit down without pain? Been there. I can’t heal your back, but I can tell you how good backs work and if you want to see if you can mimic that with your own training, then that’s none of my business.

This mobility warm up will do a considerable amount to get most people feeling better right away by giving them a good load distribution-simply spreading out the work load your body does throughout all the appropriate muscle groups




A pain free back is created by core stability and surrounded by strength and mobility in the hips as well as the t-spine(mid/upper back). That mobility you create with the warmup isn’t enough though and it won’t hold, so without further ado:

There are three main core exercises: plank, lateral plank (side plank), and the birddog which represent anti extension, anti-lateral flexion, and anti-rotation. There are tons of progressions (more difficult variations) for all of those exercises, but the only ones that are necessary are the birddog progressions (anti-rotation). You’ll go a long way with regular planks and lateral planks. Here are 4 birddog progressions:


The Birddog


The Paddler

Anti-rotation standing

Anti-rotation half kneeling

Anti-rotation split stance




In my last article, entitled “The Perfect Butt,” you can find all the answers you need to glute training. Before I go any further though, I want to reiterate the importance of the trap bar in this particular problem as it trains the glutes and the t-spine heavily and safely by shifting the trainee’s center of gravity towards the midline of the body. Once you have the core for it, it is a great tool.



The t-spine is the second major player outside of the core itself. Here are two good tools for T-spine extension and rotation:


If you find you can’t lift your arms without lifting your chest during the first exercise, massage your pec minor like so:



Otherwise, you can give your T-spine a good bombing with those two exercises. 

Last, we need to talk patterning which is the goal: getting those individual muscle groups to work together (not talking glutes here) as one functional unit in a compound movement in which they are all involved.

Farmer’s walk: try to hit a 10 minute walk with a ¼ of your bodyweight in each hand.




3 position carry(also a walk) ala Gray Cook and Dan John: Start out with 5 minutes. Perfect form in each position and then down to the next when the form breaks. 





X walk: Bottom weight 3x heavier than top weight.




Bottom up Turkish get up: 16 = man weight. 24 = hero weight. 40 = legend weight. 






Pullups: The lats take up a huge amount of space on the spine. Get good at these.  




That's all for now!

-P

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