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Regardless of if you’re new to the world of fitness or a seasoned athlete, there’s always something interesting to learn. Stay up to date with my latest fitness news, tips and trends.


Why are we so reluctant to start from ground zero? Sometimes we skip the basics because we think we’re past that. In training, many of us push through pain in hopes that it’ll go away on its own, which burns us in the end. Besides being stubborn, I think another reason for this is lacking awareness of our bodies in space (i.e., proprioception). We aren’t aware that we walk around with our neck jutted out, or that we’re constantly hunching, or that our limiting factor is joint instability. We don’t know where our pain is coming from because we’re not aware of the source.

A lot of people don’t want to acknowledge or even work on their weaknesses because it means tapering back rather than moving forward. They don’t want to quit the training program they’ve worked so hard on, or stop the classes they’ve been attending for months. I had this problem when I tore my upper hamstring three years ago. I was completely devastated that I couldn’t squat the bar without hip pain. I could barely isolate or move my right glute muscles and needed considerable rehab to get me back into it. I got there within a few months with the help of a sports chiropractor and smart programming from my then powerlifting coach, avoiding exercises that induced pain, starting out slow, and strengthening the stabilizing muscles that were weak in the first place. I really took my time with this period and it put me on to a more mindful movement mentality that I didn’t have prior to my injury.

Today, I apply that mentality with my clients’ training and have gotten better at practicing what I preach! Coming from a powerlifting background, it’s hard to see how much strength I’ve lost and what (few) injuries I’ve developed as a result of pushing through any pain or imbalances I wasn’t aware of as they built over time. Now, I’m not rushing into anything. I’ll try something out, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll try something else. I’ve learned to ease off of things and go light, focusing on bodily awareness, mobility + stability > load. Because I can’t build something strong with a weak foundation.


Sitting for extended periods of time can lead to low back pain and postural stress. However, there are other culprits to low back pain, such as poor movement patterns and muscular imbalances left unaddressed. Most often, the glutes are weak from inactivity, the hip flexors and spinal erectors of the low back are short and tight, and the hamstrings lengthen and weaken.

So why might all of this cause lower back pain? Well, the tight and short hip flexor muscles end up pulling on the front of the pelvis, creating an anterior pelvic tilt (APT). The forward rotation of the pelvis lengthens and weakens the abdominal muscles, contributing further to this postural disaster that produces compensation shifts up to the shoulders and neck.

So, what can you do to help relieve lower back pain?

There are a few ways to address this. We need to first find out WHY our lower back is hurting in the first place.

If it's tight hip flexors, STRETCH them.
If it's weak glute and core muscles, STRENGTHEN them.
And, if you don't already, TRAIN the hamstrings to load during exercises such as the deadlift so that your spinal erectors don’t have to pick up the slack during the movement and in everyday life.

Lastly, check on your desk posture - is your neck jutted out toward your computer screen, are you sitting slanted or cross-legged, and/or are you slouching in your chair? Make sure your neck is in line with the rest of your spine (i.e., not extending forward). If you find it uncomfortable to sit straight in your chair, try placing an object under your feet to elevate them (a stack of your dusty old textbooks will do). Last but not least, never slouch in any position (if your natural posture is slouched, strengthen your back muscles and work on releasing your tight pectoral muscles with myofascial release [I highly suggest getting yourself a lacrosse ball for this]).

I want to make sure you can pick up your kids from the floor and brush your teeth leaning over the sink without back pain. Don't work through pain; address it.

Blog: Tips & Advice
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