The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

Best lower back stretches – right here!

I loved filming this workout “The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine”. You see it’s a treat when I can film a workout not be a sweaty mess afterwards!

This particular workout is pretty much for EVERYONE!

If you:

  • Sit a lot during the day
  • Have low back pain
  • Have had low back pain
  • Want to improve the mobility of your hips and spine
  • Need to unwind before bed
  • Or, need to get the body moving in the AM

This is the perfect workout for you.

So… you see what I mean. The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine is pretty much for everyone.

The lumbar spine has 5 motion segments. Most twisting and bending is divided among those segments, although the majority of the motion takes place in the lowest two segments, called L4-L5 and L5-S1.

The structures in these two lowest segments are the most likely to wear down over time or be injured.

The Best Lower Back Stretches - Fitness with PJ

That smoking — the bad habit that increases the risk of dozens of diseases — can also lead to backaches.

One study found that smokers are nearly a third more likely to have low back pain compared to nonsmokers.

6 Common Culprits to Low Back Pain

1/ Too much sitting. The body was meant to move, not stay static for long periods of time. If you are stuck sitting make it a point to get up and move every 20-minutes for 30-seconds.

2/ Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you undergo spine X-rays for some other reason.

3/ Skeletal irregularities. Back pain can occur if your spine curves abnormally. Scoliosis, a condition in which your spine curves to the side, also may lead to back pain, but generally only if the scoliosis is severe.

4/ Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

5/ Osteoporosis. Your spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.

6/ Muscle or ligament strain. Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement may strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you aren’t in shape and place constant strain on your back it may cause painful muscle spasms.

The Best Lower Back Stretches

 

10 Ways to Keep Low Back Pain Away

In addition to the workout above!

1/ Get more exercise. While you may think it best to rest your back if it’s hurting, experts recommend the opposite. Regular physical activity can help ease the inflammation and muscle tension.

2/ Watch your weight. Extra pounds, especially around the mid-section, can make back pain worse by shifting your center of gravity and putting strain on your low back.

3/ If you smoke, stop. Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to the spinal discs (not to mention what it does to the rest of the body).

4/ Sleeping position. If you are prone to back pain sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up a bit and a pillow in-between them may help ease the pain. Back sleeper? Then put another pillow under the knees.

5/ Posture. Pay attention to your posture and when seated be sure to push the bum to the far back of your chair and keep your knees a bit higher than your hips. Standing for long periods of time? Position one foot higher than the other using a small stool.

6/ Avoid high heels. Sorry, but high heels shifts your center of gravity and places a strain on the low back. Stick to one-inch heels if you can.

7/ Stash the skinny jeans. Tight clothing interferes with bending, sitting and walking – all of which can aggravate low back pain.

8/ Lighten your wallet. For you men out there, sitting on overstuffed wallets can cause discomfort and pain. Lighten it up, or take it out of your pocket when seated (such as when driving).

9/ Pick the right purse. Messenger bags are best for the back (where the strap hangs on the opposite shoulder of the bag). These types of bags help to distribute the weight more evenly and keeps your shoulders and back pain-free.

10/ Forget the back braces. There are a variety of braces on the market and while they may be helpful after certain kinds of surgery they is absolutely no evidence that these braces can help treat chronic pain. In fact, they can actually add to the pain as the muscles will get lazy because they are not being used everyday to stabilize the spine.

 

The Best Lower Back Stretches - Fitness with PJ

 

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20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

If you want an efficient workout, this is it! My 20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout leaves no muscle behind.

We cycle through 20 exercises, once through, using a pair of dumbbells so you can:

A) Workout in the comfort of your home

B) Get all the major muscle groups trained and toned in your body, as well as the stabilizers and core

Each move will target an opposing muscle group, alternating between the upper and lower body, while also getting some great ab work in too.

Tools needed:

Beginners: a pair of 5lb, 8lb, 10lb

Intermediate: a pair of 5lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb

Advanced: a pair of 8lb, 10lb, 12lb, 15lb (and super advanced 20lb)

20-Minute-Full-Body-Dumbbell-Workout-Fitness-with-PJ-Blog

20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

 

20-Minute-Full-Body-Dumbbell-Workout-Fitness-with-PJ-Blog

 

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Beginner Tabata Workout

Beginner Tabata Workout

Beginner Tabata Workout

In March I had the nicest email come my way. It was from a YouTube subscriber who is in her 70’s requesting a beginner’s Tabata workout.

She wanted to see what a Tabata was. However, she wanted to try one that was low impact and would not hurt her.

How can I say no to that?

What is a Tabata?

Tabata workouts are named after this gentleman, Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician and researcher.

He conducted a study using an interval-based workout to see if athletes would see the same gains from a shorter training program as they do with a longer duration one.

His initial study used the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating team as his test subjects and the workout consisted of 20 seconds intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds on a stationary bike. The whole workout took 4 minutes for the athletes to complete.

In just 6-weeks of training his subjects improved their anaerobic capacity (the ability for the body to work without oxygen, which in turn promotes speed, strength and power) by 28%, and they increased their VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use, which improves endurance) by 14%.

While this is a pretty cool study, it is used with elite athletes as the test subjects. Would this type of training work for us mere mortals, as well?

Beginner Tabata Workout

Further proof

In 2013 the American Council on Exercise enlisted a research team of their own to gauge how effective a Tabata-style workout really is – with normal people.

They took a group of 16 men and women who were deemed healthy and either moderately to very fit and between the ages of 20 to 47 years. After their initial treadmill test (to assess their starting VO2 max, maximal heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion – RPE) they had the participants perform 8 rounds of 4 different exercises, using the 20 seconds hard and 10 seconds rest interval for a total of 20 minutes.

The participants used full-body calisthenics with exercises such as: push-ups, mountain climbers, high knees, split squats, box jumps, burpees, jumping rope, side skaters, plank and punch, lunges, squats, high-knees and Russian twists.

The subject’s heart rates were  monitored throughout the workout, while their blood lactate levels were tested with a finger prick blood test and RPE was evaluated after every four-minute segment of exercise.

Immediately following the sessions, the researchers crunched the data and on average showed that during a Tabata workout their subjects averaged 86 percent of HR max and 74 percent of VO2 max —both of which meet or exceed established industry guidelines for improving cardio fitness and promoting fat loss.

As for calorie burning, the 16 subjects burned between 240 and 360 kcals during the workout, for an average of 15 kcals per minute burned.

Again, Tabata met established guidelines for calorie expenditure for improving health and facilitating weight loss.

I love this study due to two reasons:

They used body weight exercises (instead of a stationary bike like Dr. Tabata used), and they used exercises that can be easily replicated at home.

The researcher’s also increased the total workout time from 4 minutes to 20 minutes.

You see what a lot of people don’t understand is that the intensity that Dr. Tabata used on his athletes was extreme.

Even the most fit person would most likely puke at the 2 minute mark. So, by increasing the time of the workout, and dropping the intensity, it makes this type of workout a lot more doable for the average person.

Read more about Tabata workouts and their protocols here.

Beginner Tabata Workout

 

Beginner Tabata Workout Routine

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Skipping Rope Circuit Workout

Skipping Rope Circuit Workout

Skipping Rope Circuit Workout

This 20-minute skipping rope circuit workout is the BOMB!

For 50 seconds an exercise we rotate through 10 exercises alternating between a skipping drill and a lower body or a core drill.

After the 20-minutes is up we finish off with a nice stretch and you get to end your workout all sweaty and happy.

Skipping Rope Facts

  • Jumping rope burns more than 10 calories a minute
  • The effort it takes to jump rope for 10 minutes is the equilvalent of running a mile in eight minutes
  • Skipping is a full body workout. You use your core to stabilize, your legs and glutes for jumping and your arms and shoulders to turn the rope
  • You can burn 200 calories in two 10-minute skipping sessions
  • Skipping is less jolting on the joints than running
  • Jumping rope is a weight-bearing exercise, so it can help improve bone density and stave off osteoporosis
  • Skipping helps improve your heart rate and blood pressure
  • Skipping also aids your coordination and balance

Skipping Rope Workout - Fitness with PJ

Skipping Rope Circuit Workout

 

Skipping Rope Circuit Workout - Fitness with PJ

 

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Toning Cardio Workout for Home

Toning Cardio Workout for Home

Toning Cardio Workout

My 20-Minute Toning Cardio Workout for Home is perfect for on vacation, as well as any time you are travelling and don’t have any access to equipment.

I added a lot of core moves into this one too, so if you are desiring stronger abs this is a great toning cardio workout for you.

The sad news is I am all by myself for this workout. Loving husband was not feeling well so I did not have the heart to drag him along. I must admit, though, I missed him.

20-Minute Toning Cardio Workout

What exactly is a “toning cardio workout”, you might be wondering?

Well, basically it’s a workout where we are going to build some strength as well as build your heart and lungs. I have used a lot of body weight moves that will challenge the muscles enough to stimulate some growth (good news!) and at a pace that will keep the heart rate up.

You’re gonna love it!

Click here if the video does not appear for you.

20-Minute Toning Cardio Workout

Burn more fat by doing this workout first thing in the morning, before you eat.

By performing cardio in a “fasted” state research is now indicating that we will hit our fat stores faster. You see instead of using the carbs from our food to help motor us through our cardio, we will use our pesky fat stores instead.

I, myself, have been testing this theory and have seen positive results with it. Give it a try with this workout.

20-Minute Toning Cardio Workout

20-Minute Toning Cardio Workout

 

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BOSU Ball Tabata Workout

BOSU Ball Tabata Workout

BOSU Ball Tabata Workout

Short workouts, like a BOSU Ball Tabata, are always bittersweet. They are sweet because they are short and they are bitter because you have to put some serious work behind them to see results.

My BOSU Ball Tabata Workout is the perfect bittersweet workout when you need:

  • A workout that is under 30-minutes
  • A workout that will get the heart rate up
  • A workout that will target the legs
  • A workout that will also hit the upper body
  • And, a workout that will get your core strong

BOSU Ball Tabata

 

BOSU Ball – What’s so great about it?

I have been using the BOSU ball for years and I love it for the sole reason that it spices up regular moves like squats, push-ups, lunges, crunches, mountain climbers, etc.

Since the dome creates an unbalanced training ground for you and your muscles, you have to work a little harder to stabilize your body while performing any exercise on it.

This extra work translates to more muscles used and more calories burned.

Click here for BOSU’s website.

BOSU BALL TABATA WORKOUT - FITNESS WITH PJ

BOSU Ball Tabata Full Workout - Fitness with PJ

 

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