Stay safe from harm

Keep your­self mov­ing AND be in­jury-free WITH

Soap World - - STAR STYLE -

Ev­ery­one suf­fers phys­i­cal in­juries (per­haps from ex­er­cise) and lower back pain (maybe from lift­ing) from time to time, even the celebs (some­times from stunts on set). There’s noth­ing worse than get­ting an in­jury as it’s not only a huge in­con­ve­nience that slows you down, but the pain from an in­jury causes a lot of stress to the body, mak­ing you feel lethar­gic and ir­ri­tated. The thing to pay at­ten­tion to is not only what to do if you get an in­jury, but more im­por­tantly how can you pre­vent them from hap­pen­ing in the first place.

Good pos­ture in our ev­ery­day move­ments is the big­gest fac­tor to fo­cus on to avoid in­juries of any kind, and es­pe­cially lower back pain; it’s about how you sit at your desk, in the car and even on the couch. Stay­ing ac­tive, with a good range of mo­bil­ity through mus­cles and joints, is an­other ma­jor part of avoid­ing back pain. Most im­por­tantly, keep­ing your weight in check is a great way to avoid in­juries, as be­ing over­weight can slow us down and de­crease our mo­bil­ity. I rec­om­mend a train­ing fo­cus on all the el­e­ments of body­weight strength, core strength and bal­ance, with a good amount of flex­i­bil­ity.

Mo­bil­ity’s key

For flex­i­bil­ity and ease of move­ment, let’s look at a few stretches and mo­bil­ity ex­er­cises that will help keep you mov­ing well and in­jury-free. A must-do ex­er­cise for run­ners and cy­clers is foam rolling for the ITB (il­i­otib­ial band), which runs down the sides of the legs from the hip joint to the knee, and also the quadri­ceps in the front of your legs.

OK, let’s roll!

Lie on your side with the foam roller at the knee and roll your leg up it as you drag your body along the floor un­til the roller reaches your hips, then re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion. You can ro­tate your body for­ward or back to tar­get dif­fer­ent parts of the leg. Com­plete five rolls on

each side be­fore chang­ing. Re­peat three times on each side and aim to do this ex­er­cise three times a week. An­other use­ful ex­er­cise to pre­vent tight hips, which of­ten cause lower back pain, is to re­lease the hip flex­ors, a group of mus­cles that run from the in­ner thigh to the lower spine, which re­sponds best to an ac­ti­va­tion-and-re­lease tech­nique. While in a kneel­ing po­si­tion with one leg in front of the other, and both knees at 90°, squeeze your gluteal (bum) mus­cles for five sec­onds as you push for­ward slightly, but fo­cus­ing more on the op­pos­ing mus­cle ac­ti­va­tion rather than the push for­ward. Re­lease and re­peat three time be­fore chang­ing sides.

jusTin TH­Er­oux

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