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Archive for August, 2008

Back Pain with Pilates

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Pilates is often the prescription for reducing back pain, but occasionally, I will get a patient who complains about an increase in back pain with Pilates. If you are experiencing back pain or low back stiffness during or after a Pilates session be aware that you are probably overusing your hip flexors instead of properly engaging your deep abdominal muscles. During exercises such as The Hundreds or Single Leg Stretches your abdominals are fatiguing and your hip flexors are taking over.

To avoid the problem, choose less challenging abdominal exercises (a simple chest lift with your legs resting on an exercise ball is a good place to start)or take a break as soon as you feel the work happening in your low back instead of in the lower abdominal area (just above your pubic bone).

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Avoid Knee Pain at The Gym

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

knee-extension-machine.jpg There is only one weight machine I warn my patients to stay away from at the gym. I cringe when I see people using the knee extension machine. This is the piece of equipment you sit on, hook your feet under a t shaped bar and straighten your knees. The problem with this machine is that your knee is most unstable and vulnerable when it is straight. Your knee is subjected to way too much pressure and stain when you add resistance to the equation. Strengthening your quadriceps with bent knees is a better way to go. Try the shuttle machine or the leg press machine instead.

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