Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Get Rid of Your Pain in the Neck

You are probably creating stiffness and strain in your body right now as you sit at the computer. If you’re like most people, you grip the mouse and your eyes and head drift toward the monitor. You can relieve this muscle tension by taking a minute here and there throughout the day for a special set of exercises that counteract the effects of sitting in front of a computer.

You can do these simple exercises right in your office; some you can do even when you're commuting. Each one can be done in a cubicle and several can be done while sitting---at a desk, in a car, even while stuck in the middle seat on a cross-country flight or on the bus.

Are you ready to tackle the slouch, the sore shoulders, the tingling fingers, the pain in the neck? You can protect yourself from carpal tunnel syndrome and relieve the pain of early arthritis by downloading 7 Undulations to Relieve Office Tension for FREE. Within minutes you can be flexing your spine and shaking out stress.

The exercises will help you to:
1. Reverse the slouch of poor posture,
2. Flush stiffness from your fingers,
3. Add flexibility to your spine,
4. Free your shoulders,
5. Wake up your core muscles,
6. Shake stress out your fingers, and
7. Relieve that all-too-common ache at the base of the skull.

Download your Free copy of 7 Undulations to Relieve Office Tension now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Wait to Weight Lift

In response to the cooler, wetter weather many people are working out inside. It’s good to incorporate weights into your health routine since our bones need weight-bearing exercise to stay strong. I found the following article on the Posture Exercises website and it is published here with the permission of the author.

I particularly appreciate his attention to posture. Whenever you exercise with good alignment you reinforce that in your body.

Here are some free bodybuilding tips for those of you who are going to be doing some weight lifting at the gym. Those of you who are interested in posture exercises that can be done at home (without any additional equipment) should check out the Posture Confidence Program. Those of you interested in a complete body building program should check out Vince DelMonte’s Body Building Program.

Before you read about the specific posture exercises, here are some main bodybuilding training tips to keep in mind:

1. Never break form; if you can’t do any more repetitions, just stop. People breaking form to get more repetitions is the number one reason people get injured. Not only that, when you do an exercise with improper form, it is no longer effective. You are only cheating yourself. Do the full range of the exercise in correct form to ensure you get the most from your workout. This is the most important bodybuilding tip of all of them.

2. As a general rule, whenever you are doing an exercise, try to keep correct posture. With these exercises, it is extra important, since these exercises are the ones focused on developing correct posture. Make sure the rest of your body is in a comfortable position as well (feet flat on the floor, chair at a comfortable height, etc.)

3. When exerting yourself, breathe out. When preparing for the next repetition, breathe in.

4. Don’t rush through the exercises or try to get through them quickly. Do them at a controlled pace, focusing on correct form.

5. The ideal amount of repetitions are between 12 and 15, three sets total. It is especially important that you aren’t trying for more weight than you can handle. Your primary focus should be on keeping correct form, and after a while you will develop muscle memory, and it will become more automatic. Once you become comfortable with the exercises and have developed good muscle memory (at least two months), you will start to get a good feel for what weight level is good for you, and whether you should start going for more weight.

6. This tip is hard to explain, but once you are at the gym and start lifting, you’ll understand what I am saying. A lot of back exercises use your arms as a secondary muscle (specifically, your biceps). The goal is to get the focus on the back muscles, so when you do these exercises, try to pretend your arms are an extension of your back. In other words, flex and focus on your back, while pretending your arms are merely levers to get the job done. This is one of the main mistakes a lot of beginners make, and they end up working out their arms more than their back (although you will develop some nice biceps!).

7. Last but not least of my bodybuilder tips, do a warm-up! Nothing makes less sense than starting to lift weights out of the blue. Do some jumping jacks, run on the treadmill, do some shadow boxing, or other warm-up exercises for at least 10 minutes. Some people are very big on stretching, but there is a lot of controversy over how effective stretching really is, and some even believe it does more harm than good. I’m not going to recommend one over the other (and personally I never stretch), but I will say ALWAYS WARM UP!!!

Those are all my tips on bodybuilding. Keep these in mind when you are doing your posture exercises, and you will be well on your way to correct posture and no more back pain!

For simple posture exercises that can be done at home, definitely check out the Posture Confidence Program or the Perfect Posture Program. Those of you interested in a complete body building routine should check out Vince DelMonte’s Body Building Program.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Exercise of the Month: Tree Tops Undulation

As fall sets in and the wind sets the leaves falling from the trees, it is as important as ever to stay grounded. You can improve your footing by practicing good standing posture, but I've chosen a more fun exercise for the month, the Tree Tops Undulation.

Step #1 - Get Grounded

Stand with your feet hip width apart and toes facing straight ahead. Balance your weight evenly over both feet and over your balls, heels, inside and outside arches. Sense into the ground below you. Try to determine what the earth is like 5, feet, 10 feet, 20 feet down. Grow mental roots into the soil.

Step #2 - Sway Your Spine

Imagine that you are a tree and that a gentle breeze is blowing. Sway with the breeze, lift your arms as branches if you like, staying rooted through your feet.
This is an "exercise" you can do anywhere and it's a great way to spend time when you are waiting . . . for the copy machine, for the pot to boil, in line at the store. (Hint, keep your arms down and breezes small when doing this one in public.)

Here is a YouTube video of trees swaying in the breeze with my voice walking you through the instructions.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Scarf it Up

Even though it hasn't dipped into the freezing temperatures yet, it is still the time of year to wear a scarf every morning if you are prone to develop stiffness, soreness or pain in your neck.

Trigger points can be activated by cold, according to several sources. Even the time it takes from walking out the front door until your car warms up is enough to aggravate any latent trigger points in the trapezius or sternocleidomastoid. (Don't be afraid of the long names, they are just muscles in your neck.)

Also, when you are sleeping make sure that your blankets cover your shoulders and around your neck to avoid waking up with a stiff neck or headache.

(Photo from