Lower abdominal (low abs) strength is really important for activities of day to day living and even more important if you’re participating in sport or general exercise. Test if you have weak lower abdominals as it can reflect in poor posture, sore lower back and tight hip flexors, legs and glutes.
How to test if you have weak low abs
Lie on your back with your legs extended up towards the roof with your back softly flat against your hands. Your head and shoulders should stay flat on the floor or mat throughout the exercise.
Slowly lower your legs towards the floor trying to keep your back softly flattened into your hands througout. The test is over as soon as your lower back leaves your hands.
Note: if you have low back pain, or are unsure of this test in anyway, please do it accompanied by your Myotherapist, Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist.
How did you do? The closer your legs got to the floor without your back lifting, the stronger your low abs are. For activities of day to day living you should aim to get your legs just hovering off the floor whilst your back remains in that softly flattened state. If your legs were anywhere short of this then follow the video below to begin strengthening your lower abdominal muscles.
Play video to prep, activate and get low abs strength!
Let us know how you are going
We love to hear about how people are going with their home exercise programs. Reach out on instagram, facebook or email [email protected] with your progressions, videos and pics on strengthening your low abs!
As requested by one of our customers, this neck traction exercise is a way you can achieve relief of neck pain, tightness and headaches at home.
In the video below I’ve used a medium strength stretch band and a car seatbelt cover to create comfort for doing neck traction at home. You just need to find somewhere to attach it such as the stair railing, the bed post, a kitchen leg. Something that’s sturdy enough you won’t risk dragging it across the room. You will notice in the video I tested my neck range of movement before and after; I recommend you doing the same thing. I found my range of movement slightly improved after approximately 60 seconds of traction. My neck pain and headache reduced too however after about half an hour at the computer my pain returned. If this happens the key is to repeating the exercise every hour and see if that helps.
If you have neck pain, neck tightness or a mild headache it might be coming from joint restriction in your neck. Gaining movement back in a joint is key to relaxing your muscles. Cervical traction helps to relax the muscles, which can significantly relieve pain and stiffness while increasing flexibility. It can alleviate pain from joints, sprains, and spasms
Cervical traction devices work by stretching the spinal vertebrae and muscles to relieve pressure and pain. Force or tension is used to stretch or pull the head away from the neck. Creating space between the vertebrae relieves compression and allows the muscles to relax. This lengthens or stretches the muscles and joints around the neck.
These improvements may lead to improved mobility, range of motion, and alignment. This will allow you to go about your daily activities with greater ease.
A 2017 meta-analysis of studies analyzed the effectiveness of cervical traction in relieving neck pain. This report found that the treatment significantly reduced neck pain immediately following treatment. Pain scores were also reduced in the follow-up period. More in-depth, high-quality studies are needed to learn more about the long-term effects of this treatment.
Generally, it’s safe to perform cervical traction, but remember that results are different for everyone. The treatment should be totally pain-free. Stop if you experience any side effects like headaches, nausea, dizziness and chat to your practitioner. Some side effects are normal when applying techniques to your body but its always better to check in with your practitioner anyway.
Always talk to your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any treatment. Touch base with them throughout your therapy to discuss your improvements as well as any side effects. They can also help you to set up a treatment plan that addresses exactly what you need to correct. Get help online.
Hope this helps!
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