20 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Back

Working at Lumo Bodytech, I spend a lot of time thinking about the back. In addition to trying to achieve my 8+ hours of good posture, I also stay up to date on all the latest back health, spine studies and posture tidbits circulating the web. On the daily, I read some really interesting stuff, ranging from respected journals to blogs and Buzzfeed. Here are the top 20 surprising facts I’ve come across in my quest for back knowledge.

Try These 3 Short Exercises To Ease Your Lower Back Pain

Do you belong to the two-thirds of Americans who suffer from lower back pain? While nearly 72 percent use pain medication as a way to relieve their symptoms, more than 55 percent use heat and cold packs at home for relief. But is this getting to the root issue: our ways of moving? We’ve been hunched over our smartphones or laptops, sitting at our desk and slumped over on the couch and our body have adapted to these chronically poor positions of our modern lifestyle.

Poor Posture Decoded

Good posture across time and cultures seem to have one universal standard: head up, shoulders back, chest out, and feet shoulder width apart. Mom taught you this, and your chiropractor, physical therapist, and trainer will all nod in agreement.

However, what seems to have more variance is the types of poor posture that we see across people of different professions, daily habits, and age. Here are 4 of the most common types of poor posture.

Good Golf Posture – Why Does It Matter and How Do I Get it?

Get Good Golf Posture, Improve Your Game!

Catherina Wang Professional Golfer and LUMOback Intern

Catherina Wang
Professional Golfer and LUMOback Intern

In any sport, it is important to use correct form and technique to improve your performance and prevent injuries. While good active posture allows for quick and efficient movements, poor posture leads to more injuries because your body has to compensate for your improper form by using the wrong muscles, leading to stress and strain.

As a professional golfer, I know a thing or two about injuries and injury prevention! If you don’t have good golf posture and technique, you train the wrong muscles and put yourself at risk for injury. Proper golf posture makes a world of difference, not only preventing injury but also allowing you to hit the ball further and straighter, which we all know is every golfer’s dream!

In the video clip below, I’ll give away some of my secrets for success: you’ll learn why good golf posture matters and how to get into perfect golf posture. Check out the drill at the end of the video for a great way to remind yourself to keep up that great, strong posture. You’ll be hitting the ball higher and further than ever before in no time!

 

Start your positive habit change today with Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.

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Best Back Strengthening Exercises

In order to maintain good posture, you need to keep your core and back muscles engaged. Many of our users report that they feel a bit sore when they first start trying to improve their posture and have asked us to recommend the best back strengthening exercises. Your wish is our command: We’ve worked with some of our favorite personal trainers to bring you a set of simple core and back strengthening exercises to help support (literally!) your quest for better posture.
Our favorite back strengthening exercises are easy to do at home, require no equipment, and, as LUMO intern Catherina shows below, can even be done in your normal street clothes! Try to perform them 2-4 times per week to build up your strength and help prevent pesky back pain.

1) Front Plank

The plank is a core-strength powerhouse that works your abs and obliques, while also helping you to strengthen your quadriceps, glutes, and shoulders. Building strength and endurance in your core will help protect your lower back from injury and strain.

How to do it: Lie on your stomach then slowly raise yourself up onto your elbows and toes. Keep your back straight and your head and neck in line with your back, shoulders directly above your elbows. Pull your abs in tight (think of drawing your belly button in toward your spine) and be sure to keep your hips down. Sticking your bottom up in the air is cheating! Aim for 2 repetitions, starting with 20-30 seconds each and working up to a minute.

How to modify it: If you have trouble holding a plank on your toes with good form, try dropping down to your knees instead, as Fiona demonstrates to the right. Keep a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and remember to keep your core sucked in tightly!

2) Side Plank

How to do it: Start by lying on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Keeping your elbow under your shoulder, push yourself up onto your forearm. Keep your body in a straight line from shoulder to toes, and make sure that your hips are square. Hold this position for 20-40 seconds then switch sides, aiming for a total of 2-3 repetitions per side.

How to modify it: Like the front plank, you can make this a bit easier by doing it from your knees instead of your feet. Once you’re a pro, make it harder by lifting your top leg straight up.

3) Superman

The Superman is one of the best back strengthening exercises, focused on improving your lower back strength.

 

How to do it: Begin by lying straight and face down. You can either place your hands by your ears, as Catherina demonstrates above, or extend them out in front of you so that you look like Superman flying – that’s where the exercise gets its name, after all! Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs and hold your body in the raised position for 2-5 seconds. Exhale as you lift your arms and legs, then inhale as your lower yourself down into the starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

How to modify it: In addition to straightening your arms like Superman, you can also modify this exercise by lifting one limb at a time. Alternatively, you can choose to move your upper body and lower body separately – keep your feet on the ground and lift your chest and arms for one set, then switch and raise your legs while resting your upper body on the ground.

4) Bridge

The bridge exercise serves several purposes, making it an awesome all-around strengthener. As a back bend, it helps counteract the stress that sitting all day places on our bodies. The balance element helps you gain stability, which protects against injury. You’ll also work lots of muscles including your abs, glutes, and lower back, which all work together to help stabilize your spine and ward off back pain. Finally, it stretches out your hip flexors – stretching and lengthening your hip flexors helps to ease back pain, so we definitely recommend working to increase your flexibility in those muscles!

How to do it: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart. Relax your arms by your sides and squeeze your gluteal muscles as you lift your hips up toward the ceiling, creating a straight line from your knees to your chest. Be sure to keep your knees parallel to each other – don’t let them splay out to the sides. Hold yourself up for three counts, then gently lower yourself back to the ground. Aim for 10-12 repetitions.

How to modify it: To make it harder, lift one leg straight up so that your foot points toward the ceiling. Keep your hips even and flex your foot. This makes the bridge substantially harder, so start with a few reps and build up to a full set. Be sure to do both sides to keep your body even and balanced.

 

Start your positive habit change today with Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.

SHOP NOW

 

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Is Your Tablet Hurting Your Health?

Is Your Tablet Hurting Your Health?

Many of us use smartphones and tablets in an attempt to increase our productivity on the go. A recent survey from Experian shows that Americans spend an average of about an hour per day on their smartphones, with the majority of that time spent emailing, texting, and browsing. However, research shows that using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can have various negative effects on our health.

Slouching over your phone can cause back and neck pain, and make you more timid.

Slouching over your phone can cause back and neck pain, and make you more timid.

When using tablets and phones, we often assume a slouched or hunched posture, as shown in the photo to the left. Our necks jut forward and down as we strain to read from a small screen, and our shoulders often tilt forward as well. All of these postures are ergonomic nightmares and can lead to neck and back pain.

Furthermore, a study from Harvard Business School shows that the hunched postures associated with working on these smaller devices actually make us less assertive than we are when we work at bigger devices, such as desktop computers. The postures we assume when working at a large desktop monitor boost testosterone levels, making us more apt to act assertively and take initiative.

Therefore, switching from your 13-inch laptop to a large desktop monitor could make you a bolder contributor at your workplace. And, while it may seem productive to send emails from your smartphone while waiting for a big meeting or interview, keeping your phone tucked away in your pocket may have positive implications for your confidence, assertiveness, and performance.

Start your positive habit change today with Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.

SHOP NOW

 

Subscribe to the Lumo Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know about new articles, trends, products, discounts and latest Lumo news! Enter your email address below:

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