Anda di halaman 1dari 48

Copyright and Legal Notices A Healthy Back in Ten Minutes a Day COPYRIGHT 2007, 2008 PERFECT FIT, LLC

C ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book is a derivative work, containing both original and public domain material, in a unique format. All original work and formatting is protected by copyright laws of the United States of America and other countries. You may freely redistribute this book under the following conditions: 1) You are NOT allowed to make modifications of any sort to the ebook and its contents; 2) you are only allowed to distribute it free of charge. You may not sell, auction, or otherwise receive compensation in exchange for this ebook; and 3) you may not claim authorship or any rights to the ebook or the contents therein. No rights other than the ability to freely distribute the ebook are transferred to you. No other use is allowed without the express written permission of Perfect Fit, LLC. NOTICE DISCLAIMER Before starting this or any exercise program, all individuals should consult with their physician or primary healthcare provider. Anyone with an existing back injury or current back pain must not perform any of the exercises or stretches in this manual without consulting with their physician or primary health care provider. All information in this manual and in the accompanying materials is of a general nature and is furnished for educational purposes only. No information contained in this manual or in any accompanying materials provided by Perfect Fit, LLC, Back Lot Films, Inc., their agents or distributors, is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individuals specific health or medical condition. The information is not a diagnosis, treatment plan, or recommendation for a particular course of action regarding your health and is not intended to provide specific medical advice. You agree that Perfect Fit, LLC is not liable or responsible, in whole or in part, to any person or entity for any injury, damage, or loss of any sort caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the use, practice, teaching, or other dissemination of any of the techniques, information, or ideas presented in this manual or accompanying materials. It remains your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, and usefulness of all information provided by Perfect Fit, LLC.

CONGRATULATIONS ................................................................................................................. 4 16 BENEFITS OF HEALTHY WEIGHT INNER CIRCLE ........................................................... 5 SOME BACKGROUND TO GET YOU STARTED ................................................................. 9 WHAT STRUCTURES MAKE UP THE BACK? ...................................................................................... 9 WHAT IS BACK PAIN? ................................................................................................................. 11 HOW COMMON IS IT? .................................................................................................................. 11 WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR BACK PAIN? ......................................................................... 12 WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF AND CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH BACK PAIN? ............................. 13 WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR FOR PAIN? ................................................................................. 15 WHICH TYPE OF DOCTOR SHOULD I SEE? .................................................................................... 15 HOW IS BACK PAIN DIAGNOSED? ................................................................................................ 16 WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACUTE AND CHRONIC PAIN? ............................................... 17 HOW IS BACK PAIN TREATED? .................................................................................................... 17 Non-Operative Treatments ..................................................................................................... 18 Operative Treatments............................................................................................................. 21 CAN BACK PAIN BE PREVENTED?................................................................................................ 22 WHAT ABOUT BACK BELTS?....................................................................................................... 23 ENOUGH OF THAT ....................................................................................................................... 24 EXERCISE ................................................................................................................................... 24 TWO IMPORTANT POINTS FIRST ......................................................................................... 25 REMEMBER THE BELLY BUTTON ................................................................................................. 25 A NOTE ON E XERCISE INTENSITY AND CERTAIN MEDICATIONS .................................................... 26 THE THIRTEEN EXERCISES AND STRETCHES YOU NEED TO KNOW.......................... 27 THE PLANK................................................................................................................................. 27 CRUNCHES.................................................................................................................................. 28 SIDE BRIDGES ............................................................................................................................. 29 PRONE E XTENSIONS .................................................................................................................... 30 STABILITY BALL BRIDGES ........................................................................................................... 31 HIP E XTENSIONS ......................................................................................................................... 32 BACK E XTENSIONS ..................................................................................................................... 33 STABILITY BALL CRUNCHES........................................................................................................ 34 OBLIQUE CRUNCHES ................................................................................................................... 35 GET UPS ..................................................................................................................................... 36 QUADRUPED ............................................................................................................................... 37 TWO STRETCHES ..................................................................................................................... 38 HAMSTRING STRETCH ................................................................................................................. 39 HIP FLEXOR STRETCH ................................................................................................................. 40 SAMPLE ROUTINES.................................................................................................................. 41 BEGINNING ROUTINE 1................................................................................................................ 42 BEGINNING ROUTINE 2................................................................................................................ 42 BEGINNING ROUTINE 3................................................................................................................ 43 INTERMEDIATE ROUTINE 1 .......................................................................................................... 44 INTERMEDIATE ROUTINE 2 .......................................................................................................... 44 ADVANCED ROUTINE .................................................................................................................. 45

FITNESS LOG .............................................................................................................................. 46 ABOUT THE AUTHOR .............................................................................................................. 47

Congratulations
Hello, my name is Dave Soucy, owner of Perfect Fit Fitness Bootcamps and founder of Healthy Weight Inner Circle. If youre like most of my clients, youre reading this because you want to make a change in your life, and let me first congratulate you for taking this step. By downloading this program, you are making a commitment to seek positive change in your health, fitness, and life. It is an investment that will pay off immensely for the rest of your life. This manual will provide you instruction for safe, simple, and effective exercises that you can do at home, all with little or no equipment, that will help you to build a strong and healthy back. Make no mistake, this will take effort, but with my instruction, if you are consistent with your fitness efforts, I know you will be able to see positive changes soon. Eight out of every 10 people will have back pain at one point or another. While a percentage of those are due to traumatic injury or a congenital condition, most back pain is due to overuse of weak, deconditioned muscles. The good news is that means much back pain is preventable if you do what is necessary to avoid having weak, deconditioned muscles in the first place. This book will teach you exactly what you need to do. It contains no hype, gimmicks, or recommendations for the latest infomercial gadgets. The truth is, you have to eat right and exercise. Forever. This is not a debate, and if you were hoping to find some magic secret in here that would give you instant back pain relief without any effort, well, sorry about that. Youve got the wrong book. But, if you are willing to commit just a few minutes a day to perform some safe, simple, and proven exercises that will help relieve or end your back pain, then youll want to read on. If youd like even more info on exercising, fitness, healthy nutrition, and weight loss, please visit our online fitness community at Healthy Weight Inner Circle.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

16 Benefits of Healthy Weight Inner Circle


Everyone has their own reasons for making a decision to improve their life through a fitness program. And while most people who follow this program are interested in avoiding or relieving back pain, here is a list of many of the other important potential benefits that Healthy Weight Inner Circle can provide:

Loss of body fat


Do you know that when you attempt to lose weight by dieting alone, you end up losing some fat, but also much lean muscle and water? Also, calorie restriction causes your body to slow down your metabolism, so as soon as you increase calorie intake again, the fat comes back on faster than ever. A strategy built around sound nutrition and exercise can help you maximize fat loss while maintaining or gaining valuable lean muscle.

Weight control
Unlike diets, a sound nutrition and exercise strategy can lead to a lifetime of stable weight, getting you off of the weight loss - weight gain roller coaster that comes with diets. A fad diet may get you guys back into those 32" pants again for a month, but a well thought out fitness lifestyle can keep you in them forever. And, weight loss is one of the best things you can do to help relieve back pain. Look better naked Well, who doesnt want that?

Increased metabolism
Contrary to popular perception, a fast or slow metabolism is not a gift or curse you are given at birth. It is easy to blame your metabolism for weight gain, but in reality, we are NOT the victims of our metabolism, rather we are the CREATORS of our metabolism.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

While calorie restricted diets literally destroy your metabolism, a properly designed exercise and nutrition plan can dramatically fire up your metabolism so you burn more calories all day, every day.

Increased muscular strength and endurance


Whether you participate in competitive sports, or just participate in activities of daily living such as carrying your child up and down the stairs or lifting the groceries out of the car trunk, increased strength will allow you to perform better. One of the biggest causes of chronic back pain is weak or deconditioned muscles. Performing the exercises in this program on a consistent basis can reverse that problem.

Increased cardiorespiratory efficiency and endurance


Do you get winded just going up a flight of stairs? In less time than you think, a properly designed exercise regimen can deliver marked improvement in your endurance. Research has repeatedly shown that a regular exercise routine can improve the performance of the cardiorespiratory system. Do you realize that if you were able to reduce your resting heart rate by only 5 beats per minute, that translates into 7200 fewer times per day your heart needs to beat? That is more than 50,000 fewer beats per week! That is a lot less work that your heart will need to do.

Increased bone, ligament, and tendon strength


Resistance training and weight bearing exercise not only strengthen the muscles, but strengthen the skeletal system and connective tissues as well. This can greatly reduce your risk of back injury and pain down the road.

Increased muscle mass


Along with an improved physical appearance, increased muscle mass causes you to burn more calories throughout the day. Muscle is metabolically active tissue and is the furnace in your body where fat is actually used for energy. More muscle means a faster metabolism, greater strength, and better ability to protect the other structures that make up your back.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

Reduction in resting blood pressure


Did you know that high blood pressure increases the risk for coronary heart disease, and can cause heart attacks or strokes? According to the American Heart Association, one in four adult Americans has high blood pressure, and nearly a third of them do not realize it. Of the 50 million sufferers, nearly half are women. While medications are often warranted, lifestyle changes including improvements in nutrition and regular exercise are key elements in the control of blood pressure.

Improvements in cholesterol levels


Cholesterol, a fatty substance found in cells and blood, is necessary for many normal bodily functions. Unfortunately many people have cholesterol readings that are too high - 200 and above - putting them at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you are overweight, losing body fat is not only important in relieving back pain, but it can reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol, and as little as thirty minutes of exercise on most days can help improve overall cholesterol levels.

Decreased risk of diabetes


Type 1 Diabetes, where the body makes little or no insulin, is usually diagnosed in childhood. Currently there is no known way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes, where the pancreas does not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels, usually occurs in adulthood and is far more common, making up 90% of all cases of the disease. Maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle are two of the main factors in preventing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

Decreased risk of osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and bone fragility, which leads to increased risk of fractures. Men as well as women may suffer from it.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

Studies have shown that resistance training and weight-bearing exercises are effective in increasing bone mineral density.

Improved self-esteem
There is truth in the saying "When you look good, you feel good." The positive changes brought on by a structured exercise and supportive nutrition program are not only physical. Increased confidence, energy, and vitality are all benefits of a fitness lifestyle.

Improved posture
Whether it is behind a desk at work, behind the wheel of a car, or on the couch watching TV, we all spend a lot more time than we should on our butts. These positions can lead to lower back problems, weak and rounded shoulders, tight chest muscles, and a hunched over posture. A properly designed exercise program can address these issues, and help undo the damage we unintentionally do to our bodies all day long.

Decreased stress
Studies have shown that exercise can cause the brain to release endorphins and other neurotransmitters that actually help to improve your mood and leave you relaxed.

Overall improved health


The health benefits of exercise have been known for thousands of years, as evidenced by this quote:

"Speaking generally, all parts of the body which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become healthy and well developed and age slowly. But, if unused and left idle, they come liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly." Hippocrates 370BC

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

Some Background to Get You Started


Before jumping right into the exercises and routines, it is important that you have a basic understanding of the back, back pain risk factors, different conditions, treatment options, etc. This isnt meant to give you an in-depth education on low back pain, and is certainly not meant to replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. It is just meant to give you a basic picture of the causes, types, and treatments of back pain. While you should feel free to ask your health care provider about any of this information that you may want more detail on, please do not change anything your health care provider recommends to you based on simply reading this book.

What structures make up the back?


The back is an intricate structure of bones, muscles, and other tissues that form the posterior part of the bodys trunk, from the neck to the pelvis. The centerpiece is the spinal column, which not only supports the upper bodys weight but houses and protects the spinal cord the delicate nervous system structure that carries signals that control the bodys movements and conveys its sensations. Stacked on top of one another are more than 30 bones the vertebrae that form the spinal column, also known as the spine. Each of these bones contains a roundish hole that, when stacked in register with all the others, creates a channel that surrounds the spinal cord. The spinal cord descends from the base of the brain and extends in the adult to just below the rib cage. Small nerves (roots) enter and emerge from the spinal cord through spaces between the vertebrae. Because the bones of the spinal column continue growing long after the spinal cord reaches its full length in early childhood, the nerve roots to the lower back and legs extend many inches down the spinal column before exiting. This large bundle of nerve roots was dubbed by early anatomists as the cauda equina, or horses tail. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, spongy pads of cartilage called intervertebral discs that allow for flexibility in the lower back and act much like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

Bands of tissue known as ligaments and tendons hold the vertebrae in place and attach the muscles to the spinal column. Starting at the top, the spine has four regions: the seven cervical or neck vertebrae (labeled C1C7) the 12 thoracic or upper back vertebrae (labeled T1T12) the five lumbar vertebrae (labeled L1L5), which we know as the lower back and the sacrum and coccyx, a group of bones fused together at the base of the spine.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

10

The lumbar region of the back, where most back pain is felt, supports the weight of the upper body.

What Is Back Pain?


Back pain is an all-too-familiar problem that can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that leaves you incapacitated. It can come on suddenly from an accident, a fall, or lifting something too heavy or it can develop slowly, perhaps as the result of age-related changes to the spine. Regardless of how it happens or how it feels, you know it when you have it. And chances are, if you dont have it now, you will eventually.

How Common Is It?


At some point, back pain affects an estimated 8 out of 10 people. It is one of our societys most common medical problems. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

11

Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States only headache is more common.

What Are the Risk Factors for Back Pain?


Although anyone can have back pain, a number of factors increase your risk. They include: Age The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 40. While it can strike any time, back pain becomes more common with age. Fitness level Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine, and you weekend warriors people who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all week are more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Diet Poor nutrition, combined with an inactive lifestyle, can lead to obesity, which can put stress on the back. Heredity Some causes of back pain, including disc disease, may have a genetic component. Race Surprisingly, race can be a factor in back problems. African American women, for example, are two to three times more likely than white women to develop spondylolisthesis, a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine also called the lumbar spine slips out of place. The presence of other diseases Many diseases can cause or contribute to back pain. These include various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and cancers elsewhere in the body that may spread to the spine. (NOTE: Occasionally, low back pain may indicate a more serious medical problem. Pain accompanied by fever or loss of bowel or bladder control, pain when coughing, and progressive weakness in

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

12

the legs may indicate a pinched nerve or other serious condition. People with diabetes may have severe back pain or pain radiating down the leg related to neuropathy. (People with these symptoms should contact a doctor immediately to help prevent permanent damage.) Occupational risk factors Having a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, particularly when this involves twisting or vibrating the spine, can lead to injury and back pain. An inactive job or a desk job may also lead to or contribute to pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit all day in an uncomfortable chair. Cigarette smoking Like you needed another reason to quit smoking. Although smoking may not directly cause back pain, it increases your risk of developing low back pain and low back pain with sciatica. (Sciatica is back pain that radiates to the hip and/or leg due to pressure on a nerve.) For example, smoking may lead to pain by blocking your bodys ability to deliver nutrients to the discs of the lower back. Or, repeated coughing due to heavy smoking may cause back pain. It is also possible that smokers are just less physically fit or less healthy than nonsmokers, which increases the likelihood that they will develop back pain. Furthermore, smoking can slow healing, prolonging pain for people who have had back injuries, back surgery, or broken bones.

What Are the Causes of and Conditions Associated with Back Pain?
It is important to understand that back pain is a symptom of a medical condition, not a diagnosis itself. Conditions that may cause low back pain and require treatment by a physician or other health specialist include: Bulging disc (also called protruding, herniated, or ruptured disc). The intervertebral discs are under constant pressure. As discs degenerate and weaken, cartilage can bulge or be pushed into the

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

13

space containing the spinal cord or a nerve root, causing pain. Studies have shown that most herniated discs occur in the lower, lumbar portion of the spinal column. A much more serious complication of a ruptured disc is cauda equina syndrome, which occurs when disc material is pushed into the spinal canal and compresses the bundle of lumbar and sacral nerve roots. Permanent neurological damage may result if this syndrome is left untreated. Sciatica is a condition in which a herniated or ruptured disc presses on the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that extends down the spinal column to its exit point in the pelvis and carries nerve fibers to the leg. This compression causes shock-like or burning low back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg to below the knee, occasionally reaching the foot. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and an adjacent bone, the symptoms involve not pain but numbness and some loss of motor control over the leg due to interruption of nerve signaling. The condition may also be caused by a tumor, cyst, metastatic disease, or degeneration of the sciatic nerve root. Spinal degeneration from disc wear and tear can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal. A person with spinal degeneration may experience stiffness in the back upon awakening or may feel pain after walking or standing for a long time. Spinal stenosis related to congenital narrowing of the bony canal predisposes some people to pain related to disc disease. Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease marked by progressive decrease in bone density and strength. Fracture of brittle, porous bones in the spine and hips results when the body fails to produce new bone and/or absorbs too much existing bone. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Caucasian women of northern European heritage are at the highest risk of developing the condition. Skeletal irregularities produce strain on the vertebrae and supporting muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissues supported by spinal column. These irregularities include scoliosis, a curving of the spine to the side; kyphosis, in which the normal curve of the upper back is severely rounded; lordosis, an abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back; back extension, a

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

14

bending backward of the spine; and back flexion, in which the spine bends forward. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. Additional symptoms may include sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, and anxiety. Spondylitis refers to chronic back pain and stiffness caused by a severe infection to or inflammation of the spinal joints. Other painful inflammations in the lower back include osteomyelitis (infection in the bones of the spine) and sacroiliitis (inflammation in the sacroiliac joints).

When Should I See a Doctor for Pain?


In many cases, pain may go away without a trip to the doctor for treatment. However, a trip to the doctor is definitely recommended if you have numbness or tingling, if your pain is severe and doesnt improve with medications and rest, or if you have pain after a fall or an injury. It is also imperative that you see your doctor if you have pain along with any of the following problems: trouble urinating; weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs; fever; or unintentional weight loss. Such symptoms could signal a serious problem that requires treatment soon.

Which Type of Doctor Should I See?


Many different types of doctors treat back pain, from family physicians to doctors who specialize in disorders of the nerves and musculoskeletal system. In most cases, it is best to see your primary care physician first. In many cases, he or she can treat the problem. In other cases, your doctor may refer you to an appropriate specialist.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

15

How Is Back Pain Diagnosed?


Diagnosing the cause of back pain requires a medical history and a physical exam, and often a doctor can find the cause of your pain with a physical exam and medical history alone. However, depending on what the history and exam show, your doctor may order medical tests to help find the cause. Following are some tests your doctor may order: X rays: Traditional x rays use low levels of radiation to project a picture onto a piece of film (some newer x rays use electronic imaging techniques). They are often used to view the bones and bony structures in the body. Your doctor may order an x ray if he or she suspects that you have a fracture or osteoarthritis, or that your spine is not aligned properly. X rays will not see muscle, or other soft tissue, problems. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI uses a strong magnetic force instead of radiation to create an image. Unlike an x ray, which shows only bony structures, an MRI scan produces clear pictures of soft tissues, too, such as ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Your doctor may order an MRI scan if he or she suspects a problem such as an infection, tumor, inflammation, or pressure on a nerve. An MRI scan, in most instances, is not necessary during the early phases of low back pain unless your doctor identifies certain red flags in your history and physical exam. An MRI scan is needed if the pain persists more than 36 weeks, or if your doctor feels there may be a need for surgical consultation. Computed Tomography (CT) scan: A CT scan allows your doctor to see spinal structures that cannot be seen on traditional x rays. It is a threedimensional image that a computer creates from a series of two-dimensional pictures that it takes of your back. Your doctor may order a CT scan to look for problems including herniated discs, tumors, or spinal stenosis. Blood tests: Although blood tests are not used generally in diagnosing the cause of back pain, your doctor may order them in some cases. Blood tests that might be used include the following:

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

16

Complete blood count (CBC), which could point to problems such as infection or inflammation Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (also called sed rate), a measure of inflammation that may suggest infection. The presence of inflammation may also suggest some forms of arthritis or, in rare cases, a tumor. It is important to understand that medical tests alone may not diagnose the cause of back pain. In fact, experts say that up to 90 percent of all MRI scans of the spine show some type of abnormality, and sometimes the x rays and CT scans of people without pain show problems. Similarly, even some healthy pain-free people can have elevated sed rates. Only with a medical history and exam and sometimes medical tests can a doctor diagnose the cause of back pain. Many times, the precise cause of back pain is never known.

What Is the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Pain?


Pain that hits you suddenly after falling from a ladder, being tackled on the football field, or lifting a load that is just too heavy, for example is acute pain. Acute pain comes on quickly and often leaves just as quickly. To be classified as acute, pain should last no longer than 6 weeks. Acute pain is the most common type of back pain. Chronic pain, on the other hand, may come on either quickly or slowly, and it lingers a long time. In general, pain that lasts more than 3 months is considered chronic. Chronic pain is much less common than acute pain.

How Is Back Pain Treated?


Treatment for back pain generally depends on what kind of pain you experience: acute or chronic. Acute Back Pain Acute back pain sometimes gets better on its own and without treatment. While only your doctor or primary health care provider can prescribe a course of treatment, they will often suggest you start off with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen to help ease the pain.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

17

While bed rest used to be recommended in the past, that is generally no longer the case. Now, it is often recommended to go about your usual activities as much as you can, as soon as you can. Getting up and moving around can help ease stiffness, relieve pain, and have you back doing your regular activities sooner. In fact, a 1996 Finnish study found that persons who continued their activities without bed rest following onset of low back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. Other studies suggest that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. At night or during rest, laying on one side with a pillow between the knees can bring relief (some doctors suggest resting on the back and putting a pillow beneath the knees). Exercises are not usually advisable for acute back pain, nor is surgery. Chronic Back Pain Treatment for chronic back pain falls into two basic categories: the kind that requires surgery and the kind that does not. In the vast majority of cases, back pain does not require surgery. Doctors will almost always try nonsurgical treatments before recommending surgery. In a very small percentage of cases though when back pain is caused by a tumor, an infection, or a nerve root problem such as cauda equina syndrome, for example prompt surgery is necessary to ease the pain and prevent further problems.

Non-Operative Treatments
Although ice and heat have never been scientifically proven to quickly resolve low back injury, compresses may help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility for some individuals. In the case of acute pain, applying a cold pack or a cold compress (such as a bag of ice or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) to the tender spot several times a day for up to 20 minutes can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

18

Later, or with chronic pain, heat (such as a heating lamp or hot pad) applied for brief periods may relax muscles and increase blood flow. You should avoid sleeping on a heating pad though, as this can cause burns and lead to additional tissue damage. Warm baths may also help relax muscles. Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from chronic low back pain, and to help strengthen back and abdominal muscles which can prevent future pain.

Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for back injury prevention, and is truly the focus of the second half of this book. As you will read later on, there are some basic exercise movements that can truly make a difference in your core strength, reducing your risk for back pain. Obviously, before beginning a new exercise program, everyone should consult with their physician or primary health care provider. If you have a known back injury or condition, or currently suffer from undiagnosed back pain, you must see your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program. That cannot be stressed enough. Also, if you experience pain that is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, you should stop immediately and contact your doctor. Medications are often used to treat chronic low back

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

19

pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies, and you should always check with a doctor before taking drugs for pain relief. Certain medicines, even those sold over the counter, are unsafe during pregnancy, may conflict with other medications, may cause side effects including drowsiness, or may lead to liver damage. Over-the-counter analgesics, including nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen), are taken orally to reduce stiffness, swelling, and inflammation and to ease mild to moderate low back pain. Counter-irritants applied topically to the skin as a cream or spray stimulate the nerve endings in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold and dull the sense of pain (think Ben Gay, Icy Hot, Mineral Ice, etc.). Topical analgesics can also reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow. Many of these compounds contain salicylates, the same ingredient found in oral pain medications containing aspirin. Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are often prescribed to manage severe acute and chronic back pain but should be used only for a short period of time and under a physicians supervision. Side effects can include drowsiness, decreased reaction time, impaired judgment, and potential for addiction. Many specialists are convinced that chronic use of these drugs is detrimental to the back pain patient, adding to depression and even increasing pain. Other Medications such as muscle relaxants and certain antidepressants have also been prescribed for chronic back pain, but their usefulness is questionable. Traction involves using pulleys and weights to stretch the back. The rationale behind traction is to pull the vertebrae apart to allow a bulging disc to slip back into place. Some people experience pain relief while in traction, but that relief is usually temporary. Once traction is released, the stretch is not sustained and back pain is likely to return. There is no scientific evidence that traction provides any long-term benefits for people with back pain.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

20

Corsets and braces include a number of devices, such as elastic bands and stiff supports with metal stays, that are designed to limit the motion of the lumbar spine, provide abdominal support, and correct posture. While these may be appropriate after certain kinds of surgery, there is little, if any, evidence that they help treat chronic low back pain. In fact, by keeping you from using your back muscles, they may actually cause more problems than they solve by causing lower back muscles to weaken from lack of use. Spinal manipulation refers to procedures in which professionals use their hands to mobilize, adjust, massage, or stimulate the spine or surrounding tissues. This type of therapy is often performed by osteopathic doctors and chiropractors. It tends to be most effective in people with uncomplicated pain and when used with other therapies. Spinal manipulation is not appropriate if you have a medical problem such as osteoporosis, spinal cord compression, or inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or if you are taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin (Calciparine, Liquaemin).

Operative Treatments
In general, there are two groups of people who may require surgery to treat their spinal problems. People in the first group have chronic low back pain and sciatica, and they are often diagnosed with a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or vertebral fractures with nerve involvement. People in the second group are those with only predominant low back pain (without leg pain). These are people with discogenic low back pain (degenerative disc disease), in which discs wear with age. Usually, the outcome of spine surgery is much more predictable in people with sciatica than in those with predominant low back pain. Some of the diagnoses that may need surgery include: Herniated discs Spinal stenosis

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

21

Spondylolisthesis Vertebral fractures Discogenic Low Back Pain (Degenerative Disc Disease) There are many different variations of back surgery, details of which go well beyond the scope of this book. Suffice it to say that all have benefits and drawbacks, and your first goal should be a strong, healthy back that never requires a surgical option.

Can Back Pain Be Prevented?


Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics or other nontraumatic causes is often preventable. A combination of exercises, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly can help prevent injuries. One of the best things you can do to prevent back pain is to exercise regularly, paying attention to the muscles of your back, hips, abdominal region, and sides. These muscles make up your core, and keeping them strong, while maintaining a healthy weight, is the best preventative medicine known.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

22

The good news is you dont need expensive gym memberships or equipment to develop a strong core. The exercises detailed in the following pages can all be done in the privacy of your own home if you like, with little or no equipment.

What About Back Belts?


The use of wide elastic belts that can be tightened to pull in lumbar and abdominal muscles to prevent low back pain remains controversial. A landmark study of the use of lumbar support or abdominal support belts worn by persons who lift or move merchandise found no evidence that the belts reduce back injury or back pain. The 2-year study, reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in December 2000, found no statistically significant difference in either the incidence of workers compensation claims for job-related back injuries or the incidence of self-reported pain among workers who reported they wore back belts daily compared to those workers who reported never using back belts or reported using them only once or twice a month. In fact, there is anecdotal evidence that prolonged use of these belts can actually lead to deconditioning of the core muscles, since the person wearing the belt relies on the belt to stabilize himself instead of the muscles of the core. As previously stated, deconditioned core muscles are a leading cause of low back pain. Practicing good posture, supporting your back properly, and avoiding heavy lifting when you can may all help you prevent injury. When lifting any object, heavy or light, remember to use proper lifting procedures. This includes lifting with your legs. Never have straight legs while you are picking something up.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

23

Squat down, keep your heels on the floor and your back straight with your chest forward as you lift. Bend your knees and straighten them as you lift the object. Also, hold the object close to your body and carry it at about waist level. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, repetitive motion, and awkward posture. Applying ergonomic principles designing furniture and tools to protect the body from injury at home and in the workplace can greatly reduce the risk of back injury and help maintain a healthy back.

Enough of That
Hopefully that is more than you ever need to know about the structures of your back, back pain, and options for treatment. Now it is time to move on to the importance of exercise and nutrition.

Exercise
Unlike some other programs out there, Im not going to confuse you with 50 or 60 different exercises. In a lot of programs, authors include more exercises than youll ever need just to bump the page count up or to try and impress you with the fancy moves they can do. You dont need fancy moves. You need basic, effective exercises that get the job done, and that you can do anywhere, with little or no equipment at all. That is the point of A Healthy Back in Ten Minutes a Day. So, Im going to teach you just thirteen different exercise moves and stretches. Thats right, thirteen. Why only thirteen? Because these are the ones you need. And guess what? You wont be doing all thirteen in any one workout. It isnt necessary. In fact, you should be able to make a significant improvement in your core strength by performing a handful of theses exercises for as little as ten minutes several days a week.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

24

Consistency will be necessary. That means you arent just going to do these exercises for a few weeks, declare victory over your weak back, and forget about them. No, if you want a healthy, strong, pain-free back for a lifetime, then these thirteen moves need to become part of your ongoing fitness program. And they shouldnt be the only exercises you do either. You need to exercise your entire body because a strong core by itself cannot guarantee you wont have back pain. If you want to live pain-free, you need to make sure you are losing weight if you need to, and the only way to do that is to eat right and follow a comprehensive exercise program as part of your daily lifestyle. For more information on complete, full-body exercise programs that you can do anywhere with little or no equipment, as well as practical nutrition info that will help you stop dieting forever, make sure you check out Healthy Weight Inner Circle.

Two Important Points First


Remember The Belly Button
Throughout the exercise descriptions in this book, you will see the instruction to Keep the belly button drawn in. Eventually this will become second nature to you, but before you start, you should practice to get the feel for it. To do this, simply pull your belly button in, away from your shirt and towards your spine. An observer should see no external movement from your midsection, shoulders, head, or spine. You should not be holding your breath and should be able to speak and breathe normally as you do this. Another way of thinking about is to brace your abs, like you would do if I was about to punch you in the stomach. Not that I would, but you get the point. The purpose of this is to activate the transversus abdominis and other muscles that act to stabilize your spine. People often ignore these muscles in their exercise programs, but they are a critical component when it comes to overall strength and stabilization during exercise, as well as during all of the movements that occur in daily life.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

25

It is also important that you do not hold your breath during the exercises. A good rule of thumb is to exhale on the exertion and inhale on the return to starting position.

A Note on Exercise Intensity and Certain Medications


If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication, you must check with your health care provider prior to beginning an exercise program to ensure that you are aware of any possible side effects or adverse reactions, and to gain a complete understanding of any limitations imposed on you by your health care provider. This is vitally important and cannot be stressed strongly enough. Now it is time to learn...

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

26

The Thirteen Exercises and Stretches You Need To Know


The Plank
The Plank is an excellent way to target your transverse abdominis and the other core muscles that work to stabilize your spine. Lying on the floor, support yourself on your elbows. They should be directly under your shoulders, so that your upper arms are perpendicular to the floor. Draw the belly button in and lift the hips off the floor so that you are supported by your elbows and toes. Do not let your butt either sag down, or arch up in the air. Your body should be straight from shoulders to feet, like a Plank. Be sure to keep the belly button drawn in and do not forget to breathe. Hold in the up position for 8 10 seconds, and then slowly lower yourself. With a 5 second rest in between repetitions, perform this movement 5 times. As you get stronger, increase the time held in the up position. As your core strengthens, you will begin to hold the position for 15, 20, 30, and even up to 60 seconds. Dont increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger. Instead, keep increasing the time held in the up position. To see instructional video clips of these exercises, along with over 75 others, CLICK HERE.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

27

Crunches
To perform crunches, lay on the floor with your knees bent and your fingers just behind your ears, with your elbows out to the side. Do not clasp your hands together behind your head. Draw your belly button in and press your lower back to the floor. Contracting your midsection and keeping your neck straight, raise your head and shoulders off of the floor towards the ceiling in a nice, slow and controlled manner. You only need to go high enough to raise your shoulder blades off of the floor. After a slight pause at the top, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Do not rest at the bottom, contracting your midsection and performing your next repetition as soon as you feel the back of your head touch the floor. If it is too difficult to perform the movement in this manner, start off by placing your arms across your chest until you build up strength, as shown in the pictures above. If that also proves too difficult at first, place your arms by your sides, keeping them up off of the floor throughout the movement.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

28

Side Bridges
Lie on your side, resting on your elbow, with one foot on top of the other. Keep your body in a straight line from ankles to knees to hips to shoulders. Make sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder, so that your upper arm is perpendicular to the floor. Rest your top hand on your hip as shown in the picture. Draw the belly button in, and lift the hips up off of the floor, so that your body is in a straight line from foot to shoulder. Remember to keep the belly button held in throughout the entire exercise, and do not forget to breathe. Hold in the up position for 8 10 seconds, then slowly lower yourself. With a 5 second rest in between repetitions, perform this movement 5 times, then do the same on the opposite side. As you get stronger, increase the time held in the up position. As your core strengthens, you will begin to hold the position for 15, 20, 30, and even up to 60 seconds. Dont increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger. Instead, keep increasing the time held in the up position.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

29

Prone Extensions
Prone extensions work the muscles of your lower back, and those that run up the sides of your spine. Laying face down on the floor with your arms by your sides and palms facing up, using the muscles of your lower back, lift your chest up off of the floor. While continuing to look down at the floor, hold yourself in the up position for 5 to 10 seconds, and then lower yourself back to the floor. Rest for 3 seconds and repeat. Concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together while in the up position, and as you gain strength, you can hold for longer periods of time. You can also increase the challenge by bringing your arms forward and out at a 45 degree angle from your body, with your thumbs up in the air. To further increase the challenge, lift your legs up off of the floor at the same time as you lift your chest as seen in the picture to the right. You may bend the legs slightly if a straight leg creates too much resistance. As with Planks and Side Bridges, 5 repetitions of Prone Extensions is plenty. The key is to challenge yourself by increasing the time held in the up position as you gain strength and muscular endurance. It would not be beneficial for someone with excessive lumbar curvature in their back to do this exercise. It is beneficial, however for someone with a flat back or swayback.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

30

Stability Ball Bridges


For Stability Ball Bridges, start off sitting on a stability ball. Walk yourself out until your head and shoulders are supported on the ball. The closer your feet are together, the narrower your base of support. A narrower base of support will increase the challenge of the move. Keep your belly button pulled in and let your hips drop down into the starting position. From there, you will contract your glutes, or butt muscles, and lift your hips until your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Your feet should be positioned far enough from the ball so that your lower legs are close to perpendicular to the floor when you are in the up position. Squeezing your butt as hard as you can, hold in the up position for 5 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back down. Pause for only a second or two and repeat the move for the desired repetitions. As you get stronger, hold for longer periods of time (up to 10 seconds) in the up position. Unlike Planks and Side Bridges, you want to do 10 15 repetitions of Stability Ball Bridges.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

31

Hip Extensions
Hip extensions focus on the muscles in your butt, but work the low back and hamstrings as well. Begin by placing a stability ball under your hips, with your hands on the floor in front of you, and your toes just barely touching the floor. Contract the muscles in your butt and lift your legs until they are in a straight line with your body. Hold in the up position for a count of two seconds, and then slowly lower them back down. You want to keep the movement smooth and controlled. Do not bounce at the bottom. When your toes just touch the floor, bring your legs right back up, remembering to really squeeze your glutes in order to perform the movement.

If you have any fitness, exercise, back pain, diet, or weight loss questions youd like answers to, please visit the HWIC Discussion Forums today.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

32

Back Extensions
Back extensions will work to strengthen the erector spinae, or the muscles in your lower back. Start off by positioning a stability ball under your hips. If the ball is positioned forward, closer to your chest, the move will be easier. If it is back at the hips, the move will be more challenging. While looking down at the floor, fold your arms in front of you and use the muscles of your lower back to lift your upper body up, until it is in a straight line with your legs. Do not lift so high that you are hyper-extending your back. Slowly lower yourself, letting your upper body curl over the ball, and repeat the movement for the desired repetitions. Keep both the up and down movement smooth and controlled. As you get stronger, you can make this exercise more challenging by extending your arms farther out in front of you, or by placing your hands behind your ears.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

33

Stability Ball Crunches


When performing crunches on your stability ball, the farther back you sit, the more challenging they will be, so when starting out, position yourself slightly forward on the ball. Place your fingers behind your ears, with your elbows out to the side, and lay back over the ball. Contract your midsection and lift your head and shoulders. The range of motion is fairly small, so do not come all the way up to a seated position. Instead, think of trying to bring your ribs closer to your pelvis. Keep the movement smooth and controlled. Pause for a second at the top before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position. Do not go so fast that you bounce at the bottom, and remember to keep your abs contracted throughout the entire motion. Folding your arms across your chest as pictured here will make the move slightly easier. If you are just beginning, you can place your arms at your sides, as if you are reaching for your knees during the movement.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

34

Oblique Crunches
Oblique crunches focus on the muscles on the sides of your trunk, an area often neglected by exercisers. Start by laying on your back on the floor with your knees bent, then drop your knees to your right side. Place your left hand behind your ear, and your right hand on your left side. From here you want to lift your head and shoulders up, while simultaneously rotating so that you point your left elbow towards your knees. Your right hand should be able to feel the oblique muscles in your side contracting as you perform the move. Note that the range of motion is fairly small. Slowly rotate and lower yourself back to the starting position. Do not rest at the bottom, and immediately begin your next repetition as soon as the back of your head contacts the floor. When you are done, swing your knees over and repeat on the other side.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

35

Get Ups
Get ups may look simple, but they are an extremely challenging exercise that force you to use many different muscle groups in conjunction with each other. To perform, hold a medicine ball, dumbbell, or even a basketball or soccer ball in your hands. Then, simply lay back on the floor and get back up, without using your arms or hands to push yourself up with. When you lay back, do so under control and do not simply fall back. When you are on your back, the ball should be held directly over your face. Try not to cheat by swinging the ball forward or kicking your legs to create momentum. You want your muscles, not momentum, to do the work. As you gain strength, you can perform the movement faster and hold heavier weights.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

36

Quadruped
The quadruped works the deep stabilization muscles in your core or trunk. Starting off on all fours, look straight down at the floor and pull your belly button in. Raise your right arm straight out in front of you, and the opposite leg straight out behind you. Concentrate on keeping your back flat at all times, and do not let your hips rotate as you perform the movement. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to the starting position. Immediately perform on the opposite side, repeating for the desired repetitions. As you gain strength, hold in the up position for longer periods of time.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

37

Two Stretches
Ive had hundreds of clients come through my door, and about 98% of them all had a common problem. They all spent way too much time on their butts. We all do. Climb in the car and drive to work. Sit at a desk at work all day working on a computer. Climb back in the car and drive home. Sit down for dinner. After dinner go sit in front of the computer and search for mindless stuff on Google. Then go sit on the couch and watch TV. No need to get into a deep anatomy lesson here, but suffice it to say that all the time we spend sitting really forces some of our important muscle groups to become shortened and tight. This is especially true of our hamstrings (the muscles that run along the back of your thigh from the back of your knee to your pelvis) and our hip flexors (the muscles that attach the front of your thigh to your pelvis). Tightness in either of these areas can contribute to low back pain. How, you ask? You need to understand that our bodies are like a chain. Everything is connected in one way or another. So, if these muscles are tight, they will naturally pull on your pelvis, giving it a forward tilt (tight hip flexors) or a rearward tilt (tight hamstrings). This then results in your spine getting out of line, potentially causing low back pain. So, if you have tightness in either of these areas, the following two stretches, done properly and consistently, can work wonders when it comes to relieving low back pain. Remember to only take these, or any other stretches, to the point where you are feeling a good stretch and not to a point where you feel pain. If it hurts, ease back slightly.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

38

Hamstring Stretch
There are several different ways to stretch your hamstrings, but this is my personal favorite. Standing 1 2 feet away from a step or small stool, place the heel of your right foot on the step or stool. Look straight ahead and keep your chest high and facing forward throughout the stretch. Place your hands on your hips and bend at the waist, sticking your butt back, until you feel the stretch in your right hamstring. Make sure you keep your chest high, and do not round your lower back. Concentrate on keeping the natural arch in your lower back and you will feel the stretch much sooner. If you round your lower back, you will take much of the emphasis off of the hamstrings. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

39

Hip Flexor Stretch


Kneel down on your right knee, with your left foot well out in front of you. The top of your right foot should be on the floor. With your hands on your left knee, slowly lean forward, stretching your right leg behind you, until you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip. To enhance the stretch, raise your right hand over your head. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

40

Sample Routines
The following pages contain some sample routines incorporating the exercises youve learned, along with a workout log sheet you can print and use to track your progress. There are routines for all fitness levels. If you are new to exercise, you can start with these routines. Remember though, in order to achieve total fitness, youll want to begin adding exercises that work all of the other parts of your body as well. To learn how to do that, be sure to visit www.HealthyWeightInnerCircle.com. If you are currently exercising, start to incorporate some of these moves into your current workout routines. Youll be pleased with the results. Dont forget to include the two stretches at the conclusion of your workout. REMEMBER, if you have an existing back injury or currently experience back pain, you must not perform these exercises without first consulting your primary health care provider.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

41

Beginning Routine 1
Quadruped.................... 10 reps/side x 5 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, maintain the number of reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 8 reps 5 reps x 10 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 5 reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 20 reps

Get Ups........................ Prone Extensions.........

Crunches......................

Perform in a circuit fashion with 30 seconds rest between exercises. Rest 3 minutes at the end of the circuit. Perform 2 circuits if just starting out, then progress to 3 circuits as you gain strength. Perform on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

Beginning Routine 2
Quadruped.................... 10 reps/side x 5 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, maintain the number of reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 8 reps 5 reps x 15 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 5 reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 20 reps

Get Ups........................ Planks...........................

Back Extensions...........

Perform in a circuit fashion with 30 seconds rest between exercises. Rest 3 minutes at the end of the circuit. Perform 2 circuits if just starting out, then progress to 3 circuits as you gain strength. Perform on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

42

Beginning Routine 3
Planks........................... 5 reps/side x 15 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, maintain the number of reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 8 reps 15 reps x 5 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 15 reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 20 reps

Get Ups........................ Stability Ball Bridges.....

Crunches......................

Perform in a circuit fashion with 30 seconds rest between exercises. Rest 3 minutes at the end of the circuit. Perform 2 circuits if just starting out, then progress to 3 circuits as you gain strength. Perform on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

43

Intermediate Routine 1
Get Ups....................... Side Bridges............... 10 reps 5 reps/side x 15 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 5 reps/side, but increase the time held in the up position. 15 reps 15 reps 20 reps

Hip Extensions............ Back Extensions......... Stability Ball Crunches

Perform in a circuit fashion with 30 seconds rest between exercises. Rest 2 minutes at the end of the circuit. Perform 3 circuits. Perform on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

Intermediate Routine 2
Get Ups........................ Oblique Crunches........ Back Extensions........... Planks........................... 10 reps 15 reps/side 15 reps 5 reps x 20 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 5 reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 20 reps

Stability Ball Bridges.....

Perform in a circuit fashion with 30 seconds rest between exercises. Rest 2 minutes at the end of the circuit. Perform 3 circuits. Perform on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

44

Advanced Routine
Get Ups........................ Side Bridges................. 12 reps 5 reps/side x 30 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 5 reps/side, but increase the time held in the up position. 5 reps x 30 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 5 reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 15 reps x 10 seconds/rep. As you get stronger, still do 15 reps, but increase the time held in the up position. 25 reps 20 reps

Planks...........................

Stability Ball Bridges.....

Stability Ball Crunches. Back Extensions...........

Perform in a superset fashion (Get Ups/Side Bridges, Planks/Bridges, Crunches/Back Extensions). To perform a superset, as soon as you complete a set of the first exercise, immediately perform a set of the second exercise. That is one superset. Resting 30 seconds between supersets, complete 3 supersets of a pair of exercises, then move on to the next pair. Perform on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

45

Fitness Log
TRAINING
EXERCISE
REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT REP WT

Date:__________________
Start Time:________ End Time:________
Set 4 Set 5 Notes

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

CARDIO TRAINING
Avg Heart Rate

MODE

Time

Distance

Calories

Notes

NOTES

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

46

About the Author


Dave Soucy is a fitness expert, instructor, author, owner of Perfect Fit Fitness Bootcamps and founder of Healthy Weight Inner Circle. He is certified through both the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine, is a member of IDEA Health and Fitness Association, and founded Perfect Fit and HWIC on the belief that optimal health and fitness is achieved through a lifestyle of consistent exercise and nutrition. Like many of his clients, Dave knows what it is like to battle with weight, having spent the majority of his childhood and adult years fighting that battle. Every so often through the years, he would get on the exercise wagon, couple that with the latest extreme or fad diet and would lose weight, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Inevitably though, whatever weight that was lost, and usually a little more, ended up coming back as soon as the diet or exercise regimen became unmanageable. Add in a high pressure job that required significant travel and eating room service and restaurant food far too often, and it was an unhealthy recipe for fitness failure. When an opportunity presented itself to leave the high pressure career behind, Dave jumped at the chance and has never looked back. Throwing all of his efforts into educating himself on health, nutrition, and fitness, he discovered why his exercise programs of the past never produced the results he wanted and why all of those diets actually made him fatter! Throw in the fact that he also lives (and exercises!) with a severe, chronic back injury, and Dave has more than just a textbook knowledge of what he teaches. Whether it is running his high-powered Fitness Bootcamps, speaking to groups, writing articles, or engaging in discussions with members on the forums at Healthy Weight Inner Circle, Daves motivation is to help others realize that they too can achieve health and wellness through sound, safe, and effective nutrition and exercise principles, while leaving the diets and infomercial products behind. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, and currently resides in Hooksett, NH with his wife and two daughters.

2007 Perfect Fit, LLC All Rights Reserved

47