Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Paul Huffman, Oct 23, 2013.
Will your beach bike have a surf board rack?
One of the best stretches I've found for "computer posture" related issues, including the same rhomboid knot you've described, is something called the "thoracic bridge" Easy to do, very effective.
I went through a long period of rehab after multiple shoulder surgeries, did the physical therapy, then found the answer at the gym. Not that the surgery and physical therapy weren't needed, I tore my shoulder up badly and the PT got those muscles working well again, but I cured the rest of my physical issues, including back pain, with weight lifting and weight loss. I was also experiencing back pain after casting my two handers. It wasn't a back issue, it was a general physical condition issue.
First off, those foam rollers are great, but they are not for popping your vertebrae back into place. Good way to hurt yourself more if you're actually having spine issues. What they are for is breaking down the tightness in muscles that are stiff and sore. If you have sore back muscles and you lie on the foam rollers and work your body weight over the rollers, it causes the minor adhesions to break up thereby relaxing the muscle and getting the blood flowing through the muscle again. Position the rollers so that they are right under the sorest spots and gently roll back and forth to break up the adhesions. You follow this by stretching. Find some good introductory yoga videos on youtube, it'll make a huge difference. Those foam rollers work wonders on sore tight legs the day after doing leg work, should you ever get that far.
The basic issue is we Americans are soft and fat. We have bodies that are designed to carry X amount of weight and we generally exceed that, and then wonder why the support structure (spine, joints, tendons etc) hurts when we take our underworked overweight selves out and force a specific muscle group to perform for a change. If you can do some basic weight training workouts to get your muscles working again and take a bit of strain off the skeletal and support structure by dropping a few pounds, you'll find yourself in a much better place. And I'm not supposing that you're some big huge fatass, it only takes 10 or 15 pounds of extra belly fat to put strain on your back. Add to that the typical sedentary chair bound lifestyle we live and boom, you got yourself a back problem. The typical forward curling posture with too much weight in the front and not enough strength supporting the back.
You don't have to be Atlas, you just have to work the basic muscle regions regularly. Stretch regularly (again, yoga, takes 10 minutes). Buy a used Bowflex on Craigslist or join a gym. Work legs and glutes one day, chest and arms one day, back and shoulders one day. Try to at least walk half an hour the remaining days. Stop eating breads, anything with sugar, processed foods. Eat fruits and veggies and fish and chicken. There's a ton of good information on eating right (it's not dieting) and on basic exercise programs out there, ignore the extreme or anything that is trying to sell you something.
I am 50 years old and was 40 pounds overweight when I started this a few short years ago. I get up and go to the gum a few times a week early before work instead of sitting at home for an hour drinking coffee and looking at the computer or television. It's not that hard to make time if you want to.
To specifically answer the question on how to strengthen the back, nothing beats the seated cable row for strengthening the support muscles for the back. Just pay attention and do it right. Every muscle group relies on the connecting group for strength and stability too, so you need to work your glutes (squats) which are extremely important in supporting the back, and your shoulders which tie in to your upper back muscles.
THE Back exercise done right:
9iron - No one has told me I'm overweight or too sedentary. I was pissed that a PA at the Orthopedics surgeon gave me a little talk about needing to slow down and lower expectations "at my age". I'm coming back to fly fishing from a life of expedition climbing, surfing and snowboarding. Although my right knee is getting arthritis, my shoulders and back are strong, probably because of the years of surfing and snowboarding. I do a back and shoulder routine at the gym and easily do more weight than the instructor. That's why I'm puzzled by the appearance of that little right side rhomboid pinch.
Of all the ideas above, the face pulls seem to target the area. Still need to try the thoracic bridge more.
Not a rack (too awkward for riding), but maybe I'll get a flatbed cargo trailer that will hold a cooler, my wetsuit tub with some jugs of hot water, surf fishing gear, and my 7'6" bungied to the top of it all. I'd have to put some really fat tires on it, maybe wheeleez. That would make for a proper beach excursion. I've been researching bicycle cargo trailers.
9iron, Thanks for the vid demoing the proper technique for the seated cable row. I need to start doing those instead of the bent rowing with a barbell that I had been doing.
Itchy Dog, thanks for the thoracic bridge vid. Looks like a good stretch.
Had something similar in the elbow once. The cortisone shots HURT though, good luck.
Percocets and single malts (usually together) is my go to for pain management when icy hot fails..
Looks like there's a Camel in her tent.