3 Exercises to Fix your Lower Back Pain


The body thrives on balance. Our muscles and joints are happiest when they are getting equal and total range of motion. The spine is no different and since it’s range of motion is smaller than most other joints, imbalances can be felt more intensely.

The spine requires the stability of the supporting muscles that surround it to keep up upright and mobile. When a link in this system is weak, the body will compensate in order to expend the least amount of energy. 

A common issue seen causing that dreaded lower back is due to tight hip flexors, tight spinal erectors, accompanied by weak abs and glutes, also referred to as the lower cross syndrome. The tightness of the body in one area causes another area of the body to become weak. 

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Buddhist Proverb

 

Mobility - CrossFit Eagle Rock

So how do you fix or prevent this? Here are three things you can do today to make sure your glutes are firing, your core is tight, and your hips and back muscles stay strong but supple.

  1. Single leg glute bridges, to strengthen the core & glutes. Aim for 3 sets of 15 on each side. Plant the bottom of your feet and palms firmly on the floor. Stack knees above ankles. Lift one foot off the ground and perform a single glute bridge with the other, pressing firmly into your palms, shoulders, and foot to take any pressure off the neck. Try to get the hips as high as possible, then lower to the ground.
  2. Couch Stretch, loosen the tight hip flexors Aim for 2 minutes on each side. Using a couch or a bench, get into a low lunge in front of your object of choice, and the goal of this stretch is to use the front leg to support your weight as you put your back foot on a couch or bench and get your knee as close to the couch or bench as possible to stretch the hip of the back leg.  
  3. Supine single-leg twists to loosen the tight muscles in the lower back.

Lay on your back, hands out to a T, and legs together, bring your right knee up to your chest and let it fall to the left side of your body. Try to keep the spine stacked in a straight line. Repeat on the left leg, bringing left knee to chest then letting it fall to your right, knee resting on the ground or a block. Spend at least a minute on each side.

Incorporate these exercises and stretches into your routine to help ease and prevent lower back pain. As always if anything causes pain, don’t do it and always consult your doctor before trying new things.

4 Ways to Save Your Joints


When you are dedicated to your training and putting in the hours to achieve your goals then there is nothing more frustrating than joint pain and inflammation. It almost feels like your body is punishing you for working hard. No fair, right!

Rather than make excuses about your pain or backing off on your training you may want to consider some new techniques to mitigate the damage from these patterns of overuse.

 

1. Focus on form
2. Make intensity your new volume
3. Recover Harder
4. Hit the Supplements Aisle

1.Focus on form
If you are training often and hard then even the slights inefficiencies in your movement can turn into nagging injuries over time. Before you put in all that hard work you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced coach to refine your movement. You will make progress faster and stay healthy in the process. Slow down, not every day is a competition.

2. Make intensity your new volume
Sometimes the body simply needs a break from volume. All athletes in any sport go through periods of alternating intensity and volume throughout the year. They have different rhythms and protocols for preseason, in-season, post-season, and off-season training. Try backing off on the volume of your training and focusing on higher intensity pieces instead. For lifters, this could mean performing fewer sets or reps and using a higher load, shorter rest times, or a faster tempo. Runners might try lower mileage with weeks and adding a sprint workout 1-2 times per week instead.

3. Recover Harder
Training hard without the proper recovery techniques is bound to beat you up and becomes unsustainable long term. Make time for massage, foam rolling, stretching, yoga or mobility sessions, sleep, and any other recovery methods that can improve your performance. Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is stimulate your parasympathetic nervous with these recovery techniques to let your body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in.

4. Give your body what it needs to repair itself
There are tons of great supplements that can help with joint health. Fish oil and omega 3’s provide a healthy inflammatory response in the body amongst many other health benefits. Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide the building blocks for joint repair. Tart Cherry Juice extract has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Give those a try to start!

Don’t let joint pain stop you from moving and doing the things you love!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season


As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling rundown or beat up from two CrossFit Open cycles in one year or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.

The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accepting that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!

  1. Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Go for a walk during the daytime.
  3. Break a sweat every day.
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Structure your day for success.

Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
During the summer months, there seems to be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around. In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need. Omega-3s found in fish oil can help with skin health, heart health, and has been shown to support

Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Doing it in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.

Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get soft and complacent.

Stay Hydrated.
In the winter months, you may never feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.

Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors is key. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.

If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!

Whitney Overcomes the Darkness


Whitney Cline has been a regular at our gym for years, but aside from her strength and impeccable fashion, many of us don’t know much about her. In this episode she opens up about overcoming her difficult childhood, her repeated encounters with addicts, and what it finally took to love herself.

Check out this episode!

Whitney Overcomes the Darkness


Whitney Cline has been a regular at our gym for years, but aside from her strength and impeccable fashion, many of us don’t know much about her. In this episode she opens up about overcoming her difficult childhood, her repeated encounters with addicts, and what it finally took to love herself.

Check out this episode!

Whitney Overcomes the Darkness


Whitney Cline has been a regular at our gym for years, but aside from her strength and impeccable fashion, many of us don’t know much about her. In this episode she opens up about overcoming her difficult childhood, her repeated encounters with addicts, and what it finally took to love herself.

Check out this episode!

Row Challenge


After the holidays it’s a perfect time to burn off some extra calories and get the year started off right!

The month of January you will be challenged to row. Starting off with 10 calories and adding 10 calories each day. Purpose is to increase your cardio capacity and hopefully by then end you can sustain a long row without feeling crushed.

Row Challenge

 

If you miss a day, just pick back with the next day and keep rowing!

How to row

Luis Ramirez


Have You Met Luis?

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?

I have been part for NELA Athletics for about 2 years now.

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

I can finally do my T2B consistently and bar muscle ups. YASS!

  • How do you think you have benefited most from Nela Athletics?

Aside from the muscle gainz, I’ve also gained a lot of great friendships.

  • How has your life changed from when your first started to now?

NELA taught me to challenge myself daily and as a result I’ve become more courageous and confident.

  • What are your hobbies or activities you do enjoy outside of CrossFit?

Watching reality TV.

  • What is one thing people don’t know about you?

My birthday is on Christmas Day.

  • If you could pick three famous people to be a part of your entourage, who would you pick?

The 2006 Holy Trinity: Paris, Lindsay and Britney. LOL

Handstand Challenge


December is the time of year where fitness gets pushed to the back burner. Let’s not make this the case this year. For the month of December you will be challenge to hold a handstand.

This is something that is quick and easy to do. If you’re at work, at home or even at the air port. Each day you will have to hold a handstand and as the days go on the longer the handstand holds! Goal is to go without breaking, but it is fine to break up the handstand hold.

How To: Handstand Hold

Some benefits of the Handstand:

Strengthening Your Upper Body

Not only does a handstand force you to engage your core, but of course it also forces you to use your upper body to stay upright, especially your arms and shoulders.

Relieves Stress

Handstand is known as a cooling posture, meaning that it helps you to draw your attention inwards. This posture is extremely helpful if you are having anxiety, stress, fear or otherwise worrisome thoughts.

Improves Blood Flow To The Eyes

When you flip over, you will be sending extra oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the head, and that means more will be getting to your eyes. This can help to prevent macular degeneration and other eye issues.

Improves Digestion

When you allow the effects of gravity to be reversed on your digestive organs, you will help to move stuck material, release trapped gases, as well as improve blood flow to the all important digestive organs — increasing nutrient absorption and delivery to your cells.

Decreases Fluid Build-Up In The Legs, Ankles, And Feet

Edema in the legs is no fun, and it can happen if you tend to spend long hours on your feet. Reversing the effects of gravity on your bodily fluids will help to flush out built up water in the legs, relieving the uncomfortable feeling of edema.

Develops Strength In The Core Muscles

Handstand is a major core workout. You will rely on your core strength to hold your legs up and keep your balance throughout the pose. Having a strong core makes you more durable and less prone to injury.

Rich Martinez


Have You Met Rich?

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?

I would say 6 years off and on like a normal procrastinator.

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

Getting healthy again. I was overweight/out of shape and did not notice really until I started CrossFit.

  • What are three benefits that you have experienced through working out?

Being able to get focused. Learning to be more disciplined and feeling good overall.

  • How has your life changed from when your first started to now. Can be physically, mentally, emotionally.

You definitely see a difference physically but the mental part is what matters the most. Not only do you learn how to be disciplined in the gym but you use the same tools in your everyday life.

  • Have you had any physical changes that you noticed? 

It has to be the amount of weight I dropped while getting stronger. The before and after pictures are kinda crazy. I went from 240lbs to 175lbs. It took a couple of 2-a-days to get there but it was satisfying seeing the changes. .

  • What is your favorite part of the NELA Athletics experience?

The grind. If you don’t show up, you don’t get results. Motivation can only last so long… you have to stick to it mentally.

  • What are some hobbies or activites you are into besides CrossFit

Going to sporting events or hitting some bars to watch games… yeah, that might have had a part to my weight gain ha!

  • The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are three people you want on your team?

Superman, Batman & Thanos.

  • If you could be in any movie, what would it be and what character would you play?

Currently, any John Wick movies as John Wick.