It’s NO secret that if there’s one affliction – or malady – or “blight” – what have you – that affects the vast majority of folks out there – office workers – high school kids – housewives – and even athletes to a certain degree – it is this – neck and back pain.
A stiff neck. A sore upper back. Soreness between the shoulder blades … and most of all, of course, that niggling lower back pain that flares up every time you bend to pick up something quickly -or even twist and turn in a different direction ‘on the fly’.
In the U.S. alone people spend millions on dollars on chiropractor visits every year – for a problem that could be resolved with far less time being spent – and certainly a lot less dough.
In mainland China, the trend is to hit the massage parlors (no, I ain’t talking about the dodgy ones either!) – and get the kinks worked out – and while I could wax long and lyrical about the numerous health benefits of these massages, I’m not going to do so here.
Suffice it to say that if you’re ever been worked upon by a blind massage therapist – or a skilled foot masseuse – or just a skilled Asian massage practitioner in general – you know that you’ll be screaming in agony throughout most of the treatment (well, the green horns amongst us would at any rate!) – – but you’ll walk away feeling like a billion bucks and more.
But healthful as this practice is, what if you simply went for the health benefits and not to alleviate neck and back pain – because you didn’t have any to start with?
I’ll bet that is a TANTALIZING prospect – and before I get into it more …
So as I wrote about yesterday, I partook of a longish boxing workout yesterday – which left me feeling great, and somewhat sore in certain “interesting” parts of my body today.
Many years ago I climbed the almighty mountain I refer to almost daily in my blog posts and emails with Ann Lee (thank you again, Ann!) — and as I’ve written about in several “famous” articles – that climb left me feeling like a MACK truck ran all over me.
I was sore in my legs – upper back – upper abs – shoulders – and most surprisingly, my forearms as well!
And today, after my boxing workout yesterday I’m sore too – but NOWHERE near as sore as after that climb – but it’s there nonetheless.
I can feel it in my shoulder blades – upper traps – triceps – lower back (somewhat) – and my HIPS as well.
All very surprising you’d say, wouldn’t you, for a guy that climbs mountains and does pull-ups by the dozen if not more (not to mention pushups galore)?
Just goes to show you that there are so many different ways you can use your muscles – and you’ll feel it the next day.
Surprisingly enough I don’t feel anything at all in my shoulder/chest area – despite getting so fatigued at a certain point that I could barely keep my jab up!
Anyway, here’s the point of me mentioning all this.
As I was training on the heavy bag, Marc noticed my stance as well as my “throwing” technique.
“Relax, man. Relax. Your upper back is too stiff!”
And surprisingly enough, it was – and it hit me right there like a flash – I hadn’t been doing the BRIDGE – something I advocate to everyone in terms of neck and upper back flexibility – as well as strength – not to mention the best darn exercise ever – for months now!
Sure, I’ve been doing pushups. Pull-ups. I’ve been training hard. But I’ve been neglecting one core exercise -and that fact hit me like a fist on the jaw as I continued through my workout.
In the 0 Excuses Fitness System I go into GREAT detail on the bridge – and ALL it’s variations.
The wrestler’s bridge – the gymnast’s bridge – and the BEST darn exercise ever – and believe you me, these exercises can – and should be done – by EVERYONE.
As Marc was loosening up his lower back before the workout – I recommended he work on the wrestler’s bridge as a better alternative to using a tennis ball to stretch out the lower back.
Tennis balls and Swiss balls are good -but nothing quite beats the sheer stretch and exhilaration you get after a good 3-5 minute wrestler’s bridge – and if you don’t believe me – the proof is in the pudding – just watch me do it after 250 pushups (500 overall) in the workout section of the videos.
And this ONE exercise is truly ALL you need to stretch out the ENTIRE back – and eliminate stiffness all over, my friend.
This ONE exercise will also do the following – eliminate excess fat around the midsection – tighten up the entire upper body – build tremendous strength in the neck and upper back region – and far, far more.
“I’m scared it’ll hurt my neck”, remarked my buddy yesterday.
“No it won’t Marc. Anyone can do the exercise”, was my response.
And it’s TRUE.
While you should work into this exercise with caution, there is no reason you shouldn’t be doing it on a daily basis, my friend.
If you remember, I was doing this exercise as part of workout #2 last year – and for some odd reason I’ve stopped doing it for months now – but I plan on getting BACK on the stick – as soon as my bridging mat gets here!
Last, but not least, remember that while bridges on the floor are great – and can indeed be a workout unto themselves, there is FAR more to it than even what I’ve shown in the book and videos. Far, far more – and at some point I’ll come out with an advanced bridging book – hit me up if y’all are interested – I’ll see what I can do if there is enough interest!
Well, my friend, that’s it for now. Start working on the bridge today if you haven’t already – and report back and let me know how you feel after a few days – or in some cases even a few SESSIONS of doing it!
P.S. – Remember too, that if bridges on the floor scare you, you can work into it by “walking the wall backwards” – and that my friend is a workout unto itself – and is essentially what the BEST darn exercise is all about – albeit if done correctly – with PROPER breathing. Find out more right here – – https://0excusesfitness.com/products/pushups-reverse-pushups-the-best-darn-exercise/