STRONG Life Ep. 142 with @mobilitymaker Dana Santas.
Brought to you by https://IntekStrength.com
Dana brings a unique story to The STRONG Life Podcast, from making lots of money in the corporate world to being stressed and crushing her health from the non stop work, Dana found her health and changed her life and career path.
Through grit and work ethic, Dana was able to share her knowledge in countless professional sports organizations and is a leading force in the field of Sports Performance.
Here's what we discussed in this episode:
- Dana's start in the strength & conditioning field
- How her attitude of gratitude changed her life
- Why do we see an abundance of injuries in athletes and general population these past 10-15 years
- The common caused of back pain, shoulder pain / injuries and how to implement breathing to reduce / eliminate these pains
- The importance of hip mobility
- The various recovery tools that Dana prescribes athletes to use
- What your lower back REALLY needs to be strong & healthy?
Last week, when I asked you to pick one of four exercises from my new book for me to demo, you picked “windmill twist,” but “breathing bridge” was a very close second…so I decided to demo it for you anyway. Breathing bridge is a fundamental exercise I use in EVERY program I do for EVERY athlete. And it’s a foundational exercise in my book “Practical Solutions for Back Pain Relief” (Amazon link temporarily in my profile) & 30-day Breathe Better to Move Better program on @trainheroic. Why is it so fundamental? Because breathing is arguably our most fundamental movement pattern, influencing all other primary movement patterns. And the glute bridge position, when done as directed in the video, activates your core (specifically your TVA) and glutes to properly position your pelvis & ribcage for the diaphragm & pelvic floor to work in synch. Additionally, the position activates glutes, releases hip flexors & strengthens your core. And why is this a primary exercise for back pain relief and prevention? For all of the reasons noted above. And because your diaphragm has a substantial influence on your spine! Your diaphragm attaches to both your ribcage (which attaches to your t-spine) and your lumbar spine (where it also runs through your psoas muscle at the lumbar attachments). When the diaphragm is not being used properly, like any other muscle, it becomes tight and dysfunctional, often pulling on its lumbar attachments causing disc compression & hip flexor tension—which definitely contribute to back pain. SPECIAL NOTES ON PRACTICING BREATHING BRIDGE: Refer to my previous post for instructions on rib movement during breathing. Initiate the hip lift as a pelvic tilt activated by your transverse abdominus (deep core muscle that runs across your lower abdomen) and glutes (butt). You should not feel this more in your hamstrings than glutes. And you should not feel this AT ALL in your back. Do NOT arch like a bridge in yoga; only pelvic tilt and press through your heels to lift your hips up a few inches—no more. When you come up into the bridge, if you feel your neck is arching back, use a folded towel or pad under your head to keep your cervical spine neutral.