Back Clinic Power & Strength Training. These types of conditioning programs are for both athletes and the general population. They can reach higher levels of personal power and strength, making them capable of achieving their personal fitness goals. Power is defined as the ability to generate as much force as fast as possible. It’s needed for athletic movements such as workouts (clean & jerk), swinging a bat, golf club, tennis racket, and running through a tackle.
Power requires strength and speed to develop force. Strength is the amount of force muscle/s can exert against an external load. One rep maximum test is performed where individuals assess the greatest weight they can lift while maintaining proper form. The movement’s speed is not important in a strength test. Dr. Alex Jimenez offers insight into various stretches and exercises and explains the possible risks of injury on strength training through his numerous article archives.
Cheerleading and the physically intensive gymnastics and acrobatics put participants’ body’s/musculoskeletal systems at an increased risk of injury. A wrong move or falling at the wrong angle can cause permanent damage. Cheerleaders must follow a balanced diet and maintain physical fitness, strength, endurance, and flexibility to be successful cheerleaders. Cheerleading conditioning builds the musculature and spinal strength to decrease the risk and prevent injury.
Cheerleaders must have a solid musculoskeletal system to ensure their safety and the safety of their squads. Workouts include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
Before any workout, the muscles need to be warmed up.
Spend five minutes jumping rope, running in place, jogging on a treadmill, or doing any mild activity to raise the heart rate.
Try tree pose by standing on the right foot, and the left leg bent on the right knee.
The left thigh should be parallel to the ground.
Raise arms overhead and make a V motion keeping the abdominal muscles pulled in tight.
Balance for up to one minute.
Switch to the other foot.
Once balance is mastered on the ground, try balancing on a cushion to add instability.
Repeat three to five times on each foot.
Common injuries include:
Hand and finger injuries.
Ligament sprains in the knees and ankles.
Muscle strains in the hip, low back, and legs.
Cheerleading is becoming a year-round sport.
Starting with tryouts during spring.
Teams may hold or go to organized summer cheerleading camps to learn new skills, improve skill sets, and create routines for competition.
Continuous training and competitions increase the chance of overuse injuries.
The wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles can be injured by repetitive stress.
More severe injuries are:
The repetitive tumbling places significant pressure on the spine and can cause stress fractures.
Dislocation of the shoulder or elbow.
Lack of arm and shoulder, foot, and ankle strength.
Little to no core and abdominal strength.
Performing skills that are advanced for the cheerleader’s current level.
Chiropractic care can treat injuries and strengthen the body’s musculoskeletal system to prevent injuries. Chiropractic’s goal is optimal body performance by redistributing blood circulation, nerve energy flow, correct muscle positioning, and skeletal alignment. Many cheerleading teams are incorporating chiropractic. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic also specializes in sports medicine rehabilitation, strength training, nutrition, and health coaching.
Cheerleading Strength Training Workout
Boden, Barry P, and Christopher G Jarvis. “Spinal injuries in sports.” Neurologic clinics vol. 26,1 (2008): 63-78; viii. doi:10.1016/j.ncl.2007.12.005
Miners, Andrew L. “Chiropractic treatment and the enhancement of sport performance: a narrative literature review.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association vol. 54,4 (2010): 210-21.
Mueller, Frederick O. “Cheerleading injuries and safety.” Journal of athletic training vol. 44,6 (2009): 565-6. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-44.6.565
Pang, Yanbin, et al. “Premature exhaustion of mesenchymal stromal cells from myelodysplastic syndrome patients.” American journal of translational research vol. 9,7 3462-3468. 15 Jul. 2017
Wan, Jing-Jing, et al. “Muscle fatigue: general understanding and treatment.” Experimental & molecular medicine vol. 49,10 e384. 6 Oct. 2017, doi:10.1038/emm.2017.194
Today, more than ever, individuals are less physically active and sitting down for more extended periods causing the gluteus muscles to be used less and weaken. Weak, inactive, or tightening glutes can cause instability in the lower spine, the hips, and the pelvis to shift out of alignment. This leads to low back and buttock pain. The pain is constantly dull, aching, pulsating, then when moving, getting up, it throbs and stings. Gluteal strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles and alleviate the pain.
Every individual has a unique physiology. The body develops asymmetrically as the individual favors one side or area of the body over another. This can cause imbalances in the muscular system, leading to awkward positioning that causes pain. The muscle groups that support the lower back consist of the:
The gluteal muscle group includes:
In some cases, the development or lack of level of an individual’s upper back strength can also affect the amount of strain on the lower back.
Gluteal Strengthening Difference
Many joints connect in this area that can have functional problems. The muscles within the lower back need:
Stretching allows the body to enhance the limits of its flexibility and mobility. Most of the stretches are involve the hip joint, as this is one of the most effective ways to loosen the gluteal regions. It’s essential to warm the muscles slightly with a light activity while stretching them to elongate naturally.
Seated Figure 4 Stretch
Sitting in a chair.
Cross the right leg over the left.
With the right ankle resting on the left knee.
It should resemble the number 4.
Bend forward at the hip, placing slight pressure onto the left leg.
Hold this stretch for ten-twenty seconds.
Stretch the other side.
Placing the left foot on the right knee.
Repeat this three times.
This yoga pose engages all the muscles along the back. With the glutes at the top in this position, it forces them to activate, allowing them to stretch fully.
Hold this pose and focus the attention on the glutes.
Squats naturally engage the glutes. This is a variation on a squat that focuses on developing gluteal strength.
Stand with the back facing the wall.
Place a Swiss stability ball between the wall and the back.
Lean back into the ball for balance.
Lower the torso until the knees reach 90 degrees.
Return to standing.
Repeat for ten reps.
Do three sets.
Analysis An Effective Tool
Opportunities to increase physical activity lead individuals in a positive direction. The most common reason for reducing and stopping healthy changes is a lack of motivation and feedback. Strategies that provide immediate feedback are essential to:
Monitor progress for establishing a baseline.
Set appropriate and attainable goals.
Track changes over time.
Monitoring changes with a simple weight scale or Body Mass Index calculator provides limited ability to accurately track changes that only highlight weight changes and not track progress in muscle gain or fat loss. In less than 45 seconds, the InBody Test provides doctors, trainers, and physical therapists with easy-to-understand, accurate and objective measurements to evaluate body composition that includes:
Assessing muscle distribution.
Target areas weakened by condition or injury.
Identify muscle and fat imbalances in each area of the body.
Monitor changes to determine the efficacy of the treatment plan, exercise program, and diet plan to ensure long-term success.
Akuthota, Venu et al. “Core stability exercise principles.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 7,1 (2008): 39-44. doi:10.1097/01.CSMR.0000308663.13278.69
Distefano, Lindsay J et al. “Gluteal muscle activation during common therapeutic exercises.” The Journal of orthopedic and sports physical therapy vol. 39,7 (2009): 532-40. doi:10.2519/jospt.2009.2796
Glaviano, Neal R et al. “Gluteal muscle inhibition: Consequences of patellofemoral pain?.” Medical hypotheses vol. 126 (2019): 9-14. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2019.02.046
Jeong, Ui-Cheol et al. “The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients.” Journal of physical therapy science vol. 27,12 (2015): 3813-6. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.3813
Macadam, Paul et al. “AN EXAMINATION OF THE GLUTEAL MUSCLE ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH DYNAMIC HIP ABDUCTION AND HIP EXTERNAL ROTATION EXERCISE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW.” International Journal of sports physical therapy vol. 10,5 (2015): 573-91.
Regularly doing planks can support/strengthen the spine and prevent back pain no matter the fitness level. It’s estimated that 70% of adults will experience back problems and pain. One of the best ways to keep the spine healthy is by strengthening the core muscles. The more these muscles are built up, the healthier the body will become. The plank position activates the entire core taking the pressure off of the spine.
The core is the center of the body. It contains all the muscles surrounding the torso. These muscles work together to:
Stabilize the body during movement.
Prevent injury when engaged in physical activity/exercise.
Provide spinal support.
The core is split into two groups of muscles: The inner core and the outer core.
The deep abdominal muscle in the lower back sits on either side of the lumbar region of the spine.
Located between the lower ribs and the top of the pelvis.
This base group of muscles stretches from the tailbone to the pubic bone.
A dome-shaped muscle that rests below the lungs.
These are more commonly known as the abs.
These muscles are located on either side of the rectus abdominis.
These muscles are located below the external obliques, inside the hip bones.
These muscles surround the spine and extend up both sides of the vertebral column.
Planks and Back Pain Prevention
When the core is not strong enough, the spine and back muscles overcompensate to keep the body standing correctly. Studies have shown how planks effectively activate the muscles responsible for spinal stabilization. The exercise targets the entirety of the core and strengthens the shoulders and glutes. Strengthening these muscles improves posture, helping to alleviate back problems and pain. However, it’s recommended to talk to a doctor before beginning a plank regimen if back pain is present. If done incorrectly, they could aggravate the back muscles.
Choose an area clear of furniture where the whole body can stretch out. Follow these steps:
Begin with hands and knees on the floor.
Extend the legs back while keeping the elbows directly below the shoulders and the wrists below the elbows.
Keep the head down, looking at the space just above the hands.
Engage the abs and keep the body rigid.
Imagine a perfectly straight line from the neck to the toes.
Hold the position for 10 to 60 seconds, depending on fitness level.
Lower the body gently to the floor.
Make sure not to curve the back as curving means that the abdominal muscles are being engaged, and tilting the head up can strain the neck.
Both can lead to injury, which is why maintaining proper form is essential.
There are variations of this exercise for different levels of physical fitness. Once the modified and full plank has been mastered, various planks can target other areas of the body. These include:
These involve shifting the weight to one forearm while extending the other arm into the air.
These involve lifting one hand off the ground, then alternating.
Anybody can work up to a plank at any age at any fitness level; it just takes time. Once achieved, it is a great way to keep the body’s core strong, healthy and helps prevent back problems.
Band Lateral Raise
The lateral band raise is an excellent workout for the shoulders. It works out the lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid, and serratus anterior.
Grasp one band in one hand.
Step on the free end with the opposite foot.
Right hand and left foot and vice versa.
Slowly extend and raise the arm until they are parallel to the floor.
Lower the arms in the same manner.
If the shoulders are healthy and strong enough, try adding dumbbells or kettlebells to increase the resistance.
Calatayud, Joaquín et al. “Tolerability and Muscle Activity of Core Muscle Exercises in Chronic Low-back Pain.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,19 3509. 20 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16193509
Youdas, James W et al. “Magnitudes of muscle activation of spine stabilizers in healthy adults during prone on elbow planking exercises with and without a fitness ball.” Physiotherapy Theory and practice vol. 34,3 (2018): 212-222. doi:10.1080/09593985.2017.1377792
Many individuals are trying to get fit and stay active through physical activity and exercise. Getting back to a previous fitness routine is an achievable and realistic goal. Fitness means having the energy and strength to perform physical activity and the body feeling as good as possible. Getting fit improves total health. But it does not require training like an athlete. Just walking for a half-hour every day can help individuals reach an adequate fitness level that helps them feel better and increase energy levels.
Benefits of Getting Fit
Getting the body fit and in shape:
Increases muscle strength
Delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues
Improves cardiovascular health
Helps release toxins
Improves overall energy levels
Handle stress better
Being fit allows the body to work harder without as much work, the mind is better focused, the body burns more calories, even when at rest, and proper weight is maintained. Fitness reduces the risk of falls, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
How Much Physical Activity Is Needed?
Experts say the goal should be one, or a combination, of these:
Moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking, for at least 2½ hours a week.
It is up to the individual how many days to exercise, but it is best to be active at least three days a week.
Activity is recommended at least 10 minutes at a time. For example, an individual could:
Take a 10-minute walk three times a day, five days a week.
Take a half-hour walk three days a week.
On the other four days, take a 15-minute walk.
Take a 45-minute walk every other day.
Vigorous exercise is recommended at least three days a week for at least 10 minutes at a time. This activity makes the body breathe harder and increases heart rate. More vigorous activities, like running, could be included for at least one hour a week. This can be spread out 75 minutes, whichever way is more convenient for the individual. For example, an individual could:
Run for 25 minutes 3 times a week.
Run for 15 minutes 5 times a week.
Children as young as preschool age need activity as well. Encourage children ages 6 to 17 to engage in moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 1 hour every day.
Types of Physical Activity
This makes the body breathe faster and makes the heart work harder.
Activities include walking, running, cycling, and swimming.
It is also known as cardio or cardiovascular training.
Muscle strength means building stronger muscles and increasing the length of time they can be used.
Activities like weight lifting, push-ups, squats, and resistance bands can improve muscular fitness.
Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and muscles through their full range of motion.
There are several reasons the body’s collagen production can slow down or become less efficient. The quality of the collagen made can decrease as well. Environmental factors can be avoided to protect collagen production; however, damage from disease and natural processes is inevitable. Aging is the most common cause of decreased natural collagen. As the body ages, collagen production and quality decrease. This leads to thinner, more fragile skin and achy joints. Certain chronic diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis cause collagen deficiency, leading to issues that include:
Williams MA, et al. (2007). Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease: 2007 update: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. Circulation, 116(5): 572–584.
Walking for a healthy back. This simple form of exercise can:
Trim the waistline.
Reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Improve back health.
Chiropractors recommend walking because of the ease of the workout and the health benefits it provides. It is a simple, low-impact exercise that can significantly improve the body’s overall health in a short amount of time. It improves back health by:
Strengthening the muscles that support the spine.
Facilitates strong circulation.
Improves bone strength.
Walking For A Healthy Back
Walking engages all of the muscles which keep the body upright, including the core, leg, and back muscles. Muscle strength increases, providing optimal support of the spine.
Optimize Bone Health
Bone is living tissue like the muscles, and exercise stimulates bone the same way as muscle, gradually increasing strength.
Studies have found that walking improves bone density and reduces bone loss.
Poor posture is one of the most common reasons why individuals have back pain.
Poor posture affects mobility and places a significant amount of strain on the back.
Walking a few times each week engages and strengthens the back muscles keeping the body straight.
Many individuals have lower back pain that is caused by excess weight.
The added weight causes the front of the body to shift forward, placing additional strain on the lower back.
Walking reduces the load on the lower back.
Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion
Combined with stretching, walking improves flexibility and range of motion, making it easier to perform everyday activities reducing the risk of back injuries.
Improves Circulation to the Spinal structures
Walking improves blood circulation, delivers nutrients to the soft tissues, and removes toxins.
Added Benefits include:
Improved skin tone.
Lower risk of diabetes.
Reduced risk of depression.
Improved cardiovascular health that lowers the risk of:
High blood pressure.
Before beginning an exercise program, it’s essential to consult a doctor or chiropractor for individuals that have not exercised for a while or are dealing with underlying condition/s. They will educate and recommend how much exercise is appropriate given their current fitness level and overall health. To maximize the benefits of walking and prevent injuries:
Use High-Quality Tennis or Walking Shoes
Walking is much more enjoyable and safer when the body is comfortable.
Improving comfort levels is by using a pair of high-quality walking shoes or trainers.
They will provide proper support, cushioning, and adequate traction.
Maintain Proper Posture
Stay aware of body position when walking. A few key points to keep in mind:
Place the heel down first.
Then roll through each part of the foot, ending on the point of the toes.
Keep the shoulders back and head up.
Lift from the hips to reduce the impact on the lower joints.
Keep a slight bend in the arms and smoothly swing them back and forth.
Turn Walking Into a Healthy Habit
In the beginning, aim for at least 5 to 7 walks each week that last 25 minutes.
Speed does not matter as the objective is to get out and walk.
Once walking starts turning into a healthy habit with improvements in health, then start walking faster and longer.
Interval walking involves short periods of high-intensity walking followed by alonger period of slow walking.
This increases cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
Begin with a 1-minute interval of fast walking.
This is followed by 2 minutes of slower walking.
Take On Easy Obstacles
Makes the walks more challenging by walking up or down a hill.
They will help strengthen the arms, shoulders, and upper back.
Building Lean Body Mass
Lean Body Mass is the body’s total weight minus the fat. This includes all the weight of the muscles, organs, and total body water. The best way to develop muscle and Lean Body Mass is to adopt a resistance training program. As stronger muscles are developed, the size and amount of the muscle cells increases. The muscles then require more intracellular water, which allows them to function at optimal levels. As the muscles grow and take in more water, Lean Body Mass increases.
Morris, J N, and A E Hardman. “Walking to health.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 23,5 (1997): 306-32. doi:10.2165/00007256-199723050-00004
Nauman, Javaid et al. “Walking in the Fast Lane: High-Intensity Walking for Improved Fitness and Health Outcomes.” Mayo Clinic proceedings vol. 94,12 (2019): 2378-2380. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.10.020
Vanti, Carla et al. “The effectiveness of walking versus exercise on pain and function in chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials.” Disability and rehabilitation vol. 41,6 (2019): 622-632. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1410730
Kettlebell training for the back muscles and back pain prevention can be part of a recommended treatment plan. When experiencing low back pain, many sports medicine experts recommend kettlebell exercise to strengthen the core and posterior chain. However, if not used correctly, kettlebell exercises can worsen back pain.
They are made of cast iron or steel and are named for resembling a tea kettle with an oversized handle. They can be used in one and two-handed movements.
Exercises and Movements for Back Pain
For individuals that are not experiencing back pain, kettlebell training can be excellent for maintenance and injury prevention. They strengthen the core and back muscles.
The kettlebell swing is an essential exercise and is one of the most important exercises when dealing with back pain issues.
A kettlebell is placed on the floor about 12 inches in front while standing with the feet a little wider than hip-distance.
The hips become the hinge.
Extend the arms down to the bell and grip it.
Begin swinging it up and down through the legs and then upward and outward to chest level.
The shoulders are to stay relaxed.
The hips are used to thrust and create momentum to swing the kettlebell.
Keep the spine neutral throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
The arms are to hold the bell only.
Don’t swing with the arms or shoulders, but push through with the hips.
The exercise can be swung up over the head but is not recommended for those with back pain.
They are portable and don’t require a lot of space.
With kettlebells, an individual can train more easily than with barbells.
Kettlebell workouts provide strength training and cardiovascular fitness.
Once the proper technique is learned, individuals can set up a regular regimen at home.
Proper Form and Mistakes
Proper form is crucial. The primary movement most individuals have difficulty with is getting the proper hinging motion at the hip. Most individuals flex at the lower back and place increased pressure on the discs. Proper hip hinge motion means:
Keeping the low back straight
Flexing at the hip
Pushing back out with the buttocks when performing the swing motion.
When done correctly, an individual should be able to stop at any stage and hold that position.
Posture Form Tips
Form issues with kettlebells include:
When picking up the kettlebell, remember to hip hinge instead of squatting to maintain the back in a neutral position.
Drive the hips back in the same way when sitting down on a low chair.
Arching the back
If the pelvis is tilted too far forward, the back arches a lot.
This can narrow where the nerves leave the spine in the low back.
Keep the abdominals tight to prevent the pelvis from tilting forward.
Using the incorrect weight can also cause problems; this could be going too heavy or too light.
Too heavy increases the risk of straining the body and back.
A kettlebell that is too light does not provide the correct resistance to strengthen the muscles.
Another common mistake is overtraining. Specifically, individuals over 50 whose bodies don’t recover as quickly.
Individuals over 50 are recommended to spread out the workout days with more than one rest day.
Proper training before working with kettlebells is highly recommended, especially for those already dealing with back pain. Individuals are encouraged to work with a physical therapist, sports chiropractor, or personal trainer who can teach proper techniques and specific exercises, observe the individual’s process, and make corrections. Improper technique can lead to:
Start in a pushup position with the arms on the floor in front.
Lift the legs, so the tops of the feet rest on the exercise/stability ball.
Knees should be bent to start the movement.
Extend the legs out as straight as possible.
Hold the position for a few seconds.
Return to the starting position.
Common Injuries Associated with Kettlebells: ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal (March/April 2017) “Managing Risks of Training with Kettlebells to Achieve Optimum Benefits.” journals.lww.com/acsm healthfitness/Fulltext/2017/03000/MANAGING_RISKS_OF_TRAINING_WITH_KETTLEBELLS_TO.6.aspx
When back pain presents for a prolonged period, the back muscles reduce in mass but increase fat content, resulting in more stiffness. This leads to chronic muscle fatigue and results in chronic pain symptoms. Adding resistance to a workout routine in weight machines, free weights, and/or resistance bands helps reduce back pain. Studies have shown that specific therapeutic back muscle weight training is safe and can help relieve pain. A sports chiropractic specialist can recommend appropriate exercises for individuals and their specific condition/s to safely participate in strength training.
Back muscles development
With time, back pain and increased fatigue can lead to a fear of moving the body and engaging in physical activity. This results in spinal deconditioning and instability. Weight training works on incrementally/progressively increasing the load that the back muscles can tolerate. This technique gradually improves the body’s ability and strength to perform regular daily activities without strain and in optimal fashion. Weight training improves whole-body health because:
Back muscles and core muscles increase in function and performance.
Muscles are strengthened.
Lean muscle mass increases.
The range of motion of the spine increases.
Body fat decreases.
Guidelines while using weights
When weight training, it is important to understand safety guidelines to help relieve back pain and not worsen or cause further injury. Weighted treatment exercises are for individuals that have been cleared by their physician or chiropractor and are specific to their injury and /or condition. Depending on the underlying pain source, weight training may not be suitable for individuals that have:
Back pain that originates from:
Previous spinal surgery
Nerve root compression
Medical professionals and chiropractors can accurately diagnose and determine if weight training is safe and which specific exercises to perform. Guidance from a trained therapist or therapeutic trainer is recommended for optimal results.
Weight training techniques to alleviate back pain are different from regular weight or resistance exercises.
Trained physical/occupational therapists and sports chiropractors can educate an individual on:
Type of training that will help an individual’s condition.
Therapeutic training can significantly reduce the risk of further injury and damage to the spine.
After initial training, individuals are encouraged to exercise to maintain back muscles and total body health.
Smaller weights build strength progressively
Effective ways to strengthen the spine.
Begin with small/light weights and exercise slowly.
Fast rapid movements or incorrect lifting and pulling techniques can cause additional damage to the tissues.
It is recommended to start with:
Low-load motor control exercises without weights activate and stretch the muscles and improve balance.
Exercise machines can be recommended instead of free weights.
Exercise machines can provide safe, effective, and progressive resistance to the exercises.
The machines can help reduce/prevent injury compared to free weights.
The machines can maintain proper support on the back and spine.
It is recommended to combine regular walking activity with a weight training program.
Low impact aerobic exercises increase blood circulation along with essential nutrients to the muscles and soft tissues.
This promotes healing and reduces stiffness.
Training program and benefits
Gaining the most benefits from strength training, tips to keep in mind:
Warm up for a few minutes using heat therapy and simple stretches.
Try for 2 or 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
Focus on building strength in the core muscles – back, abdominals, obliques, buttocks, and pelvic leg muscles.
There is no need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment.
Work out at home with small hand weights, resistance bands, and body weight.
The therapist or chiropractor will inform the individual on which exercises to avoid, which require extreme or quick moves.
Slow, steady resistance training takes advantage of muscle lengthening exercises and muscle shortening exercises for strengthening.
If back pain presents with a sustained increase, take time off or modify the strength training exercises.
Some soreness is to be expected, but sharp pain is not. If any sharp, sudden pain presents while exercising, stop immediately.
Ice therapy can be beneficial after exercising to decrease inflammation and alleviate pain.
Record the amount of weight when beginning the training and note when progressing to a heavier weight. Consistent improvements in pain, flexibility, strength, and function will help maintain motivation. Consult with a professional sports injury chiropractor today to see if weight training is a suitable and safe treatment.
Carbohydrates and Muscle Growth
Simple carbs are a quick, periodic source of energy. Complex carbs are a recommended source of steady energy. Complex carbs are not as readily available for immediate energy as simple carbs are but are more efficient and healthier. Complex carbs offer sustainable energy, meaning the energy is constant with no crash like simple carbs. Because complex carbs have slow-release properties, they should be the largest component of daily energy consumption.
Carbs prevent muscle weakness.
Some glycogen is stored in the muscles. When those muscles are used during exercise, the body taps into the glycogen stores in that specific muscle. Lifting weights with the arms, for example, access the glycogen in the biceps. Athletes take advantage of glycogen by loading up on carbs by consuming a day or more before a workout. This maximizes the muscle glycogen stores. This delays muscle fatigue, making for a better workout and stronger muscles, and can improve athletic performance.
Carbs help muscles recover after exercise.
Recovery goes back to the glycogen stores. Right after exercising, the body needs to replenish its glycogen stores to prevent glycogen depletion. Glycogen depletion, when the stores run out, causes gluconeogenesis. What happens is the body forms glucose from new sources. This is to compensate for the lack of glucose from carbohydrates. This is when the body turns to sources like fat and protein to fill the need. Protein is the last line of defense when energy is required, meaning that energy is running low. When the body breaks down protein for glucose production, it takes what it needs from the muscle/s, causing them to shrink and break down.
Dreisinger TE. Exercise in the management of chronic back pain. Ochsner J. 2014;14(1):101–107.
Lee JS, Kang SJ. Strength exercise and walking effects on lumbar function, pain level, and body composition in chronic back pain patients. J Exerc Rehabil. 2016;12(5):463–470. Published 2016 Oct 31. doi:10.12965/jer.1632650.325
Michaelson P, Holmberg D, Aasa B, Aasa U. High load lifting exercise and low load motor control exercises as interventions for patients with mechanical low back pain: A randomized controlled trial with 24-month follow-up. J Rehabil Med. 2016;48(5):456-63.
Welch N, Moran K, Antony J, et al. The effects of a free-weight-based resistance training intervention on pain, squat biomechanics, and MRI-defined lumbar fat infiltration and functional cross-sectional area in those with chronic low back. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2015;1(1):e000050. Published 2015 Nov 9. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000050
There are different types of muscle from a biological perspective, however, there is no such thing as lean muscle. Lean suggests the absence of body fat. But the fact is that all muscle is lean muscle. It is important to build muscle mass as the body ages, however, it is more important to build lean body mass. Here is the difference.
Lean Body Mass
Lean Body Mass is the total weight of an individual’s body minus all the weight from the fat mass.
Lean Body Mass (LBM) = Total Weight – Fat Mass
Lean Body Mass includes the weight of the:
Because Lean Body Mass consists of various components, any change in the weight of these areas is recorded as changes in lean body mass. However, the weight of the body’s organs will not change. Bone density does decrease with time and age, but will not significantly affect the weight of lean body mass. With lean body mass, 2 areas of focus include:
Sometimes, individuals use the term lean muscle referring to the shape of the muscles. However, both types of muscle are lean and fat-free.
The difference between muscle mass and lean muscle
The strict definition of muscle mass is the weight of the muscles of the body. When individuals say they are gaining muscle mass, they typically mean that the muscles look and feel bigger.
Lean muscle masson the other hand is a term often used when someone is referring to the weight of the muscles, not factoring in the amount of fat that could be present within a muscle.
Combining Lean Gains
Increases in Skeletal Muscle Mass are also an increase in Lean Body Mass. What tends to happen is individuals combine them as lean mass gains or lean gains. However, an increase in Lean Body Mass does not always increase muscle.
This is because body water makes up a significant portion of an individual’s Lean Body Mass. For example, a body composition analysis of a 174-pound male.
98.1 Total Body Water + 35.5 Dry Lean Mass = 133.6 Lean Body Mass
Water makes up more than 55% of total body weight
This is normal for healthy adult males
Lean Body Mass consists of three components, two of which are water.
Everything else grouped together makes up the individual’s Dry Lean Mass.
This includes bone minerals, protein content, etc.
Muscle gains contribute to Lean Body Mass gains, but so does water. The difference is that water levels can fluctuate throughout the day depending on:
The muscle tissue itself contains a significant amount of water. Muscle tissue is comprised of up to 79% water. Research has shown that resistance training increases intracellular water in both men and women. This creates an issue when looking at lean gains.
Lean Mass gains can happen quickly, and the increases are mostly body water
Measuring Lean Body Mass and Muscle Mass
What not to do
Don’t try to use a scale to calculate changes in Skeletal Muscle Mass. A popular method used is to estimate muscle gain from the number on the scale and applying fitness websites/magazine tips. The problem with this technique is that estimating progress has many factors that can influence an increase in body weight. These include:
It is the difference between total body weight and body fat weight. However, these calculations are more for helping physicians determine the appropriate amount of prescription medication/s or if an individual will be undergoing anesthesia and not a computation of overall body composition.
Paying Attention to Weight Loss
Paying attention to weight loss is an inaccurate reflection of lean body mass, muscle mass, or lean mass.
Weight loss, or gain, does not reflect overall health and body composition.
Resistance training/weightlifting workouts combined with added protein will generate a muscle mass percentage increase
Skeletal Muscle Mass is connected with Lean Body Mass
Everyone’s body composition is different, making the proportion of an individual’s skeletal muscle mass to Lean Body Mass unique.
Lean Mass or Lean body mass is the safest term to use to describe gains.
Which Is More Important?
When it comes to tracking muscle gain or fat loss, it all comes down to what tools are being used to measure progress.
If working with just a weight scale, an individual will only know their weight increases or decreases.
This is difficult to see the difference in weight gain from water, muscle, or body fat.
For individuals that want accurate measuring of their muscle gain and assessing their health, then body composition analysis is the key.
Body Composition Difference
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Galán-Rioja, Miguel Ángel et al. “Effects of Body Weight vs. Lean Body Mass on Wingate Anaerobic Test Performance in Endurance Athletes.” International journal of sports medicine vol. 41,8 (2020): 545-551. doi:10.1055/a-1114-6206
Köstek, Osman et al. “Changes in skeletal muscle area and lean body mass during pazopanib vs sunitinib therapy for metastatic renal cancer.” Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology vol. 83,4 (2019): 735-742. doi:10.1007/s00280-019-03779-5
Ribeiro, Alex S et al. “Resistance training promotes an increase in intracellular hydration in men and women.” European journal of sports science vol. 14,6 (2014): 578-85. doi:10.1080/17461391.2014.880192
Ten Haaf, Dominique S M et al. “Protein supplementation improves lean body mass in physically active older adults: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle vol. 10,2 (2019): 298-310. doi:10.1002/jcsm.12394
High-intensity interval training or bodybuilding? Getting to the gym, choosing a strength-training method, and figuring out which method is right for you can be frustrating and confusing. With all of the options available, there�s just no easy way to figure out which training regimen is right.
Here are two of the most popular training methods broken down. The principles behind each training method and how they influence body composition. The journey to getting healthy goes a lot smoother when knowing which training program will help reach optimal fitness goals.
Not all training programs are the same
Bodybuilding is about physical appearance. This means big muscles and low body fat which is accomplished by heavyweight training workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT workouts focus on performing high-intensity exercises in large volume repetitions quickly to raise an individual’s heart rate, cycling between high intensity and rest. This is accomplished by using:
It�s important to understand that different training methods will affect body composition differently. Body composition is about painting an accurate picture of what�s going on in the body. The key is to break down:
What each training program looks like
What it does
How to choose the program that�s best for the individual
Gaining Lean Body Mass
Losing Fat Mass
Bodybuilding at its core is about gaining muscle while minimizing body fat. Minimizing fat is a key to building a muscular-defined physique, and requires a detailed focus on protein and calorie intake. It is the emphasis on aesthetically increasing muscle size and reducing body fat. Bodybuilders focus on higher reps and lighter-weight workouts. This encourages muscle hypertrophy. Other factors in bodybuilding are:
Consistent protein intake
These are important aspects of this type of regimen and building visually impressive musculature.
This impressive musculature is not only for looks, as it can help with fat loss as well. This is because resistance training/weight training can burn a lot of calories and lose a substantial amount of fat. A study by the Department of Exercise Science showed that 10 weeks of resistance training can reduce fat weight by 1.8kg and increase resting metabolic rate by 7%.
For the average person, if the focus is on building visible muscle while keeping a low body fat percentage, bodybuilding is a great choice. Ideal body composition focuses on keeping fat content to a minimum without compromise.
High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT
Modern training programs like CrossFit utilize HIIT-style workouts. HIIT burns calories through workouts that significantly increase heart rate. The exercises are short, loaded with mini-breaks in between high-intensity sets designed to test cardio. The focus is on high repetitions. However, HIIT workouts are so intense that professional trainers recommend individuals only train 2-3 times a week, to avoid overstressing the body. There are bodybuilding exercises included like:
However, they are done with different goals in mind. The priority of a HIIT workout is to reduce fat, improve cardio, and developing some muscle.
Scientists from Ohio State University observed more than 40 subjects at all levels of cardio fitness. Over the next 10 weeks, the subjects completed a variety of HIIT workouts. The scientists realized that the individuals were developing a more capable cardio system, and their body fat percentages were dropping significantly.
If the goal is to get stronger and lose weight, then bodybuilding is the best option.
If the goal is to have stronger cardio and lose serious weight then HIIT workouts are the best option.
No matter what training program is chosen. Remember that achieving a healthy body composition that the individual feels comfortable with is the most important thing. Making positive changes and achieving optimal health is the objective. Both workout strategies can be incorporated into a regular strength training regimen. Both training methods can be challenging, but the health benefits are absolutely worth it. Contact us today to help figure out which training regimen will achieve optimal health.
Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Ross, Leanna M et al. �High-intensity interval training (HIIT) for patients with chronic diseases.��Journal of sport and health science�vol. 5,2 (2016): 139-144. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.04.005
Westcott, Wayne L. �Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.��Current sports medicine reports�vol. 11,4 (2012): 209-16. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8
PODCAST: Dr. Alex Jimenez, Kenna Vaughn, Lizette Ortiz, and Daniel “Danny” Alvarado discuss nutrition and fitness during these times. During quarantine, people have become more interested in improving their overall health and wellness by following a proper diet and participating in exercise. The panel of experts in the following podcast offers a variety of tips and tricks on how you can improve your well-being. Moreover, Lizette Ortiz and Danny Alvarado discuss how they’ve been helping their clients achieve their optimal well-being during these COVID times. From eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats, good fats, and complex carbohydrates to avoiding sugars and simple carbohydrates like white pasta and bread, following a proper diet and participating in exercise and physical activity is a great way to continue to promote your overall health and wellness. – Podcast Insight
If you have enjoyed this video and/or we have helped you in any way
please feel free to subscribe and share us.
Thank You & God Bless.
Dr. Alex Jimenez RN, DC, MSACP, CCST
PODCAST: Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Marius Ruja discuss the importance of personalized medicine genetics and micronutrients for overall health and wellness. Following a proper diet and participating in exercise alone isn’t enough to make sure that the human body is functioning properly, especially in the case of athletes. Fortunately, there are a variety of tests available that can help people determine if they have any nutritional deficiencies that may be affecting their cells and tissues. Vitamin and mineral supplements can also ultimately help improve an individual’s overall health and wellness. While we may not be able to change certain aspects of our genes, Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Marius Ruja discuss that following a proper diet and participating in exercise while taking the proper supplements, can benefit our genes and promote well-being. – Podcast Insight
If you have enjoyed this video and/or we have helped you in any way
please feel free to subscribe and share us.
Thank You & God Bless.
Dr. Alex Jimenez RN, DC, MSACP, CCST
Strength training: The Centers for Disease Control have estimated that around 16% of six to nineteen-year-olds in the US are overweight or obese. This comes from inactivity, no movement, exercise, and poor diet. On the other end, young athletes search for ways to gain an edge, often falling victim to steroids and all of the negative effects they have.
This is where strength training comes in. This could be an answer to getting kids off the couch, moving, and offers a healthy alternative to the young athletes looking for that competitive edge. Fitness experts, doctors, health coaches, and parents say absolutely.
The focus for children in strength training is not to bulk up, as this is not weightlifting, powerlifting, or bodybuilding. Fitness experts agree that these types of training regimens are not healthy or safe for children. The goal is to:
Added benefits of strength training can help young athletes improve performance through increased endurance.
It is fundamental to find a program that is safe and successful for children. Parents want a program designed specifically for kidssupervised by a fitness professional with child experience, and most of all, it is fun. For strength training, there is not a minimum age; however, the kids should understand and follow directions.
Before starting a child on any new fitness program, check with their doctor or healthcare provider.
A training program should include:
A session should start with a 5-10 minute warm-up exercise/s like stretching and light aerobics.
Every session should end with a cool-down combined with stretching and relaxation.
Kids should not immediately be using weights until proper form and technique are learned.
Kids should start with their own body weight, bands, or a bar with no weight.
Using 6-8 different exercises that address all the muscle groups, begin with 8-15 repetitions.
Each exercise should be done with a complete follow-through of the full range of motion.
If the repetitions are too much with a specific weight, reduce the weight.
Repetitions and sets should gradually increase over time to maintain the intensity of the training.
Add more weight only when the child displays the proper form and can easily do at least 10 reps.
Workouts should be 20 to 30 minutes long, 2 to 3 times per week, to get the most benefit.
Make sure to rest a day between each workout day.
Strength training was not always considered an appropriate exercise for kids. Doctors and fitness professionals believed that it was unsafe for a child’s growing body because of the added pressure on growth plates or the cartilage that has not fully turned into solid bone. However, experts now know that kids can safely participate in a strength training program with proper technique and supervision.
As with any exercise/fitness regiment, safety measures need to be in place along with heightened supervision. Unfortunately, most injuries happen when kids are not supervised, not using proper techniques, or from trying to lift too much weight. Here are some safety precautions to remember:
Learning new exercises should be done under the supervision of a trainer/instructor, making sure proper technique and form are used.
Smooth, controlled motions should be the goal.
Controlled breathing and not holding their breath needs to be taught
Proper technique will help avoid injuries
The kids’ progress should be monitored
Have the children record the exercises they have done, how many reps, and the amount of weight/resistance.
If enrolled in a strength training class, a good ratio is one instructor per 10 students. With this ratio, the kids can receive proper instruction and supervision.
Kids should train in a hazard-free, well-lit, and properly ventilated facility.
Make sure the kids drink plenty of water during and after the workout
Fitness trainers/instructors will see to it that there are frequent rest and rehydration breaks
Keep in mind
In a strength training program for children, there should be no competitive drive. Instead, the focus should be on participation, learning the movements, and positive reinforcement. Set realistic goals and expectations for the child to understand that it will take time to learn these new skills.
Remember that kids do not increase muscle size until after puberty. Please make sure the kids enjoy the strength training sessions and that they are having fun. Keep in mind that kids can become easily bored. Therefore, use various exercises and routines, keeping them excited and wanting to learn and do more.
Getting kids interested in fitness early on can help establish a life-long habit of wanting to be and stay healthy. This includes a balanced diet, plenty of rest, and regular exercise. When done correctly, strength training can be a fun and highly beneficial activity.
IFM's Find A Practitioner tool is the largest referral network in Functional Medicine, created to help patients locate Functional Medicine practitioners anywhere in the world. IFM Certified Practitioners are listed first in the search results, given their extensive education in Functional Medicine