I was told by various doctors, after an accident at age twenty, that my future life would consist of pain pills, crutches or a wheel chair by age thirty. I had no desire for a life of immobility and I’ve dedicated a large part of my time to working with diet and exercise to see that it didn’t happen. I find if I combine Qi Gong, T’ai Chi or yoga and weight bearing exercises, I can relieve the tension in the thoracic area of my back before it progresses into my neck and becomes a tension headache. Weight bearing exercises shorten and strengthen the muscles. Qi Gong, T’ai Chi or yoga, lengthen, strengthen and make the muscles more flexible. Combining the two balances the muscles and promotes good posture.
I prefer using surgical tubing in the following exercise but hand weights work, it just takes more repetitions to accomplish the same end effect. Do you have a spine problem that might require surgery? If yes, then they will advise the patients to have exercises and weight bearing exercises. The repetitions of the bearing exercises will be done through the citizens.
Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, sternum lifted and back straight. If using tubing, hold one end of the loop in the left hand level with, and in front of, the left hip. The other end of the loop is held somewhere, depending on the overall length, in front of the right shoulder with ends of the curled fingers facing down. Next, straighten the right arm in a diagonal from the left hip toward the ceiling. When the right arm is extended completely, it should be equal distance between straight up and horizontal. To work a slightly different muscle group, turn the hand over so that the curled ends of the fingers on the right hand are facing up. Repeat as many repetitions as feels comfortable and appropriate for you. Switch sides and repeat the same amount of rep’s to balance your sides. I use twenty-five rep’s but that would depend on your fitness level, the size and how many strands of surgical tubing you use. If you use hand weights you’ll have to customize the rep’s to what works best for you. I find that lighter weights and higher rep’s work best for what I want to accomplish. The rest of the exercise, when using hand weights, is the same.
To balance the weight bearing exercise, do the following from Qi Gong:
Standing as in the exercise above: Place the hands, palms up, in front of the abdomen, right hand on top of left but not cradled in the left hand. Without raising the shoulders, begin lifting the arms and hands out toward the sides and begin slowly breathing in. Begin to straighten the legs and extend the arms until straight and the hands are directly overhead. Stretch and lengthen as much as possible. You’ll have to bend the elbows slightly in order to be able the cross the wrists when they are directly overhead.
Next, begin breathing slowly out, bending the knees and lowering the hands and arms to the original starting position. Switch hands so that when the hands are again in front of the abdomen, the left hand is on top. The exercise should resemble a large bird flapping its wings.