What you look for, you will find. So, what are you looking at?


Thoughts become words. 

Words become actions. 

Actions become our destiny for that day.  

What we think about, we see. Put another way, what you focus on, you will find.

Try this exercise to make it a little more clear:
Look around, wherever you are, and count how many RED objects you see in only 5 seconds.
Ready, set, GO…
How many red objects did you see? (Do it before scrolling down…)
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Now, how many blue objects did you see?
I bet you didn’t count the blue objects. You were looking for red, not blue. I imagine you even found maroon or orange objects and wanted to count those as red! What you focus on, you will see!
Are you looking for the wins or losses in your life? Are you looking for gratitude or are you looking for things that you deserve but aren’t getting? Are you trying to help others, or are you expecting others to serve you?

Read that again. Let that sink in. What you look for, you will find.

Take some time to think about it. What do you see? What are you focusing on? Hardships or opportunities. Blessings or curses.
You can use this principle to create your success, your happiness, and to achieve your goals!
(Don’t believe me? That’s ok, maybe you’re looking for reasons you’re not where you “should be”. You’ll continue to find reasons you’re not where you should be.)

Thoughts become words. 

Words become actions. 

Actions become our destiny for that day.  

You have to change your thoughts. What you think about, you’ll talk about. What you talk about, you’ll do. What you do, you will succeed at.

Need a clear example of how this works? Here you go:

Thought: “I’m too busy to work out”. Every activity, every meeting, every meal, every free moment you have will be used to reinforce this idea. You’ll take on more than you can handle. You’ll justify that you “need” to work longer. You tell friends and family you’re too busy. You post it on social media. And you’re right. You’ll be too busy tomorrow too.
Thought: “I’m the type of person who works out every day.” Every free moment you’ll be trying to find the time to work out today. You tell your spouse. Tell a friend too. Maybe it’s only 10 minutes of stretching on day 1, but that’s a win! Day 2, maybe you go for a 10 minute walk. Day 3, maybe you go for a 30 minute walk. Day 4 you go for a 30 minute walk and do 1 burpee every minute while you walk. Day 5, maybe you go for a 10 minute walk and do 3 burpees every minute. Day 6, you actually carve out the time and go to the gym. Day 7, you stretch for 20 minutes and do some air squats and push ups.
You just worked out 7 days in a row! All it took was changing your thought process. I bet you’ll find the time next week too – maybe you’ll even go to the gym 3 times!  Change your focus, change your words, and you will change your actions!

“That sounds great Nick, but you don’t know my story.”

True, I don’t. But your story yesterday doesn’t have to be your story tomorrow.

You have the choice. Choose what to focus on. Choose to take control.

 

Nick Prohaska

Co-Owner & Coach

KCI CrossFit

816-659-3076

Feeling stuck and ready to make some changes in your life? Good for you! You CAN do it! Reach out, we’re ready to help you in your journey!

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COVID-19 Response 3/11/2020


KCI CrossFit Family,

We are reaching out to you today to provide an update on how we at KCI CrossFit are responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The safety, health, and overall wellness of our members is our #1 priority. We are monitoring information from the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control, the State Department, and the Missouri Department of Health. The situation is evolving quickly; however, from the information that we are privy to at this time, the overall risk for community transmission of COVID-19 in Missouri is low. We will continue to follow the guidance of our local and national health experts as we make decisions for KCI CrossFit.

At this time, there are no actions currently suggested for our operations and we look forward to seeing you! With that said, low risk does imply some risk, and we all know the common cold and flu can invade the walls of the gym. We do ask that if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath) and/or a temperature above 100.4 F to please monitor your symptoms at home and consult your physician if your condition worsens. We recommend that you avoid coming back to the gym until you are completely symptom-free.

 

As a courtesy to everyone, please remember to:

•       Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

•       Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

•       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

•       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

•       Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects after each use.

 

All gym equipment should be wiped down after every use with the cleaning solution provided in the gym. Coaches and front desk staff have been asked to pay extra close attention to ensuring that all equipment is properly cleaned after each use.

 

Additionally, we ask that if you are returning from (or in close contact with anyone returning from) international travel from areas of the world experiencing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 that you monitor yourself closely for any symptoms, consider taking time off from the gym until you are certain you are symptom-free, and act according to the guidelines provided by the government health officials.

We encourage you to seek guidance from health agencies for up-to-date information:

The Missouri Department of Health COVID-19 update page

The latest updates from the WHO on the virus

The WHO’s recommendations for the public to reduce exposure

A live-tracker of the spread of the disease from Johns Hopkins University.

COVID – 19 Resource Page (cleaning supply information)

 

Again, this is a quickly evolving situation, and we are trying to be proactive about keeping our community healthy. We will continue to provide regular updates as we have more information to share. Thank you for your cooperation in ensuring that all KCI CrossFit members have a safe place to workout.

 

Sincerely,

Nick Prohaska

4 Ways to STOP Procrastinating


I struggle with procrastination. I’m putting things off right now as I type this. Maybe you are guilty too? For me, I’m a perfectionist. And if I don’t know how to do something perfectly, I just put it off.. Months pass by and that thing is still on my to-do list. It’s frustrating – dare I say, angering. I don’t like the procrastinator in me. And I’ve been working on improving it by using a couple tactics that I wanted to share with you.
Maybe one or more of these will help you push through something you’ve been putting off. Maybe this is the spark you need!
4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating
  1. Turn your want into a need
  2. Get excited about your desired outcome
  3. Make your goals a central part of your identity
  4. Reward yourself
# 1: Turn your want into a need
I want to lose weight – or – I NEED to lose weight.
I want to be more grateful – or – I NEED to be more grateful.
I want to eat healthier – or – I NEED to eat healthy
I want to breathe – or – I NEED to breathe. (obvious one – just making sure you’re paying attention)
Picking up what I’m putting down? When you NEED something, you do it. It must be done – you can’t go on living without it. If you have a task, goal, or project that you should be doing, you have got to turn it into a need so important that you must take action immediately – and every day from this day forward!
#2: Get excited about your desired outcome
Is losing 10 pounds really exciting to you? Is going to the gym sound like torture?
If you aren’t excited about what you have to do, you just won’t do it. You can’t “motivate” or use willpower to get going every day. You have to legitimately be excited about the outcome that you want! To be exciting, it has to be meaningful. Why is losing 10 pounds meaningful? Why is going to the gym meaningful? Time to get excited about it (hint – it’s easy to get excited when you have #3 dialed in)!
#3: Make your goals a central part of your identity
Goals are garbage unless the goal is tied to your identity. I could have a goal of climbing Mt Everest, but if I’m not a mountain climber, that goal means nothing! The goal is irrelevant without the proper identity. The good news – you get to create your identity!
“I am a healthy person, therefore I’ll eat vegetables every meal.”
“I’m the type of person that prioritizes my fitness.”
“I’m a writer.”
“I’m an investor.”
“I’m a great parent.”
Who are you? What are your identities? Then, and only then, can you set goals that make any sense!
#4: Reward yourself.
When you push yourself, when you fight for your goals, and when you get after it and do the work; reward yourself! Be careful here though – you can’t reward yourself with something that is inconsistent with your identity. If you go to the gym 6 days in a row, you can’t reward yourself with a tub of ice cream and Funions. Coming up with a reward that is tied to your identity is a powerful way to reinforce your good habits. Take some time and brainstorm some rewards you can use!
I believe you are capable of accomplishing great things! And here’s where the rubber meets the road; will you allow your procrastination or perfectionism to get in the way? Or will you start to implement some strategies to finally stop putting things off once and for all!
I’m in your corner, and you can do this!
If the process seems overwhelming, get in touch.

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Recover Your Resolution – 6 Steps to Get On Track


Where has your “resolution” gone? And what will you do about it?
Winter in Kansas City is is full effect. Snow. Melt. Ice. Cold. Sun. Hot. Snow. Repeat. It’s not awful, but you’re definitely feeling like it’s the middle of winter. There isn’t a whole lot of joy (except for Chiefs football!) and spring break seems like an eternity away.
Winter can be depressing.
Falling off on your New Years Resolution can be depressing too. This was the year! You had a plan and an accountability partner!
But, for whatever reason, one month into the year and you’re second guessing your resolution. Again…
There’s good news – seasons change! Obviously Spring is coming in a few months – so I’m talking about the season you’re in with your resolution.
This season you’re in – where you don’t reach your goals – is an opportunity to learn! This is the perfect time for self reflection.
Why didn’t you stick with your new habit for more than a few weeks?
What hurdles were too great to overcome?
What didn’t work? And Why?
Maybe, just maybe – this is your REAL opportunity to capitalize on that goal. Learning from mistakes is one of the best ways implement change!
Here are a few reasons you may have fallen flat on your resolution this year, and what you can do to get on track!
  1. You don’t have identity based goals. Your goal (resolution) may have been to “lose 20 pounds” or to “go to the gym regularly.”  Those are “what” goals, not “who” goals. Consider reworking the goal. “I’m the type of person who can maintain a lower weight.” or, “I’m the type of person that works out consistently.” Goals that focus on WHO you are rather that WHAT you want are way more powerful.
  2. You haven’t asked for help yet. Listen, no one accomplishes goals on their own. No one! You need to ask the RIGHT people for help. Your friends who love soda and candy aren’t going to help you lose weight – they can’t be your accountability partner. It’s your job to find the right people who can help you along the way. A coach and community of like minded people will be the best answer. Find that!
  3. You beat yourself up – and you have to stop that. Negative self talk will not produce positive results. It just won’t. This is pure psychology and I’m not going to dig into it, but trust me, you have to be kind to yourself. When you do something good – tell yourself, “I’m awesome because I just ____” or “I’m proud of myself for ____”  Use positive affirmations when you do something good. Skip the negative self talk.
  4. Have you investigated why those roadblocks keep coming up? Why do you always go for the cookies at night? Why do you really hit snooze 10 times in the morning? It’s time to really find out answers to these questions. Dig deep. Be critical (but kind to yourself). Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You have to make a change. Uncover what’s really getting in your way and make a change  – change one thing and stick with that for a few weeks and then make one more change. Don’t overwhelm yourself. This will be challenging – and that’s a good thing! Accept the challenge! And reward yourself with positive self talk!
  5. Trust the process. You probably didn’t realize it was going to take 12 months to lose 20 pounds. You also didn’t realize that it takes 90 days or more to get into a habit (and you’re probably 30 days or less into that first 90 days.) Listen to me carefully, whatever change you are going to make – it will take time. I’m guessing it will take the rest of the year. Are you ok with that? Are you ready to work towards something for a year? I sure hope so. But you have to trust the process – because it will take time. You’ll need help. You’ll need to be kind to yourself, and you’ll have to constantly make adjustments.
  6. Small wins are important. Write these down every day and every week. You’ll need to look back at these small wins over the course of the next few months. Didn’t buy cookies (and didn’t eat any) all week? That’s a win. Write it down and celebrate it. Made it to the gym twice? That’s a win! It seems cheesy and silly – but I promise you – you need these small wins. This will build momentum and momentum is what you desperately need!
Listen, just because you haven’t achieved your goals in 2020 or you feel like you’ve lost the spark for your resolution doesn’t mean you need to give up.
Just the opposite – you’re at the perfect place in the process (#5)! It’s time to re-assess and re-energize! This is your opportunity to learn from your past and apply it!
You can do it! (with some help…. #2)
Nick Prohaska
KCI CrossFit
nick@kcicrossfit.com

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Have you ever pushed a car?


Have you ever run out of gas and had to push your car to the gas station? It’s really freaking hard!
You feel like your shoes are going to come off and you’re going to pass out from pushing so hard. You feel stupid and embarrassed that you actually ran out of gas. Nonetheless, you’re here.
It is the last place you want to be. You would rather just set fire to the car and leave it on the side of the road. If only you could…. but you need the car. Hell, you need to get to work today! Or you need to just get back home!
So, you push. Hard. As hard as you can. It takes everything in your mind & body to press against that car and keep pushing as hard as you can. And then the car actually starts to roll! You push harder than you ever thought possible. And it continues to move forward!
It’s moved a few feet now, but you lean into it and push hard again and the car keeps rolling. You’ve started to create momentum! You actually feel a little excited! You also know that you need to keep pushing otherwise that damn car is going to stop and you have to start all over again. That would be awful! No matter how much you hurt and don’t want to continue, you just need to find a way to keep that car moving forward! Maybe you start praying. Maybe someone comes along to help you. Holy crap that would be amazing!
You’ve made it a couple blocks now, and you can actually visualize getting to the gas station! Thank goodness for the random person helping you push!
As you keep pushing, it actually gets easier! That’s freaking amazing! I love momentum! (and the laws of physics!) You can continue pushing, and you even can talk to your new random friend, Ted.
Beat up, tired, sweaty, and a little dizzy, you and Ted finally make it to the gas station. You high five Ted, the random person who helped you those last couple blocks and you can’t stop smiling. You actually did it! And you feel like you’ve made a new friend!
Momentum is wonderfully beautiful; it kept your car rolling with minimal effort. What sucks is all the hard work, cussing, and pain it takes to build the momentum.
Starting a fitness routine is exactly like pushing that ridiculously heavy car of yours.
It’s heavy. You’ll sweat. You might bleed. You will curse. You’ll want to quit. You’ll wonder how you got here. And deep down you know you have to keep going. You can’t quit.
But you have to push. You must begin.
I hope you have a random person to help you along the way.
And if you don’t, call me; KCI CrossFit is full of random people who will help.

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Eat This Not That!


Easy food swaps to keep you fit.

Is there anything like a piping hot slice of pizza sliding out of the oven? How about a heaping mountain of nachos in front of you during the game or a tall stack of pancakes for weekend brunch?

As you look to improve your diet you may have struggled to give up certain foods. Knowing how to make a few simple ingredient changes can have a major impact on your nutrition and health. The best part is that you don’t have to sacrifice any of the delicious foods you love. Whether you are an athlete, a mom, a busy working professional, or maybe even a combination of all three of those, making healthy diet choices easier is something you can benefit from. Try these a few of these easy switches to make any meal healthier!

“You are what what you eat eats.” -Michael Pollan

A twist on pasta

Spaghetti dinner is a staple in many American diets but if you are focused on eating healthy you have to tread lightly. The calories and carbohydrate content of pasta adds ups quick. Even alternative pastas that are gluten free are still calorie dense foods to keep an eye on. A better choice is to try veggies like spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini. Combined with a low sugar tomato sauce and a healthy serving of lean protein pasta night can take on a whole new meaning of health.

A new slice on pizza

Pizza can be tough to navigate as your range of options is so vast. Some local joints may use great quality ingredients but still pack a caloric punch. National chains should be totally avoided with the processed ingredients and additives that make up their knock-off pies. Since most of us would love to keep pizza in our lives it is important to develop a system of eating it that supports your diet and lifestyle goals. One key to success: pizza shouldn’t be on the weekly menu; create healthy boundaries and only indulge infrequently. Gluten free has become a buzzword and marketing tool used to attract new customers. I’m not here to have the GF debate about whether or not your body can digest it, I’m saying that a pizza crust made from processed starches that happen to not have gluten does not make them any healthier. Luckily you have a few options…

One method is to limit total intake, order a pizza with as many veggies and proteins on it as possible and limit yourself to one slice of the crust. Or you can try finding a restaurant that has or making your own cauliflower crust pizza. This is a great low carb alternative that lets you reach for another guilt-free slice.

Flip what you sip

It’s easy to forget the calories that are found in drinks. A study conducted by Harvard found that women who consumed sugar sweetened drinks daily tended to consume more calories daily and gained weight. Meanwhile women who eliminated sugar sweetened beverages tended to consume fewer calories and demonstrated better body composition. Scientists believe that drinking calories doesn’t provide the same signaling mechanisms in the body as food does. Basically our body doesn’t recognize it has consumed calories and the subsequent insulin spike can leave you feeling energy depleted and hungry.

Soda, juice, and alcohol don’t really belong in your diet if you are trying to build muscle or burn fat. If you are looking for a fun drink try reaching for a juice made from vegetables like kale and collard greens, powerful nutrients like ginger root, and maybe a dash of lemon or lime juice. Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, can be a great option as well provided you find a low sugar variety (always read the label) and of course there are many great flavored sparkling and seltzer water options out there.

The Burger Swap

One of the toughest foods to give up can without a doubt be the hamburger. Before you part ways with this American classic let’s figure out a way for you to still enjoy your cheeseburger in paradise…

There are two ways to clean up this delicious food. One way is to eliminate the bun. Replace it with a collard greens wrap or two pieces of fresh romaine lettuce. Two large portobello mushrooms can also do the trick if you have them available (Pro tip: Grill the mushrooms for 2 minutes on each side with a little oil, salt, and pepper).

The second way to clean up your burger is to make sure you have a patty made from high quality grass fed beef or organic ground turkey. Balance the fats you use as topping and try swapping out the cheese for some fresh avocado slices.

Pancake, stacked to jacked

Fluffy buttermilk pancakes or Belgian waffles are a staple of weekend brunch. Instead of shooting for the white flour varieties though try a cleaner approach next time. Start with the batter. Substituting bananas and ground flax meal, almond, or coconut flour are a much better alternative. Keep an eye on the fat content if using nut flours as they are very calorie dense. Make sure you have a ratio of at least one egg per pancake or add a scoop of protein powder to the mix to keep the macronutrients balanced. Top with fresh berries and grass fed butter and avoid the powdered sugar and whipped cream. Also be sure to spring for real maple syrup over any of the high fructose corn syrup versions. It is packed full of antioxidants and so sweet that just a teaspoon will go a long way in terms of flavor.

If you want to learn more about eating healthy and getting in shape then talk to a coach today.

We can develop a plan for you to help you achieve your goals!

The New Year’s Resolution Conundrum


res·o·lu·tion
/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun; a firm decision to do or not to do something.  eg. “she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”

Some things happen in life with the flick of a switch. When you want to turn a light on you simply flip the knob, clap your hands or yell across the room to Alexa and “voila”, let there be light.

Others take time to build, layer upon layer, like a brick house. The process can only happen in a very specific way. With a strong foundation, one brick at a time.
On January 1st many folks scramble to find the switch that will yield the results they are looking for. But behavior change is not a light switch. Behavior change is a process. Getting stronger, eating healthy, or losing weight won’t happen instantaneously. It happens brick by brick. You only get the results if you follow the process. The right plan and the right effort simultaneously.

“You are never pre-qualified to live your dreams. You qualify yourself by doing the work. By committing—even over-committing—to what you believe you should do.” – Benjamin P. Hardy

If you are committed to an outcome then the process it will take you to achieve your goal should be irrelevant. Your focus is on results now. Your focus is on determining the right plan and taking the first step towards achieving.

If you are someone who worries about how far away you are from your goal then you are focused on the wrong thing. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t.
When you set your goals say exactly what you want. Getting specific here is key. Numbers and dates. These make your goals realistic and allow you to work backward to where you are today. This will help you set realistic expectations for what you can and should be achieving on a given day.

If your goal is to lose 40lbs then it would be impossible to achieve in one session. Your goal doesn’t feel like something that you can actually achieve. By February you may be frustrated that you haven’t hit it.

But if you start thinking about the future version of you that weighs 40 lbs less than you can start to understand what needs to be done. Your focus is not on losing weight but acting like the person who has already lost it.

You might do things like have a gym membership that you use regularly. Have a salad for lunch every day. Go for walks and spend your weekends on the go. You probably have other healthy friends that support your decisions.

“You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.” -Charles F. Haanel

In his book The Master Key System, Charles Haanel unpacks the process of achieving one’s goals. He explains that you have to “be it” and “do it” BEFORE you can “have it”. Most people get this process backward. They expect that they will change their behavior once they have achieved their goal. Instead, you must act in accordance with what it means to achieve your goal. Ask yourself, “Would a person who cares about their health make the decision I am about to make?”
The more your decisions and actions align with the goal, the faster it will come to you. Don’t let this New Year slip away from you. Stop looking to flick the switch that will make all of your problems go away.

Instead look for the path that is more difficult, but leads to success. Surround yourself with people doing the thing that you want to be doing. Who look the way you want to look. Learn from them, adapt their behaviors, and put in the work.
This is your year.

How To Optimize the Warmup and Cooldown


Warmups and cooldowns are an essential part of training and should be given as much thought and effort as the workout itself. In fact if you’re short on time you are better off going through a proper warmup, mobilization, and stretching session than to try to get a quick workout in while skipping those other components. Let’s take a look at why these components of training and see why each one is so important and how you can optimize it.

  • Warmup
  • Mobilization
  • Cooldown
  • Stretching

Warmup
Your warmup prepares your body and mind for that day’s training. Not every day is the same and your warmup is specific to that. When planning and executing the warmup you need to consider which energy system your body will be utilizing. A max rep back squat requires very different preparation than a conditioning session with double-unders and wall balls. The warmup helps to elevate heart rate, stimulate the nervous system, and optimize the function of the tissues and motor patterns you will be training that day. This will reduce your injury risk and optimize your ability to perform. 
If you are someone who enjoys chatting during the warmup or never quite breaks a sweat then I want to challenge you to dial it up a notch. Give your warmup 100% of your effort next class and see what I mean. If you are giving your best effort in the general and specific warm-up drills you will notice a huge difference in your ability to recruit and activate muscles. This will allow you to move with better form. The efficiency of moving with better form allows to lift more weight and improve your fitness. Isn’t that why we’re all here in the first place… 🙂
Mobilization
Human movement patterns can be broken down into a few broad and overarching groups like squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and walk.
Sometimes you will accomplish mobilization through a dynamic warm-up. Taking your joints through an increasing range of motion in order to prepare them for the rigors of the workout. Sometimes you will slow down and target specific tissues through foam rolling, flossing, or distraction techniques with a band. 
Let’s say the day’s workout is to build up to a heavy single deadlift. The first step is to consider what movement patterns will be involved. In this case, the deadlift involves a hinge as the primary movement pattern. You want to make sure that your back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings are well oiled and firing before you start touching a barbell. 
Cooldown
The cooldown can and should involve more than making sweat angels on the floor. The goal is to ensure continuous blood flow to remove the toxins and metabolites that have built up during your training session. By continuing to move after a workout you are actually improving your recovery and setting the tone for your next training session. Hopping on a bike or rower for 10:00 minutes and moving at an easy conversational pace can be a total game-changer in the way you feel the next day. This habit can be hard to do at first. Instead of laying on the floor until you crush your protein shake and head out the door you will develop mental toughness by challenging your body to keep moving. There are huge dividends to this and you will notice improvements in your recovery each day and reduced soreness.
Stretching
After your cooldown incorporating stretching and additional mobilization techniques into your routine is essential to optimize recovery and performance in your next workout. When you perform an exercise your body is in “fight or flight” mode. There is a huge shift that occurs during your stretching and rolling session where your body switches back into a parasympathetic or “rest and digest” state. Stretching muscles has been shown to temporarily improved range of motion and will help you when you go to tie your shoes the next morning. By focusing on breathing and moving your tight and sore muscles you are helping to establish homeostasis and you will feel much better for the rest of the day. This is a great practice to repeat again later in the day before bed, especially if you are someone who has trouble shutting off at night and unwinding.
Today we looked at why it is so important to optimize the warmup, mobilization, cooldown, and stretching. We all love to go hard in the workout, but by focusing on improving in these areas is really how you will start to see results!

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

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. 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. (sometimes referred to as the “iron cross”)

Incorporate these exercises and stretches into your daily routine to help ease and prevent lower back pain. Consistency is key – so don’t look for a quick fix! As always if anything causes pain, don’t do it and always consult your doctor before trying new things.