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Back Pain Remedies

Blog - Guest Blogger

We are so excited to kick off our Guest Blogger Series with Dr. Karen Quinn. Dr. Quinn is an advocate for natural health and active living. As a Chiropractor, she believes health extends beyond how we feel and promotes a proactive approach to function, vitality and performance. She focuses on postural balance, family wellness, lifestyle optimization and neural health. Dr. Quinn practices in the SE community of Ramsay. Without further ado, please welcome Dr. Quinn to the BBS Blog!

In class you likely often hear the cue of finding “neutral pelvis”. You may have heard different suggestions on how to find this, but your personal anatomy, biomechanics and body awareness may make this harder to feel.  The reason why a neutral pelvic position is ideal, is due to the fact, that in neutral, general impact and your own body weight is dispersed more equally (less repetitive stress). How we do one activity is generally how we do all activities, so your practice whether it be Barre or something else, is a great glimpse into how you move (or don’t move) everyday.  Here are three positions that may create back pain, why it may occur and how to correct it as it relates to “neutral”.


1. Laying flat on the floor on your back with legs straight (think savasana!). If you feel low back pain in this posture, it could be because you have excess stress on the back portion of your spine (facets). When you are in this position, it typically will exaggerate your low back curve. If you already have excess curve here, this can be uncomfortable.

Remedy: Allow for a gentle bend in your knees, ideally with support so you can completely relax and not have to “hold” anything up. If you are in this position and doing any leg lifts, tucking your tail under slightly either with your hands framing your tailbone (palm down), or elevating your tail onto a slight elevation (while maintaining this tucked pelvis). When standing, be mindful that you aren’t collapsing into your low back. Strengthening into your lower abdomen will also help to balance your pelvis as it acts to pull up from the front like suspenders. Some may find that paying attention to the distance between their front lower ribs and the top of their pelvis can help with this awareness also.

2. Forward folds (standing or seated). Just as the previous example created strain on the back portion of your spine, bending forward puts weight on the front of your spine (the discs). This is increased further with limited hamstring flexibility as it will be harder for the pelvis to tip forward, thus more motion will be recruited in the spine.

Remedy: Moving mindfully and learning to isolate pelvic mobility will help. In the meantime, taking tension off the hamstrings by allowing for a slight knee bend (either seated, with or without a prop under the knees or standing) is recommended. To get a feel for the hinging motion you typically want at the hips, bring yourself to a seated position on a chair, and try to hinge forward bringing your belly button to your thighs. You should feel that your tailbone tips back behind you. If your tail doesn’t move and you are rounding through your back, you aren’t hinging. Note, there are times where rounding forward may be cued to help stretch through your lower back muscles. This under normal circumstances should be safe, unless you have known lumbar disc irritation.

3. Side bends! To understand why something isn’t moving properly, it is important to understand what proper function looks like. In the lumbar spine (low back), it has what is known as “coupled motion”, which means two motions occur at the same time. I point this out, because this adds more variables as to why certain movements may be challenging. For example, side bends in the low back in a properly functioning spine, will also have rotation in those same vertebrae (it bends and it turns). If the spine is unable to rotate, your ability to bend to that side will also be compromised.

Remedy: Ensure you aim for motion (both flexibility and strengthening) in all ranges in any given area. Forward, backward, both sides and rotation to both sides. You may also need to see your Chiropractor, Physio or Osteopath to help get “stuck” areas moving again. One of the other possibilities, is pain or restriction bending to one side due to a deeper muscular imbalance. There are many combinations of imbalance that can contribute to this, but one approach you can take is to stretch the opposite hip flexor (if difficult bending to right side, stretch left hip flexor). One last thing, is to be mindful of your mobility. Our body tends to “cheat” and where we don’t have motion, it will recruit up or down the chain. By being present and creating a proper foundation for movement, you will more easily feel where your body is masking dysfunction and can then take the steps to correct it.

A big thank you to Dr. Karen Quinn for sharing just a fraction of her wealth of knowledge with us and our community. We will definitely be keeping these three remedies in mind should we feel any pain in our back while at the barre. Connect with Dr. Quinn online or on Insta, with @dr.kq.

XO

BBS Team

Note: this article is not intended to replace a professional diagnosis or consultation. If you are experiencing pain, please consult your Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or other medical provider.

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12:02 pm
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BBS Beats

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Power hour at the barre is always best accompanied by some killer beats. There is nothing better than a little Beyoncé motivating you to push through your final set of pulses. Luckily for us, not only do your barre tenders serve up a badass barre workout, they also happen to be some of the finest DJs in YYC (well, we’d like to think so anyways).


If you've ever heard a song in class and automatically fell in love, then this barre beats is dedicated to you! This week we are sharing our favourite workout anthems - the beats that you can find us dropping before, during or after class! It is no question that the BBS barre tenders are all unique and their playlists certainly follow suit. So, from hip-hop to house to 90’s pop, we have something for everyone! Check out our favourite barre beats below:

Cake by the Ocean - DNCE  
How Deep is Your Love - Calvin Harris 
Faded – Alan Walker
Juicy Wiggle – Red Foo
Clap Snap - Icona Pop
Formation – Beyoncé
Smoke Filled Room – Mako
Your Love is My Drug – Ke$ha (Dave Aude Club mix)
+1 - Martin Solveign  
Show me love (safari radio) - Mobin Master 
Secrets – Tiesto 
We Run the Night - Havana Brown 
6th Gear (feat. Kstylis)- Obscence & Big Syphe Remix 
Rumpshaker- Kid Ink 
Donk- Soulja Boy 
Turn Down for What- Lil Jon 
Party Up - DMX 
Get Your Freak On- Missy Elliott 
Run the World - Beyoncé  
10 Bands - Drake  
Who Gon Stop Me - Drake ft. Jay Z 
Hands to Myself - Selena Gomez  
Juicy - Notorious B. I. G.

We want to hear from you! What songs get you in the mood to sweat? Share with us on social media – Facebook, Twitter or Insta. You might even hear your workout anthem make an appearance in your next barre class!

XO
Barre Body Studio – Calgary

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2:20 pm
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BBS Tips for Success!

Well barre beauties, we are more than half way through our 30-Day Challenge and the energy you guys are exuding is AMAZING! To keep the success flowing for the next couple weeks, we've compiled a few tips to help you keep your eye on the prize and, most importantly, feeling great while you power towards your goals! If you have any tips or tricks of your own, please feel free to share them with us on the social media platforms—we love to hear from you! 

1. Stay away from the scale. Become in tune with your body and how you feel in your clothes. Numbers don't matter. What matters is the WAY you feel.

2. Eat well. Nourishing the body with healthy food, snacks, and water can feel like a time consuming task during your busy week. Take the time to read labels, pick whole grains over white, incorporate as many vegetables as possible, enjoy fruit, and make room for adequate protein (meat or other sources).

3. Watch your serving sizes. Portion control is key to maintaining a healthy diet. Even when we fill our plates with healthy foods we need to know our limits. Stop eating when you feel full, eat healthy snacks often (this will keep your metabolism revved up), and drink water. When we balance the body with proper food and stay hydrated we become more aware of our natural signals for hunger or hydration. In other words, the body's signals will be more clear to you and less driven by sugar highs/lows, fatigue or dehydration.

 4. Drink water. Our bodies need to stay hydrated in order to stay balanced. Without proper hydration we are not as in tune to our natural signals for hunger or thirst which can create over eating or not eating enough, decreased productivity, and brain functioning to name a few. 

5. Work hard. Challenge yourself every day. Imagine how strong you would become and how quickly that would happen if you did ONE extra push up every day. You have to start somewhere, why not today?

When we are active we naturally feel good because of the endorphins produced during exercise. When we feel good it transcends into all areas of our lives. We seek healthier food choices; we treat others better and our positive "self-talk" increases. Be kind to yourself and your body. Enjoy the journey and don't strive for perfection. You don't have to be perfect to be your best.

 


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10:00 am
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Tis the Season (to keep up with your fitness)

The month of December is quite possible “the most wonderful time of the year” in terms of spreading the love, generosity and positive vibrations. In terms of getting one’s workouts in, though. Well, for most people an extremely busy social calendar and the winter blahs make their December fitness track record look a lot less than wonderful.

While it’s easy to understand why you’d be tempted to skip out on your workout in favour of other things, we’ve got a few reasons why you should keep moving and sweating at your regularly scheduled times—even when the eggnog and fireplace are calling your name.

Let There be Light

Ok, we’ll give it to you, when the days get shorter and darker it gets more challenging to get psyched about getting out of bed to fit in some exercise. Even leaving the office just in time to catch the last few moments of daylight can be enough to make you want to drive directly home and hibernate instead of hitting the gym, but this is actually the time of year when you need the positive emotional effects of exercise the most. It may be a drag to get yourself there, but we can pretty much guarantee that you are never going to regret squeezing your workout in. Those endorphins work wonders.

Feeling the burn Helps you feel the calm

Last month’s InStyle magazine shocked us with a statistic indicating that 60 percent of women are willing to skip out on their workouts during the month of December if something comes up. We get it, it’s a busy time. There are cookies to bake, office parties, presents to buy and wrap, school concerts, gatherings by the dozen and, oh yah, quality family time to log, but neglecting your health this time of the year is only going to hinder you further down the line. Schedule your workouts (as in register for all the barre classes you will commit to for the coming week on Sunday), hit them hard for an hour, and you will leave the studio feeling energized and ready to face what ever events you have to take on later in the day.

The Hangover Helper

Let’s be honest about the fact that holiday parties often equate to a less-than-spritely feeling the morning after. It may be awfully tempting to pull the covers over your head and wallow the day away, but (and we may have some first hand knowledge of this) stepping up to the barre can be your saviour. Getting the blood circulating, sweating out the toxins, rehydrating with copious amounts of water and gathering some of those aforementioned endorphins will have you ready to face your holiday to-do list even if you woke up feeling as though you’d been hit by a truck (disguised as vodka).

You ate it, now it’s time to Negate it

Let’s also be honest about the fact that no matter how disciplined you are in the clean eating department a little indulgence is going to happen this month—and it should! We all read the usual blog posts and magazine articles about how we should stick to the vegetables and hummus at the stick with seltzer waters with a twist, but that’s going to result in a pretty boring holiday season. Not that you need our permission, but go ahead and enjoy some of your seasonal favorites. Gingerbread isn’t always available after all. Just be sure to get your regularly scheduled workouts in and you won’t have to deal with any of the guilt or developing a belly complete with a Santa-esque jelly shake come new years. We’ll leave the shaking for our legs during an intense set of plies.

Happy Holidays barre stars!

xxo


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