Tips for a healthy back

BillRayDrums

New member
Just lookin' out. This should be made sticky. Yeah, you'd get sick of seeing it but I gar-on-tee everyone would be paying attention to their posture.
http://thinksimplenow.com/health/dont-b ... y-posture/

FTA:

Don’t Break Your Back! Tips to Healthy Posture
Tina Su

When you were a child, you may have been told to “Stand up straight!” or “Don’t slouch!” from your parents and teachers. I remember when I was younger, my mother would poke my back out of nowhere to remind me to stand up straight. I hated this as a teen and was determined to rebel for no reason other than to be stubborn and go against what I was told. My purposeful slouching eventually turned into a habit and carried with me into adulthood.

Now that I’m older, I understand why my mother was so insistent. My poor posture now makes me feel:

Pain in my back and shoulders.
I am breathing shallowly.
I appeared to lack self confidence.
Energy was not flowing efficiently throughout my body. I was often tired.
It made me look and feel weak.
I have spent much time correcting the damage, and undeveloped muscles, from my rebellious teen years. Like any habit, breaking bad posture can be a challenge, but definitely doable with some attention and practice.

Many of us may like to improve our posture, but we often don’t know how, or where to start.

Posture 101
Posture is defined as the carriage of the body. Good posture means carrying your body in a way that puts the least strain on muscles and ligaments. Poor posture can cause pain in the back and neck, and eventually causes injury. Improving your posture is a great way to improve your image while at the same time improving your health.

First, let’s go over some of the things that contribute to poor posture. Most of them are fixable, and others (like pregnancy) eventually go away on their own.

Poor habits - sitting and standing incorrectly (this is me)
Weakened muscles
Obesity - The extra weight strains the muscles
Pregnancy
Improper shoes - high heeled shoes are the worst
Reduced muscle and joint flexibility
Benefits of Good Posture
Good posture is beneficial to your health in several ways. Standing and sitting correctly prevents strain and overuse, and helps prevent back, neck, and muscle pain. Good posture also helps the muscles work more efficiently, which helps prevent fatigue. Most importantly, I have found that I can breathe deeply from my belly (my core). The energy I get from a deep breath is what keeps me going during the day.

The physical benefits are many, but there are other side benefits to good posture. When you stand properly, the body looks aligned, looks slimmer, and generally looks better. Good posture can also help you feel more confident - because you look and feel better, your confidence increases.





Most of us work at a desk or on a computer, and it’s very easy to slip into poor sitting habits. If your body posture is not aligned, eventually you will experience pain. Make sure you follow proper techniques for sitting, standing, and lifting. These seem obvious, but let’s list them to reflect.

Sitting - Sit with your shoulders back and back straight. Your legs should be at a 90 degree angle to your body. Keep your neck, back, and heels in alignment. Avoid the urge to slouch at your desk!
Standing - When standing, hold your head up straight and chin slightly tucked in. Keep your shoulder blades back, chest forward, and stomach tucked in. Keep most of your weight on the balls of the feet and not the heels or toes. Your arms should hang down naturally.
Lifting - Lifting something off the ground by bending over forces your back to do most of the lifting and puts a strain on the lower back. The proper way to lift is to bend at the knees and not the waist. This forces your leg muscles to do most of the work.
Keep Your Spine Straight: In general, try to keep your spine as straight as possible at all times. No matter what you’re doing, if you’re conscious of the alignment of your back and neck, you will notice that your posture will improve.
Simple Stretches to Loosen Your Back Muscles
Lower back cat stretch: This stretch is done on all fours, fingers facing forward. Start by dropping your head and raising your back as you push the shoulder blades upward. Repeat in the opposite direction by pushing your chest downward, arching your lower back.
Knees to chest: While lying on your back, pull both knees to the chest with your hands behind your knees. Keep your tailbone on the floor and hold this stretch for at least 15 seconds.
Shoulder blade squeeze: Have arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Now swing both arms horizontally towards your back, like you are trying to reconnect your fingers behind your back. Swing your arms back to the front. Do this motion slowly several times.
Shoulder blade lift: Have arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Now swing both arms vertically in opposite directions. Keep arms straight. Do this motion slowly several times.
The Core Twist: Hold arms out, bent at shoulder height. Feet planted on the ground, toes facing forward. Keeping your hips facing forward, twist your upper body towards the back (try to look behind you). Twist from side to side. Twist baby! Twist!
Exercises to Strengthen Your Back Muscles
Any type of exercise will benefit you by improving muscle endurance and increasing strength. Exercises that strengthen your core are the most helpful for improving and building the muscles that lead to good posture. Your core is your torso - shoulders to hips - the source of all your strength to your limbs. Here are three exercises that help improve posture:

Back extensions: Lying face down on the floor with hands behind head. Slowly lift your upper body a few inches off the ground and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower to the ground. Repeat 10 - 12 times.
Superman: Lying face down on the floor, lift your right arm and left leg off the floor several inches. Hold for two seconds and then lower. Repeat with left arm and right leg. Do 10-12 repetitions.
Shoulder Squeeze: Lift shoulders toward ears and squeeze together, holding the position for five seconds. Relax and repeat 3-5 times.


Tips for Good Posture
Pad Your Chair - Consider adding lumbar support pad to your office chair. I have a pretty economical cotton pad for my office chair. In fact, I use two of these. This drives other people crazy, since there isn’t much room on the chair, but it’s great for my posture.
Push Butt Towards Back of Chair - When sitting, I find it helpful to remind myself to shift my butt towards the back of the chair. This helps to prevent me from slouching, as long as I continue to lean forward.
Sit on Tip of Chair - When you are sitting on the tip of your chair, you are further from the back of the chair so you are less likely to lean against the back support and slouch.
Breaks & Use of Timer - if you are sitting down most of the day, make a point to get up for breaks often. I set a timer for 40 minutes, when it goes off, I stop working, get up and stretch. Alternatively, go for a walk.
Exercise Ball - Try replacing your chair with an exercise ball. Lean, mean and cost-effective. The exercise ball makes a nice tool for stretching out your back as well. Two birds with one stone, that’s how I roll! (haha, get it? Roll with a ball?) :)
 

Homki890

New member
Squats and dead lifts man. I've been playing tenors for five years now. That's roughly 75 pounds of drums on my shoulders. I've found that dead lifts and squats drastically improve the lower back area, and helps strengthen both the shoulders and back, for better posture.

Shoes are also important. As said, high-heeled shoes are bad. Converse are almost as bad. Completely flat sole, no arch support. That lead to some serious foot problems in the long run (I'll still wear them though, just not as often). If you want to get good shoues, try to find a foot health store, or go online. Look up Earth Shoes, specially with the negative heel. They are the comfiest shoes in the world. Plus, with the negative heel, it actually helps fix bad posture, by straighting your back. Weird, but it works.

There's my 2 cents.

Homki890
 

Homki890

New member
xdoseonex":34w5fxb5 said:
Homki890":34w5fxb5 said:
I've been playing tenors for five years now.
i bet your blazin fast around the toms
And skanks, sweeps, Around-The-World's, Inside Scrapes, Invert Around-The-World's, ect....

Yeah, actually, Teonrs, Tympani, and Traps, the Three T's of Percussion, are all related. How about that.

Homki890
 

xdoseonex

New member
Homki890":393pwez6 said:
xdoseonex":393pwez6 said:
Homki890":393pwez6 said:
I've been playing tenors for five years now.
i bet your blazin fast around the toms
And skanks, sweeps, Around-The-World's, Inside Scrapes, Invert Around-The-World's, ect....

Yeah, actually, Teonrs, Tympani, and Traps, the Three T's of Percussion, are all related. How about that.

Homki890
i'll give you a skank sweep
 

DrummerByron

New member
This is a good article, but what about drummers? Those flat round seats play havoc with my back. I would love to get one with back support but I don’t have the money to plop down on one. Is a motorcycle seat better for the back? It also seems like if you don’t have your drums as close as possible to your arms the you sometimes have to extend your body to reach the tom’s or cymbals. What advice would you give to a drummer?
 

keith bushey

New member
...a real simple way to reduce back aches while playing, and increase your stamina? Put a piece of 3/4" wood under the rear leg of your throne. It'll keep you from slouching, and force you to sit straight. I tried it... and now, can't play without it!!
 

Henry George

New member
keith bushey said:
...a real simple way to reduce back aches while playing, and increase your stamina? Put a piece of 3/4" wood under the rear leg of your throne. It'll keep you from slouching, and force you to sit straight. I tried it... and now, can't play without it!!
I tryed it and it;s very good.
I actually learnt this when I worked with a physiotherapist.
She had all the back legs of the work shop chairs raised.
And I used to do it before the acqusition of the wheely office chair.

Thanks for reminding me coz I just bought one of those flat round thrones.
 

Alan_

New member
per "bicycle" seats being better than a round seat: I prefer them, but really the posture has to start in your spine. one should be able to sit up and still be relaxed on a flat bench or in an ergonomic chair. it's more about the distance between the seat and the floor, as well as how far you have to reach to hit various elements of your drum kit.
 

Atmerrill

New member
Good points on posture and all - but what about tonage?

Most of my back pains about 5 years ago wasn't caused by posture, but by the gross weight of gear I was schleping around - specifically stands. I was playing DW 9000 series stands. At one point I was bringing (3) cymbal stands, hi-hat, snare, tom stand, seat, and pedals. Got to the point I couldn't pick-up my stand case in the truck. Made the decision then that a 12 pound cymbal stand to hold a .75 lb cymbal was stupid. Went out the next day and bought the Gibraltar flat-base series snare and cymbal stands, and pulled my old Slingerland Dynamo Hi-hat out of the closet. Even got a Tama single braced seat stand for the DW seat top.

Now, I use two mic stand cases for my stands. One case has just cymbal stands, and the other seat, snare, hi-hat and floor tom legs. Both cases are light, and my back is a hell-of-a-lot more happy.

Also - I guess this is where I show my age: I remember growing up playing the old ludwig flat base cymbal stands. They always had a built-in tilt, so you learned how to hit your crashes properly or your stand did a "Timber!" on you and hit the floor. I also remember when Tama first came out with their Titan series in the mid 1970's. I couldn't wait to get them and I remember how proud I was to get a complete set of them for the set. I also remember distinctly that it was at that point my dad stopped helping me carrying any stand. He said, "you want 'em, you carry 'em." Then, I thought he was making a fuss about nothing. Today (at 45), I know what the fuss was about.
 

BillRayDrums

New member
Atmerrill":21f770jq said:
Good points on posture and all - but what about tonage?

Most of my back pains about 5 years ago wasn't caused by posture, but by the gross weight of gear I was schleping around - specifically stands. I was playing DW 9000 series stands. At one point I was bringing (3) cymbal stands, hi-hat, snare, tom stand, seat, and pedals. Got to the point I couldn't pick-up my stand case in the truck. Made the decision then that a 12 pound cymbal stand to hold a .75 lb cymbal was stupid. Went out the next day and bought the Gibraltar flat-base series snare and cymbal stands, and pulled my old Slingerland Dynamo Hi-hat out of the closet. Even got a Tama single braced seat stand for the DW seat top.

Now, I use two mic stand cases for my stands. One case has just cymbal stands, and the other seat, snare, hi-hat and floor tom legs. Both cases are light, and my back is a hell-of-a-lot more happy.

Also - I guess this is where I show my age: I remember growing up playing the old ludwig flat base cymbal stands. They always had a built-in tilt, so you learned how to hit your crashes properly or your stand did a "timber" on you and hit the floor. I also remember when Tama first came out with their Titan series in the mid 1970's. I couldn't wait to get them and I remember how proud I was to get a complete set of them for the set. I also remember distinctly that it was at that point my dad stopped helping me carrying any stand. He said, "you want 'em, you carry 'em." Then, I thought he was making a fuss about nothing. Today (at 45), I know what the fuss was about.
The Schlep in/out is part of the "exercise" portion of my program. But yeah, I get to feelin' the effects of age nowadays. I just try and ignore the small creaks and such.
 
xdoseonex":i81ewbsn said:
Homki890":i81ewbsn said:
xdoseonex":i81ewbsn said:
Homki890":i81ewbsn said:
I've been playing tenors for five years now.
i bet your blazin fast around the toms
And skanks, sweeps, Around-The-World's, Inside Scrapes, Invert Around-The-World's, ect....

Yeah, actually, Teonrs, Tympani, and Traps, the Three T's of Percussion, are all related. How about that.

Homki890
i'll give you a skank sweep
Sounds like a fun time :wink:
 

Charlie

New member
Go with the back rest. I bulged a disc in my back in 99 and couldn't sit to play for a year. Since then I swear by the back rest. I just scooch back into the rest and it forces me to sit a bit straighter (I naturally want to slouch right over) and provides a comfortable lower back support. gives me more stamina and I don't hurt like a little baby after.
Worth the extra money if you have a back issue. a good roc n soc will last forever...it's a necessary investment.

A happy tush makes a happy drummer. Should be in a fortune cookie

I am gonna try the lighter hardware too, good common sense there. I hate lugging my stands.
 

Alan_

New member
posture is seriously important to playing efficiently and painlessly. I don't understand how all those old jazz guys I love did it while slouching. all about the relaxation and poise.
 
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