Tag: CrossFit

Healthy Swellness: Don’t let pursuing your fitness goals give you back pain

davWith the warmer spring weather on its way, a lot of us are scrambling to get started on getting our beach bods back in time for summer. And while we may be considering how toned we want our arms to get, or of that six-pack of abs, the health of our back is not something we typically consider, but really should not be overlooked.

Ironically, as I write this, it was almost a year to the date that I discovered how important back health is in the most painful way. It’s hard to say for certain what caused me to throw out my back, but long flights and running both possibly contributed to the issue. What I can say for sure is that it is the most physical pain I have experienced ever. I couldn’t sit down, lie down, pull open a door, or move in any way without incredible pain. My pride kept me from crying actual tears, but there was much whimpering and crying on the inside. And the only way I found relief and got my back to health? Regular appointments with a chiropractor.

If you’ve never seen a chiro, I think they’re a health pro we could all use in our lives. For example, if you’ve thrown yourself into a new workout regimen this spring, remember how important proper form is. Improper form can cause injury to your spine, knees, and shoulders, says the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Three popular exercises, when done with bad form, that can and often do lead to back injuries are squats, deadlifts and kettlebell swings.

First off, for these exercises, remember to maintain a neutral spine (to discover your neutral spine, stand backed up to a wall, with your head, upper back and tailbone touching the wall, with enough space for your fingers between the wall and your lower back). Next, keep these pointers in mind for each exercise:


Keep your chest up, and as you bend your knees, engage those glutes by lowering your body as though you were taking a seat. This form will help you maintain a neutral spine.


As you hinge at the hip to perform your deadlift, envision a wall two feet behind you and imagine you are touching your glutes to this wall. This little tactic helps ensure you hinge at the hips instead of overusing your knees,

Kettlebell swings

Maintain that neutral spine as you swing so that you hinge at the hip and avoid straining the back. Swing the kettlebell only up to shoulder level (if you swing higher, you may compromise your neutral spine form.

Whether you’re just getting back into fitness or are a regular at working out, make sure you can continue your exercise routine by caring for your back, bones, muscles, joints and central  nervous system. You can find more essential info on keeping your back health in check at www.chiropractic.on.ca. And while you’re at it, on the site, you can find a local chiropractor who can help you learn about and maintain your back health.




Leave a Comment May 1, 2017

I survived CrossFit

Ok, ok, so I only tried it once. But hey, my WOD (workout of the day) was Running Fran. Running Fran, people!

What’s the big deal about Running Fran? As I learned at my trial class at Reebok CrossFit Liberty Village, CrossFit has certain benchmark workouts, which are named after hurricanes, and Fran is a renowned for being one of the toughest WODs — seriously, google it and you’ll see it strikes fear in many a CrossFitters heart.  And the one I did was a modified version as it also incorporated running, yo. Here’s the breakdown of our WOD (and your aim is to complete it all as fast as you can):

  • 21 thrusters (a squat holding a 15-lb bar at your shoulders, and then when rising out of the squat thrusting the bar up overhead by raising arms straight)
  • 21 pullups
  • run (I forget the distance, 200 metres, perhaps?) (Correction: just found out it was 500 metres)
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 pullups
  • run
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 pullups
  • run

Whew! Tired just thinking about it!

Ok, full disclosure: I could not complete a pullup if my life depended on it — thankfully,  the moves in CrossFit are designed to be scaleable.  So we used resistance bands to assist us in completing pullups. Oh, and that 15-lb bar we used for thrusters? Women are prescribed to use a 65-lb weight, yowzers! I was plenty pooped with just the 15-lb bar.

As for the run, well, that part was a cinch (I am in training for a marathon right now, remember?); the run was a welcome break, in fact (although I was probably supposed to sprint it, oopsies…).

All in all, though, I’m pretty happy I was able to complete it with a decent time (decent in my opinion, anyhow).

Still not sure what CrossFit is or if you can handle it? Check out my article on Lipstick Powder n Paint for a more detailed description of the workout concept.

4 Comments April 12, 2012

Reebok Crossfit launches in Canada

Intrigued by those mysterious Reebok ads announcing the Sport of Fitness has arrived?

That commercial came to life last week at the Reebok Crossfit launch at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto. There was a shipping crate hoisted up above the square and a flash mob of 250 people took over the space, demonstrating Crossfit moves, like in the commercial (see, TV is so just like real life!). The 2010  and 2011 fittest man on earth title holders, Graham Holmberg and Rich Froning Jr were there, too.

(Chace Crawford took part in the US media launch in January — hot damn!)

If you’re unfamiliar with the workout, CrossFit is a strenght and conditioning program with a focus on functional fitness. Right now there are close to 200 CrossFit gyms across Canada, including the  brand new Reebok CrossFit Liberty Village in  Toronto. Find a class near you by visiting map.crossfit.com. Although the workout can seem intimidating (truth be told, it looks KILLER), I hear that the moves can be adapted to your needs.

The partnership with Reebok comes with a new collection of gear, which will hit stores this summer.

I have yet to try CrossFit, but will report back once I do.

2 Comments March 1, 2012

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