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Today I’m going to talk about the body and I’ll relate it back to other areas of your life in a little bit. Now, I had a fitness professional reach out to me that needed help with a client. What they were talking about is their client’s back was hurting while working their abs. What they were looking for are ways of strengthening the back so they could advance. Now, I get this topic a lot or I get this question a lot because of my background. I also hear this from clients, from friends, from just people in general. Especially when getting ready for the summer, everybody wants to look good when the weather gets warmer.

Now, I get this topic a lot or I get this question a lot because of my background. I also hear this from clients, from friends, from just people in general. Especially when getting ready for the summer, everybody wants to look good when the weather gets warmer.

Often times, what these people think they’re doing is working their core when really they’re just working their abs. As they’re working their abs, they notice that their back starts to hurt and they feel a strain. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is the back is screaming, “Hey, help me.” How do I strengthen it? How do I make that back better? They take all their focus and energy to make their back stronger when, really, in reality, what most likely is happening is the back muscle is doing extra work it shouldn’t be doing for the abdominals and the rest of the core region and, therefore, is getting fatigued.

The analogy that I often use is if you and I pick up a really heavy desk, I have a really heavy wood desk in my office, we pick up that desk and we start walking down the street because we need to move it. Halfway down the street, you decide, hey, I’m going to get coffee, I’m going to go get a beer, I’m just taking off. I’m left alone carrying that desk. It’s on my shoulders and I’m starting to fatigue. I’m starting to cry for help because there’s no one there.

Now, am I the problem? No. Not at all. The problem is the person that left. Left me alone. They checked out. Often times, this is what happens with your muscles. Now, again, this is a gross generalization but often times when people complain about a low back pain or strain or fatigue while working out their abs, really what’s happened is they’ve lost that neurological connection and their abs are fatigued and they’ve given out but they have that determination so their low back starts doing the work when it’s not supposed to. It’s not physiologically meant to do it. The low back raises its hand and says, “Hey, I’m not supposed to be doing this work. I’m fatigued. Get me out of here.”

This happens often and so when I was actually a trainer many years ago, I would tell my clients, “Hey, look. There are two options here. One is to suck it up or give it up.” What I meant by that is regain that mind-body connection to your abdominal region and try to perform the exercise safely. Now, if it does not go away, that, again, the low back stops screaming … If it doesn’t stop screaming, quit right then. Often times, and I would say nine times out of ten, people are able to train their abdominal muscles longer and have a better mid-body connection to get the results that they want.

Now, if they were just focusing on the lower back, what would happen? They would actually shorten the muscles of the low back causing additional issues while weakening the abdominals, the exact opposite approach for the result they’re trying to achieve.

I tell you this for multiple reasons. One, summer’s here, people like to look good, and so this hopefully will help you in your exercise routines. But also, this can be applied to every area of your five to thrive. You see, in mind, body, soul, relationships, and business, often times the thing that’s screaming, raising its hand, saying, “Help. I just need your help,” or “There’s something wrong,” that area isn’t usually the problem. Usually, the problem is somewhere else. Something else in the chain has broken down.

An example in your business may be, hey, this marketing campaign isn’t working. Well, is the marketing campaign the issue or is it the product that’s the problem? Or is it the sales process? Or maybe you have an employee who’s just not getting all their work done, they’re frazzled, and finally, they break down and say, “Hey, I just can’t take this anymore.” Now, is that person weak? Do they not have resilience? What’s going on? Maybe you should take a look. Are your systems honed? Is there a problem in the communication process that’s going on? Really take the time to think about this.

What I’m going to ask you to do today is write down in your journal, your five to thrive, so that’s mind, body, soul, relationships, and business, and come up with a problem. Something that’s actually raising its hand and saying, “Hey, look. There’s a problem here. I’m fatigued. This isn’t working.”

Then look at it from a different angle. Is that actually the problem in the situation or in a relationship? Is it the person that’s a problem or is it something you’re doing or a paradigm shift that gets to happen? I want you to write that down. Try to look at this from a different paradigm and see what you can find. Often times when we look at problems from just a slightly different angle, we can see solutions that we’ve never seen before and connect dots and that’s where real expansion happens.

That allows you to become the author of your own story because now you have all the information.

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