I'm Chris Diamantakos, a Toronto personal trainer, fitness author and owner of Clear Cut Fitness. Working in conjunction with medical professionals, I have helped hundreds of athletes and “regular folks” overcome back pain and get back in the game -- whether the game was hockey or the “game of life.”
It all began with my own experience. I had a low back injury when I was in college. It was debilitating! Worse, I had no idea what to do.
For weeks, I could barely squat, deadlift, play hockey or bent over to tie my shoes. But, I was learning about spine mechanics, posture and corrective exercise in school. I wanted to learn everything I possibly could in order to be pain free again. I attended seminars, and read the work of Dr. Stuart McGill and Craig Liebenson. That was crucial in learning the best methods of relieving pain and getting back to the gym.
I put my knowledge to the test and developed a program with mobility work and exercises to relieve pain and strengthen my spine.
I incorporated the exercises in this program into my warm-up. I was deadlifting again by the third week, with light to moderate weight. After six weeks, I was deadlifting and squatting relatively heavy. It felt great! So did getting back onto the ice!
The best part was that these exercises had addressed issues that go beyond back pain. My core strength improved and subsequently so did all my lifts in the gym! I was getting bigger, stronger and more mobile.
The next step was incorporating these with my clients. I was a relatively new trainer, about a year into my career. I had a few clients that had poor posture and some nagging back pain. They had already been cleared for exercise by their physicians but I felt like there was more I could do to help.
I began using some simple assessments and corrective exercise in our warm-ups - when I say simple I mean it. We only worked on these for 10-15mins so that we still had sufficient time for a solid workout - and immediately my clients began feeling less pain, improved mobility and strength.
Now I want to share the same methods that worked for me, with you!