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Green Fitness Tips: Exercise Tips - Physical Health when Working in Your Grow Room

  • Written by  George Robichaud
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Some simple exercises will keep you fit for the activity required in your grow room. Some simple exercises will keep you fit for the activity required in your grow room.


Into my 40’s, I suffered from chronic back pain when doing anything strenuous in the garden, despite being a seasoned athlete. Then I discovered core training, and my back problems disappeared. Your core is your center of gravity, where all movement originates. If you have a weak core, your back will hurt when you exert yourself in that region, plain and simple.

Most exercise movements and free weights are linear in nature. But in our workaday lives, we bend and stretch and move in all directions, requiring the use of stabilizers, erectors and other muscle groups including tendons and connective tissues that do not get stimulation from linear movements. Thus, core training has come into vogue over this past decade as more people suffer back problems.

Here are some core training exercises that the pharmaceutical companies who sell back-pain medications don’t want you to know about. They are guaranteed to help you in the garden.

Bosu Ball Twists

Balance on a Bosu ball (a half-ball with a flat, plastic platform) with a medicine ball in your hands and do twists for three sets of 15 reps per side. Twist all the way to the left and all the way to the right with the ball extended directly in front of you at chest height. You can use a weight plate if you prefer. Make sure it has enough weight to it so you stimulate your erectors and can get 15 reps. Don’t be afraid to fall off the ball a few times as you get the hang of it.

This is wonderful for the stabilizers and erectors in the lower back. Within days, you will start to feel a difference in your lower back strength and pain levels when bending over to tend to plants and such.

Hip Thrusts

Do hip thrusts lying flat on the floor for three sets of 15 reps. These are not sexy, but they work. Extend you lower back so that the arch is taken out completely and your lower back is flush with the floor, then do a pelvic thrust upward. If you do not feel all of your lower back in contact with the floor, you are not doing it correctly.

This exercise is counterintuitive but directly hits the problem areas. The small of the back wants to anatomically arch in the lower lumbar when we lie down, so we have to consciously force that area to flatten to the floor. When we do, there may be some irritation from residual back pain. This is good — it means we are stimulating the area.

All the action takes place from the hip joint on this one. In order for it to be effective, the lower lumbar has to be parallel to the floor and flat as a board at the top of the movement. There is a learning curve here. Next to stiff-legged dead lifts, it is probably the hardest movement to master.

Cable Crossovers

Low to high cable core rotations are excellent for both core strength and lower lumbar conditioning which will help reduce strain during all the awkward lifting and twisting movements we perform in our grow room.

Put the cable pulley to the lower position. Get in a squatting position with feet at shoulder width. Grab the single pulley with both hands cross-shoulder. Thrust upward from the squatting position while swinging your fully extended arms to the opposite side, twisting the torso under resistance. Do this for three sets of 15 and then turn around and do the opposite side.

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Last modified on Thursday, 04 October 2012 22:17

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