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Rowing – a great back exercise to help keep chronic tension headaches at bay

An exercise for the middle and upper back

If you want to get rid of chronic tension headaches, you need to correct

poor posture. You do this by retraining your muscles to adapt.

to a proper posture.

How?

Through stretching and exercise. It is particularly important

strengthen your back. Strong back muscles will help support

by the shoulder girdle so that you can pull the shoulders back and

keep them in that position all day.

It is very important to remember that to maintain tension

ward off headaches, back, shoulder and chest muscles should

operate in the proper position whenever it is raised. For most of us,

that’s 16 to 18 hours a day.

Not only do you have to strengthen these muscles, you have to work

in its resistance as well. Obviously, they are going to need a lot

stamina to keep you upright all day.

Probably the best exercise to strengthen the muscles of your

the middle and upper back is a seated rowing exercise. You can do it

exercise in various ways.

If you have a rowing machine, use it. Emphasize backtracking and

really stretch your shoulders and chest as you pull and squeeze your

shoulder blades together.

If you don’t have access to a rowing machine, a simple and inexpensive

The alternative is to get an old inner tube or one of those therapeutic bands.

that are available at sporting goods stores (they are like giant rubber

bands). Or you can just get some old tubes, like the inner tube of

an old bicycle tire.

How to do the rowing exercise correctly

Sit on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you. Take your

tube, theraband or old bicycle tube, hook it over your feet and

duplicate a rowing motion. Pull back, making sure to keep your

shoulders, back and head up, and squeezes the shoulder blades

together as you pull the tube toward you. This is simply a

basic rowing exercise.

To keep things simple, do this exercise until the muscles in your

The back begins to burn slightly. That burning sensation indicates that

you have reached the point of fatigue of those muscles. It’s almost the

the same burning sensation you feel at noon or late afternoon at

work: the burning sensation that occurs just before your tension

headaches appear.

When your muscles start to burn, quit smoking and see how long you did.

the exercise.

If, for example, you did the exercise for two minutes

before your muscles start to burn, then your goal should be

increase that time by about 15-20 seconds. Every time you do the

exercise, try to improve your performance in that amount of time.

When you do this exercise, step back into an upright position.

position, then pull your arms back as far as you can. Make sure

you’re squeezing your shoulder blades. Do not do the exercise

quickly, but keep a good pace.

Your goal is the same as it would be for any other weight lifting or

aerobic activity – you want to gradually increase your performance

until you reach your goal. That goal is to be able to do this for 10

minutes three times a week.

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