The Twitch workout: Fix your live streaming back problems
I’m 34-years old, been working out for a decade and I’ve been streaming on Twitch for about 3-years. Over the course of my time as a streamer, I’ve developed annoying lower back pain that is by no means debilitating but just enough to be annoying or make me uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I workout and am in good shape, this lower back pain just wouldn’t go away. Since I’ve never really injured myself in any way, the pain has likely been caused by sitting for long periods of time, something that virtually all live streamers and many of us do in our full-time careers.
I’ve finally found a routine that is relieving my back pain and helping me feel 100% again so I wanted to share it with my fellow streamers. Dubbed the “Twitch workout” by myself, this routine takes no longer than 10-minutes and I can speak to its effectiveness. The Twitch workout requires no weights and can be done multiple times a day, without fatigue or sweat. It exists only to stretch out your back, hips and core. It’s not going to build muscle, increase your cardio or help you lose weight. What it will do is make your lower back feel better with a tiny bit of daily persistence and proper execution.
Before we get into the individual stretches and exercises, please note that I am not a personal trainer and possess no fitness certifications. I’m a streamer who has been working out for a long time that takes my health and fitness seriously. That is the full extent of my qualifications. With that said, if you do this routine with proper form, I can pretty much guarantee that your back will feel better than it does now.
This stretch is as simple as possible. Sit down on the floor and put your legs in front of you, seated as displayed in the photo above. You want the bottoms of your feet to touch each other and you want to bring your feet in as close to your body as you can without feeling uncomfortable. You should feel a tiny amount of tension, but not much. It you’re in pain or uncomfortable, you’ve brought your feet in too close to your body. Now grab your feet near your ankles and just hold the position for as long as it feels natural. It’s definitely not necessary to hold it for any longer than 60 seconds. Repeat this three times and you should feel your chest coming forward a bit, with your back and shoulders tightening and shifting back. This will help build better posture and keep everything back there in line.
While many who perform normal “leg day” at the gym may be familiar with lunges, for the purposes of this routine, we’re not using any weights. To perform a lunge, simply get down on one knee as shown in the photo and hold the position for as long as it feels natural. As with the butterfly stretch, you should feel your back, hips and leg lining up properly. After you hold it for no longer than 30-seconds, switch it up and do the same with the other leg. As with most exercises, do this for both legs, three times. When you perform lunges, try to be cognizant of where you are placing your knee on the ground. You want the surface to be as cushioned and comfortable as possible so not to hurt your knee.
3. Child’s Pose
Very common in yoga routines, the Child’s Pose or what I call the “Dog stretch” for no reason in particular, is meant to stretch out your back muscles in a stress free manner. To perform a Child’s Pose, get down on all fours, tuck your feet behind your legs and put your hands flat on the ground in front of you, as shown in the photo above. You should also put your face down toward the floor so you don’t strain your neck. This basic position should feel relatively comfortable and effortless. You can simply hold this position or you can try to add variations where you extend your hands forward to stretch your back or to even move your hips forward and back when you return to the basic position. Try holding this stretch for about 30-seconds, three-times.
While planking is known as a core exercise, when done properly, it aligns your neck, back and legs in the process and helps build better posture. To perform a plank, get on all fours and form a straight line with your body by placing your forearms on the ground as shown in the photo above. Be sure that your knees are not hanging towards the ground and are in as straight a position as you can comfortably hold them. You should feel your abs being strained a bit by this. In addition to holding this position, you’ll watch to squeeze or flex your butt cheeks to make sure that all of your muscles are being utilized. You will likely find the plank to be the most difficult of all the exercises in this routine and thus, you don’t need to hold it for more than 15 seconds or so. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can challenge yourself to hold it for longer. As with the other exercises, be sure to plank three times.
5. Body weight squat
While squats are one of the most dreaded exercises in most gyms, what we’re going to do here is much simpler. To perform a body weight squat, simply squat down as shown in the photo above but make sure that your feet stay flat on the ground. Many of us will want to lean forward onto the tips of our toes when squatting, which will destroy the effectiveness of the squat. Squatting down with flat feet forces your back and hips into an upright position and should feel good. Depending on your level of flexibility you can simply squat down once and hold it for a while or you can perform squats up and down to work your legs and buttocks if you want to. If you’re squatting and holding it, try to hold it for at least 30-seconds. If you’re doing sets of full motion squats, try to do 8–10 squats in each set. Either way, you should be doing three sets altogether.
That’s it! This short routine or “Twitch workout” should only take about 10-minutes a day and can be performed multiple times a day. This is by no means an all encompassing workout as there are plenty of other exercises and stretches for your lower back. The exercises that I included are tried, true and shouldn’t take much time or effort. You simply have to do them for about 10-minutes and it will improve your posture and likely help with minor back pain. Please remember that I am not a personal trainer, physician or a chiropractor. I am simply sharing these stretches and exercises because they have helped me feel better and relieved lower back pain that has plagued me for the better part of a year. If you’re experiencing any type of serious pain, always consult with your Doctor.
Live streamers spend a lot of time sitting down so its very important that we take care of our bodies when we can. This ten-minute routine will help do that. Please remember that it will not help you lose weight, build muscle or get in shape overnight. To do those things, consult with a nutritionist, personal trainer, doctor or any other qualified medical or fitness professional. Now go fix your back and Go Live stronger than ever before!
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