What the Dikul Workout Is and Why It Can Change Your Life
Studies show that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. And the most common types of pain are located in the lower back (27%) and neck (15%). It can be challenging to deal with this pain, but imagine walking again and living a full life after you were told that you never would. We know of someone who did that - Valentin Dikul. And he took it even one step further by creating an entire workout system to change people's lives just like he once changed his own.
At Bright Side, we have learned all about who Valentin Dikul is, how he came to create his own workout system and medical center, and why his set of exercises can improve your life and potentially change it completely.
How was the Dikul workout created?
Valentin Dikul is a circus gymnast, and, surprisingly, the head of Rehabilitation Center for those with musculoskeletal system diseases. Having had a rough childhood, he managed to achieve his dream of becoming a circus artist. However, in 1962, during a performance in Kaunas, a steel support cross beam broke, throwing Dikul down from a safety wire standing 40 ft high. The doctors said that the boy would never walk again. However, Dikul was not one to fall into despair. He started doing exercises, first with the upper part of his body, then engaging his paralyzed limbs as if they were healthy.
To begin, he tied a rope to the paralyzed limbs and pulled them, and with the use of weights, he created a counterbalance. Dikul designed the "exercise machine" all by himself. Thanks to years of exercise, not only did Dikul return to a completely normal life, but he also became one of the strongest people on the planet. His ability to juggle weights is still considered to be unique and it even got him into the Guinness Book of Records. However, his greatest achievement is the creation of his own proprietary medical rehabilitation methodology for people with spinal injuries.
How can the Dikul workout improve your health?
Even if we omit serious injuries, we all know that conditions like scoliosis, osteochondrosis and vertebral disc prolapses are common problems for children and adults. So how can the Dikul workout help you?
Pick a set of exercises.
The exercises are different for every condition of course, but they are all pretty simple.
For example, below is a set of exercises for those with chronic back pain and discomfort caused by osteochondrosis.
Lie on your back, spread your arms with your palms down. Keep your legs straight and feet together. Without lifting your head, shoulders or your left foot, slowly turn your left hip to the right. Stay like this for 2-3 seconds, then slowly return to the initial position. Repeat the same exercise with your right hip.
Lie on your back, spread your legs with your feet at shoulder width. Cross your hands over the chest. Without lifting your pelvis and legs from the floor, turn your left shoulder to the right. Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to the initial position. Repeat the same exercise in the opposite direction.
Lying on your back, put your feet together. Spread your arms, palms down. Without lifting your shoulders and head from the floor, move both legs as far to the right as you can without separating your feet. Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to the initial position. Repeat the same exercise in the opposite direction.
Lie on your back and spread your legs with your feet at shoulder width. Your hands should be crossed over the chest. Without lifting your pelvis and legs from the floor, tilt your body to the left with a swift, sliding movement. Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to the initial position. Repeat the same exercise in the opposite direction.
Stand up straight, looking forward. Without rounding your back, bend your knees and bend over slowly keeping your hands down. Stay like this for 2-3 seconds, then return to the initial position.
Simply pick the set you need or use a specialist's help to do it!
In the Dikul workout, mental work is just as important as the exercises themselves.
- It all starts with a positive mindset and the belief that you are on the way to complete recovery.
- Pay attention to the atmosphere around you during your workout. Nothing should distract you or get in the way.
- If you feel anger, irritation, or disappointment during the workout, pause and make an effort to return to the positive mindset.
- Finish the workout with an affirmation: "Today's workout was useful, I have made new achievements."
Remember Dikul's principles
To carry on, you need to equip yourself with this great man's basic principles:
- Psychological strength comes before physical strength. To achieve physical results, you need to have perseverance, emotional stability, and faith that you can do it.
- Exercises should encourage your muscles to return to normal, but not wear them out. In other words, don't overdo it - three times a week should be enough for most problems.
- The exercise routine must be the same from the first session on. Moreover, everything should be done slowly, gently and rhythmically, without any stress. If you are doing it right, you shouldn't be experiencing shortness of breath at any point in your exercise.
- Always listen to your body. If you start experiencing severe pain during a set of exercises, the workout should be stopped until the pain is dealt with by other methods.
After all, why shouldn't we trust a man who managed to leave his wheelchair for good and lead a healthy life?
We hope that after having read this article, you are just as impressed with Valentin Dikul and what he's done for himself and humanity as we are. Talk to your rehabilitation specialist, doctor or trainer about using Dikul's workout to treat your condition, and tell us in the comments which methods you're using to deal with your vertebral problems. Have they proven to be effective or maybe even revolutionary?