Stop Sit Ups and Save Your Spine

I struggled to post this. If you’re hanging on every word and post (hi mom) you may have noticed I’m about 12 hours later than usual. I couldn’t put my finger on why exactly. I think it is instead is that the shooting in Las Vegas rocked us each in different ways. I couldn’t imagine the World Trade Center literally when it happened though I’ll never forget where I was at the moment I heard or the thought of my kindergartener and what they would say at school. But I can imagine Mandalay Bay and have walked the strip many times. Who among us hasn’t been to Vegas for a conference or for fun and doesn’t feel the wonder about why them, why not me, when could it happen again, how do we stop this? In the event of tragedy things go on as normal, no matter how abnormal that may seem. So this post too shall happen. 

stop sit ups save your spineWhether you swear by your crunches and sit ups or you hate them there is no arguing with some of the statistics that suggest we’re doing something wrong. When 80% of the population has back pain and 80% of them have it recurring during the year, and yet there are more personal trainers and gyms that ever before something’s wrong. We clearly still have a weight and obesity epidemic. Weight and sedentary lifestyles directly correlate with an increase of low back pain. Beyond that we have to know the correct exercise to do when we encourage someone to become more active. For more, or an audio instead of blog, here’s the podcast I released today.

Stop Sit Ups and More

Stop sit ups and crunches.

Stop exercising in the first hour after you rise.

Stop hugging your knees to your chest before you get out of bed in the morning.

Stop forward flexion activities. Those that add resistance are worst.

Stop using forward flexion or rotary torso abdominal machines.

Stop using “good morning” exercises.

Stop associating a “burn” with more good for your abdominals.

Stop using the back extension machine in full range of motion.

Stop using a ball for crunches. The increased range of motion it allows puts you at further risk, instead of getting more results, as might have been told to you.

Stop bringing your ribs to your hips in a crunch.

Stop sucking your belly button to your spine.

stop sit ups save your spineStart These Habits

Start limited range of motion back extension exercise with hip hinge.

Start focusing most on stabilization exercises.

Start a habit of greeting the morning with a little journal time or read the paper if you prefer. You need to be upright to allow the fluid, which causes increased pressure in your discs, to dissipate.

Start planking on the ball or “stirring the pot” with the ball if you’re ready for more challenge.

Start adding back extension exercises to your regular core exercise routine.

Start building endurance in the core muscles over strength.

Start with alignment before you increase exercise load. If you have extreme lordosis or a flat back your exercises should be unique. Don’t follow exercise for the masses.

stop sit ups save your spine

stop sit upsTwo More Considerations

Stop assuming pain is always a bad thing.

Stop assuming you have to feel pain to be doing damage.

Need support recovering from an injury or establishing a deep core foundation? Click here.

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