You may have heard the advice “100 sit-ups a day to keep your stomach and back strong”. And if you haven’t heard it then surely, with the best of intentions, you have thought “I know I should do more sit-ups to help me stay in shape”. Well, today we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to do a sit-up again. In fact, you don’t need to do a sit-up, trunk twist, leg lift, back extension or any combination of those exercises. Biomechanical studies now show that these traditional exercises for core strength and stability put tremendous pressure on the vertebrae and stress on the discs in your lower back. Of course doing a few sit-ups isn’t dangerous, however, performing movements that require your back to go through flexion, extension and twisting repetitively could increase the risk of future back injury or irritate an existing condition. In fact it’s common to see patients with chronic low back pain that have been doing sit ups for years and don’t understand why it’s not working.
But before you get too excited about not doing sit-ups – keep reading. Ensuring you have good core stability, meaning that the muscles of your stomach and back are conditioned well, is a key factor in maintaining good spinal health. Even though the aforementioned exercises should be avoided it doesn’t mean that all exercises for your core are out.
So then, what makes a core exercise safe and healthy? There are some basic principles to keep in mind:
If you suffer from back pain, core stability exercises and spinal adjustments are important components to aid in the recovery process. If you are already feeling well, these exercises, along with chiropractic checkups can help to maintain good spinal health. Before starting a new exercise program, visit us to ensure proper form and technique.
Clear Path Chiropractic Health Centre – Guelph’s chiropractors for better health.
Note: This article is for information purposes only. Consult your healthcare provider prior to starting any changes to your health routine.