The Best Alternative to Sit-Ups and Crunches
Traditional abdominal exercises used in the gym are often intermixed with rehab-based prescriptions. Although the intent might be to improve strength, this may come at a cost. We see this often with treatment for low back pain. When it comes to adding strength exercises for low pain sufferers, the goal should be balanced strength and stiffness of the entire musculature that support the spinal joints.
Strength movements should also be done without adding additional loads to our joints. Throughout the day we flex forward at our lumbar spine to complete normal tasks like tying our shoes. Lumbar flexion places a great deal of load on very vulnerable structures. This is the main reason we should avoid traditional gym exercises, such as sit-ups, crunches, and abdominal hollowing. These are exercises which require excessive lumbar flexion and result in potential worsening of a low back condition.
For those suffering from low back pain, abdominal exercises should be performed with a focus on maintaining lumbar lordosis while improving strength and endurance. Watch Dr. Shaw explain and demonstrate an alternative in this week’s video.
If you are dealing with low back pain and have questions about abdominal exercises, please contact us with questions. We would love to help.