Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

When Exercising Right Looks Wrong III (Back)


Hopefully, if you read my last article I got you thinking. Thinking about different ways to train, not necessarily using machines, but using your entire body with each exercise. We talked about the changes exercise science has brought about and the risks of continuing to train the way we currently do. Our bodies, as I alluded to, were not designed to be cramped into a one size fits all machine and forced to move in a specific pattern. That pattern unfortunately is single jointed, and those of us in the know understand that even putting food in your mouth requires 3 major and around 24 smaller joints. We need to train the same way that our body was designed to operate.

Back exercise is one of the scariest groups of improper exercise concepts that I know of. To fully understand the back is way beyond the scope of this article. The 'back' is considered the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine and all the supporting muscles. Some of these muscles are global, meaning they assist with movement of the trunk / torso. Some are stabilizers, meaning they aid in keeping the spinal joints in the proper alignment. Many of the muscles act as synergists, they help other muscles do their job. Many of the back muscles have numerous tasks. The Latissimus Dorsi or lat, for example is the only muscle in the body that has direct attachment on the shoulder and pelvis. Many of the thoracic or middle back muscles cross the thoracic and lumbar spines and attach into the pelvis and sacrum.

The eminent researcher Professor Stuart McGiIl states, "Evidence from tissue-specific injury generally supports the notion of a neutral spine (neutral lordosis) when performing loading tasks to minimize the risk of low back injury."

The spinal column, devoid of its musculature, has been found to buckle at a load of only 90 newtons (about 20 pounds) at LS.3,4 However, during routine activities, loads 20 times greater are encountered on a regular basis. Panjabi says, "This large load-carrying capacity is achieved by the participation of well coordinated muscles surrounding the spinal column."1 Spine stability is greatly enhanced by co-contraction of antagonistic trunk muscles (e.g., abdominal and extensor muscles). Co-contractions increase spinal compressive load, as much as 12% to 18%, or 44ON, but they increase spinal stability even more by 36% to 64%, or 2,925N.6 But when load is at a minimum, such as when the body is relaxed or a task is trivial, the motor control system is often "caught off guard" and injuries are precipitated.

Low back injury has been shown to result from repetitive motion at end range: According to McGiIl, it is usually a result of "a history of excessive loading which gradually, but progressively, reduces the tissue failure tolerance."

What the research shows is actually simple, we continually load our body, in faulty posture, to the end range of movement. This increases the forces on the spinal joints by hundreds of pounds. Over time the joints become so repetitively overstrained and damaged that injury from a trivial task is inevitable.

So what exercises help or hurt the back? The first thing to understand is that the paraspinal muscles are dominated by slow twitch muscle fibers which means there is no need to work extensor muscles for strength, rather focus on endurance or time under tension. This equates to stabilization type exercises for back strength, not thousands of repetitions of back extensions on various types of equipment. (spine 93) Try performing quadraped opposite arm and leg extension exercises, vary your hold times to target the paraspinal muscles. Add planks and side planks into your routine, but remember to always fire the glutes and maintain neutral spine. To strengthen the back, focus on always maintaining proper abdominal bracing and a lordotic lifting posture. This means that the best way to strengthen your back and abs for that matter is to change how you think. Every exercise you do is now a back and abdominal exercise. Perform your rows standing or sitting on a ball, keep your abs braced, head up, knees bent and shoulders back. For that matter, always keep the abs braced and the back flat, never round or hunch your shoulders. Do not lean back with the exercise, proper abdominal contraction will counter any extension moment and protect the back while strengthening the abs. Unfortunately the commercially made machines 'designed' to strengthen the back actually place repetitive stresses on the spine and disks while encouraging hyperextension. The best way to achieve a strong back is to build strong abs and lumbar muscles with high endurance and coordination. The back was never designed to be strong, it was designed to have high muscular endurance and lots of help from the abdominal wall and hips.

1. Panjabi MM. The stabilizing system of the spine. Part 1. Function, dysfunction, adaptation, and enhancement. / Spinal Disorders 1992;5:383-389.

2. McGiIl SM. Resource manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 3rd ed. Williams and Wilkins, 1998.

Bryan Fass, BA, ATCL, CSCS, NREMT-P
Bryan Fass holds a bachelors in sports medicine, is a Certified / Licensed Athletic Trainer, Nationally Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nationally Registered Paramedic. Bryan is also a highly skilled soft tissue and Myofascial Release therapist, And has over 10 years of experience in clinical and fitness settings. Specialties in Spine and postural re-education.

Precision Fitness is an advanced personal fitness, corrective exercise, post-rehabilitation, and sports performance facility with locations in Cornelius and Mooresville.

http://www.lakenormanfitness.com


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times (blog)

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life
New York Times (blog)
Exercise has had a Goldilocks problem, with experts debating just how much exercise is too little, too much or just the right amount to improve health and longevity. Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity, suggesting that the ...

and more »


NJ.com

Massive 6-day disaster exercise at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst a first ...
NJ.com
LaTerra, a member of New Jersey's urban search and rescue team Task Force 1, was performing drills with his K-9 on Friday at what is known as "the pile" at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as part of a massive six-day disaster training exercise.

and more »


Kids pulled from school over anti-bullying exercise
The Union Leader
Katsikas said his wife went online and found an exercise on the Education World website, addressing the issue of a new classmate trying to fit in that calls for children to say something “mean” before tearing off a piece of the figure. After the ...



Florida Today

Training exercise simulates plane crash on base
Florida Today
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE –. Base firefighters waited at the edge of the runway for a "crippled airplane" coming in for a simulated emergency landing. It was an exercise that tested the response of firefighters, security forces, medical and other ...

and more »


Business Insider

Celebrity trainer Tony Horton says this is the biggest mistake people make ...
Business Insider
Celebrity trainer Tony Horton says this is the biggest mistake people make starting an exercise program. Matt Johnston. Apr. 17, 2015, 1:30 PM; 17,182; 1 · facebook · linkedin · twitter; email; print. Tony Horton Dunn Pellier Media, Inc.

and more »


Pensacola News Journal

Emerald Warrior exercise may cause noise
Pensacola News Journal
Air Force Special Operations Command aboard Hurlburt Field will host the annual Emerald Warrior exercise Monday through May 1, which may cause noise for residents in the surrounding areas. The exercise provides pre-deployment training for special ...



TIME

This Simple Exercise Will Make Sure You Spend Time on What Makes You Happy
TIME
Wake up. Go to work. Stay a little late. Come home. Make dinner. Go to bed. Do it all over again. It's so easy to get caught up in the daily grind. Before you know it, a week has passed, the month ends, the year is over, and you haven't done a thing ...



POPSUGAR

Do These 5 Things and See Strength-Training Results Faster
POPSUGAR
Ask celebrity trainer and Lift to Get Lean author Holly Perkins what the very best move is to strengthen and tone your arms, legs, butt, or [insert your trouble zone here], and she'll respond honestly: there's no single "best" exercise for any part of ...

and more »


The Sentinel

Cumberland County completes TMI exercise
The Sentinel
The Cumberland County Department of Public Safety on Friday said it received notice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that it successfully demonstrated all requirements of Tuesday's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant exercise.



GEMA exercise evaluates area's emergency preparedness
Daily Tribune News
Local agencies involved in the exercise Wednesday at the Clarence Brown Conference Center included Bartow Emergency Management, Bartow and Cartersville fire departments, Adairsville and Cartersville police departments, Cartersville Medical Center, ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.