Back muscles are used press,pull,push and squat. Injuries from improper use of these muscle can take long rehab time. Thus, it is not soon enough to adopt back routine to spare injuries to your spine and back.
There are four exercises that many lifters use believing their goodness which in reality can contribute to new or recurring lower back pain.
Dr. MeGill, professor of Sine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada has devoted his career to research and develop the safest and most effective care exercises for low- back pain. These are the 4 exercises to avoid:
1. The super man movement which targets the muscles that run the length of the back,exerts a horrible 1400 lbs of pressure on the hyperextended spine which is hard to perform by anyone.
2. The ab crunch machine which pulls your back into flexion place a compressive force in low spine. Which can lead to disc problems.
3. The Swiss ball crunch, similar to the ab crunch machine also increase the likelihood for disc injury.
4. The torso rotational machine. Repeated side to side twisting around the waist wears down the outer layer of the disc allowing the gel- live substance inside to seep out and rub against the spinal nerve causing high pain in the low back. To counter those four risky exercises Dr. MeGill developed ‘Big three’ exercises that keep the spine in neutral position eliminating compression on the low back and reducing possible injury.
1. The McGill Curl-up: this replace ab crunch. This movement blasts the rectus Abdominus without flexion to the low spine.
-lying on your back, place hands under the small of your back.
-one knee is bent, one leg extended.
-keeping the head and neck in locked position, slightly raise the shoulders off the ground making sure not to round the shoulders.
2.stir the pot: this replace the ball crunch that hits the rectus and obliques while keeping the spine in neutral.
-from a push-up position,start with forearms and elbows on the stability ball.
-Rotate the ball in a circular motion controlling the core so it does not move.
-Repeat clockwise and counterclockwise.
3.loaded carries: This turn on the core muscles to create more stability and stiffness while protecting the back
-Pick up a dumbbell or kettlebell with one or both hands, hold it and walk for distance or time.
4.The side bridge, which works the oblique without any risk from rotational twisting. Performance direction:
-On your side, prop yourself up on one elbow and use feet for support.
-Top foot should be placed in front of the Bottom foot.
FOR ALL THE EXERCISES ABOVE;
-Perform each movement using the abdominal bracing technique to ensure that weights are transmitted through your core and NOT lower back. To brace properly, imagine being punch in the gut that causes your core muscle stiffen hard. Brace the same way with every repetition.
-Rep/set scheme. Use a reverse pyramid routine. Choose number of sets and perform reps in descending order. For example if you are doing 3 sets then do 10 reps in set 1,8 reps in set , 2and 6 reps in set3, ensuring good form is maintained with every rep.
This method prevents muscle fatigue with each successive set.
-Time under tension. The recommendation is to hold each rep for 8-10 seconds. Any longer hold time the oxygen demand exceeds supply resulting in muscle fatigue and loss of form.