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Exercises You Should Avoid Part 1
The first in a series discussing various exercises and stretches that should be avoided.
By: Brad Landrum, DC
Many of the exercises we were taught twenty years ago have now been proven to potentially cause injury in vulnerable people. The four exercises I described above that this gentleman was doing are perfect examples. When he bent over from a standing position to reach his toes and stretch the back of his legs (hamstrings)
Along those same lines, rotating his upper body in a circular pattern in order to stretch his back will repetitively compress and stretch open the joints in his lower back. Because he did this exercise while standing, the weight of his upper body also applied acompressive force to the same joints. Particularly in the spine, rotational andbending motions combined with compressive forces can seriously irritate the joints. They can become inflamed and restricted in their movement. If severe enough, the neighboring nerves can become irritated. These nerves control the muscles along the spine and can be responsible for very painful muscle spasms. This is why doing a similar rotational movement with your head, particularly at the point when your neck is bent all the way backwards, can also cause acute joint inflammation, nerve irritation, and muscle spasm of the neck.
Lastly, when this gentleman did his sit-ups, he raised his upper body all the way up to touch his knees. Not only does this technique not isolate the abdominal muscles well, it can also put pressure on the low back and neck if the exercise is not done a very specific way. If you want to stretch the back of your legs (hamstrings)
To stretch your lower back in safe rotational manner, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, straighten out one leg and leave it on the floor. If it is your right knee that is still bent, use your left hand and pull the right knee so that your lower body rotates to the left. Your shoulders must stay flat on the floor. Hold this stretch for ten seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
Instead of doing rotational movements with the neck, it is safer to do static stretches to the left, right, and forward. Instead of doing full sit-ups, a much safer technique is to do“crunches”
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Landrum Spine and Sport Chiropractic is located in Hopkinsville, Ky 42240. His comprehensive clinics offer innovative soft-tissue treatments, research-based rehabilitation protocols & manipulative techniques to restore proper biomechanics.