"No Go" Core Exercises
You're probably already aware of the importance for improving your core strength, and the benefits strong core muscles can have in treating and preventing back related problems.
However, there are some well known "core" exercises that unfortunately do nothing more than cause damage to the lower back.
Below we outline our advice for anyone wanting to improve their core strength, and explain when to do core exercises and which exercises to avoid - especially if you already have low back problems!
Let’s start with the two most common training mistakes before we go onto the 'NO GO' Core exercises.
Firstly, we would advice you not to do core exercises at the start of your workout.
Your core muscles help to stabilize your body and fatiguing them early leaves your spine unprotected and increases the chance of injury.
Save core training for the end of your training.
Train you core muscles every day: Please don’t! Your core muscles are just like any other muscle in your body. They need time to recover.
Wait at least two days before you train them again.
NO GO CORE EXERCISE 1: Sit Ups
There are so many exercises that are much more effective than a crunch/ sit up.
In fact, the crunch is one of the least effective core exercises you can do!
On top of all this research has now shown that the traditional crunch can actually induce a slipped disc and back pain!
NO GO CORE EXERCISE 2: Russian Twists
Only do this exercise if you insist on giving yourself a herniated disc. It combines spinal flexion (bending) with rotation (turning).
Combining these two movements and adding weight to it as well with a medicine is a recipe for disaster.
NO GO CORE 3: Double Leg Lifts
When form is kept perfectly, this is a very good exercise. The problem is that literally only a handful of people can actually do this exercise correctly.
The key with this exercise is to keep your low back firmly pressed into to floor and keep it there while you raise your legs.
The overwhelming majority will start to arch their back, putting too much pressure on your lower back.