CATEGORY: Targeted Exercise
TYPES: Abdominal Crunches, Sit-ups, Leg raises, V-ups, Variety of Abdominal Floor Exercises for back Pain, Ab Crunch & Resistance Machines, Ab Gliders, Ab Straps, Ab Mats, Medicine Balls, Ab Stretches for Back Pain, Various Ab Workouts for Back Pain, Ab Wheels, Various Combination Core & Abdominal Exercise Gym Machines, Back & Ab Slant Boards
*All brand names are trademarks of their respective owners & used for review(s) & comparison purposes only.
AB EXERCISES for BACK PAIN PROS:
> Generally improves appearance
> When part of a total body exercise program & proper diet/nutrition, can increase weight/fat loss
> When done properly in conjunction with back exercises a strong balanced core can be developed
> When isolated, this muscle group is easy to sense that exercises are properly targeting it
AB EXERCISES for BACK PAIN CONS:
> Even with perfect form, this specific type of exercise can create a muscle imbalance if the lower back muscles are not strengthened as well – unfortunately, most people who work-out on a regular basis over train their abs (because these are the muscles you can see in the mirror) and under train their low back
> Most people are inclined to cheat during ab exercises, with a faster pace than needed, causing momentum to take over – when proper form is lost the chance of injury increase
> If you already suffer from poor posture and back pain, it’s advisable to correct the postural muscular imbalance before doing any heavy ab work
If you have bad posture and a natural tendency to sit with a rounded upper back, abdominal exercise may actually exacerbate your bad posture.
– Jon-Erik Kawamoto, Head Trainer at JK Conditioning
By definition, ab exercises strengthen abdominal muscles and increases their size. This increase in muscle size inherently adds more weight in front of the spine. Additionally, strength training can also increase a muscle group’s tightness if the muscle group is not stretched at the same rate it is being strengthened. These two mechanical factors (additional muscle weight & increased muscle taughtness) synergistically act upon the spine to, quite literally, pull it forward. This “pulling forward” of the spine will continue to get worse as the abdominal muscles are continually trained & strengthened, if corrective measures aren’t taken to counterbalance the additional weight and taughtness of these muscles in front of the spine. Have you ever noticed the guerilla like postures of most weight lifters? They tend to over develop the muscles in front of the spine because these are the ‘show’ muscles easily seen in the mirror, while under-developing the muscles behind the spine. This creates an incredible muscle imbalance – from front to back – that ruins posture.
One counterbalance measure that can be taken to achieve muscle balance from front to back is to strengthen & build the muscles behind the spine (the spinal erectors, mid-trapezious & rhomboids). Utilizing adjustable tension, the BODY-ALINE strengthens all the 3 of these muscles groups with one simple motion. Ab exercises in conjunction with back and postural muscle exercise will help to develop a strong core while keeping yourself in proper alignment. The combination is great. But if you’re looking to end back pain by just training your abdominals – it will only make it worse. Many have asked the questions: “What are good core strenghtening exercises for back pain?” and “Are ab exercises effective for back pain?” This analysis summarizes why, in our opinion, the BODY-ALINE is a better & more effective back pain solution compared to even the best ab & core exercises for back pain sufferers.
Most people are conditioned to believe that abdominal crunches are the answer to training your ‘core’ and helping back pain. But when closely examined, this turns out not be true at all. Crunches promote bad posture, even when done correctly.
– Dr. Jolie Bookspan is a Career Military Scientist with a Private Practice in Sports Medicine in Philadelphia
A Personal Review of Abdominal Exercises for Back Pain Sufferers from BODY-ALINE Co-Inventor Jason Bowman…
If you did a 1000 crunches a day for a year, without doing any other form of exercise to counterbalance the muscle mass your building in front of the spine, your posture would be horrible. I don’t know how this concept of “training your abs to relieve back pain” ever started. It is bio-mechanically incorrect. How? The construction of the human body places the spine at an inherent mechanical/anatomical disadvantage. Think of all the muscle, skeletal & organ tissue that’s in front of your spine, compared to what’s behind your spine. It’s a pretty big difference, eh? This is why it’s so easy to over-train the muscles in front, while neglecting the much smaller muscle groups behind the spine. What the mantra should say is “train your abdominal and back muscles in equal proportion to relieve back pain. If you’re looking to buy just an ab machine to cure your back pain, I would think again. The bio-mechanical premise just doesn’t hold up.