Harmful exercises & better alternatives


TRUST ME...I KNOW SPINAL MECHANICS.  Your trainer probably doesn't, your coach probably doesn't, your pilates or yoga instructor probably don't understand how the spine is built and how it's meant to move.  DEADLIFTS ARE HARMFUL TO THE LOW BACK- even when performed with "proper form".  JUST SAY NO TO DEADLIFTS!!!!  Think about it, would you ever pick up anything off the floor with the deadlift motion?  Doubtful!       The exercise shown below will strengthen and stabilize the SAME muscles as a deadlift while strengthening your true CORE muscles at the same time without the risk of injuring your back.  

Lunges: Supposed to be a glute exercise

Walking lunges, stepping lunges, reverse lunges....whatever you want to call them it is inherently difficult or impossible to properly activate the glutes.  In addition to this fact, most forms of lunges put tremendous stress on your knee and patellar tendon.  

Notice the guy's knee in the picture?  It's beyond the toe.  This stresses the knee and forces the body to PRIMARILY use the quad muscles to raise up instead of using the glutes.  

Below is the proper form with description of how to isolate the glute muscles.

Situps- extreme pressure on your low back discs!

Listen!  Nothing is worse than trying to do the right exercise and then learning later on that you've caused major damage.  

Situps are a perfect example of one of those exercises.  Just because something is difficult to do, doesn't mean it's good for the body.

More info will be added later with SAFE core exercises.

Glute-Core Bridges on a Gymball- way better than deadlifts!

There are many variations to this exercise but this is what they look like.  The keys are the following in this order:

Contract your core (tighten and draw-in)

Contract your glute (butt) muscles

Push your heels into the ball to lift your hips off the ground.

Only lift up far enough to have your back straight.  If you push your hips too high you might stress your spine.

To start keep your arms flat on the ground to stabilize.  As you get stronger you can raise the arms up and point your hands toward the ceiling to make it more difficult. 

Most people who have done deadlifts for years have major difficulty doing these because deadlifts have failed to activate and strenghten the proper muscles.

Stationary Lunges: Most effective & safe

With this exercise, most people who have been doing lunges and squats for years get fatigue in the glutes after only 6 reps.  Why?  It's because they haven't properly activated their glutes.  They have burned calories but not strengthened the proper muscles.  

The knee is directly above the ankle.

The hip drops straight to the ground.

Bend the knee only to 90 degrees.

Push through the heel and come straight up.

Don't forget to keep your head looking forward with your shoulders back.  Don't slouch!  Repeat the same lunge exercise without moving either foot forward or back until fatigued.  When your right leg is forward you are working mostly your right glutes, When fatigued then switch to your left.  DON'T WALK/STEP/RETURN TO A NEUTRAL STANDING POSITION.

Safe "sit-ups"

More info soon!