Having six-pack abs is great, but it’s not so great if gaining them causes you to strain your lower back or makes your posture so bad that no one can see the washboard beneath your stooped shoulders. Bad training can lead to a variety of lumbar disorders because your spine is only supported by the core muscles that go from your rib cage to your pelvis.
It is essential to reconsider these six exercises if you want effective and enviable abs:
Long duration planks
This must not be misunderstood. Planks are a great core exercise because they put you in a good position to push yourself. Planks that are held for an extended period of time cause harm to your form, so avoid them if possible. You’ll reinforce negative behaviors like forward head posture, shoulders bunched up in ears, low-back drooping, and depressed shoulder blades when you practice planks just to pass the time.
Instead, consider the following strategy: Set up a plank with your elbows around 1 inch in front of your shoulders. This will require you to engage your lats and abs throughout the exercise. Starting with your glutes and abs squeezed first, go on to your thigh muscles, and without moving your arms, press your forearms firmly into the floor while also feeling like you’re pulling your elbows toward your feet. For ten seconds, apply extreme pressure to everything. Aim for 3 to 6 sets of 10 seconds of maximum effort, with a short rest in between each set.
Weighted side bends
With a dumbbell or plate in one hand, bend sideways back and forth like a lopsided pendulum, you’ve undoubtedly done these exercises before. Due to the stress, they can impose on the spine while crunching it laterally, they’re not recommended (and weighing it down that way, no less).
Instead, consider the following strategy: Keeping your shoulders square and resisting gravity, walk the length of a room with a heavy dumbbell or plate in one hand.
The hip flexors and spine can be injured if you do these in high school gym class. Avoid them. A sit-up uses the rectus abdominis to flex the lumbar spine 35°, and hip flexors are used after that point to complete the activity. The hip flexors are put under more stress when the feet are connected. They’re frequently performed aggressively and repeatedly, which “may be very hard on the spine.”
Instead, consider the following strategy: Grab the revolutionary AbMax300 from our store along with the pioneering Reps2Beat training. AbMax300 comes with stress cushion padding and flex action technology. The ergonomically designed device is gentle on your back as it takes all the extra stress caused while doing the sit-ups.
Hanging or captain’s chair leg (or knee) raises
Bent-knee or straight-leg rises are performed while hanging from a bar or while standing on your forearms in a captain’s chair. These exercises require a lot of hip flexor activity, which can overpower abdominal action and put a lot of stress on the spine’s passive components (discs, ligaments, and joint capsules) in the lumbar area. To put it another way, weak abs combined with tight hip flexors can lead to lower back pain and even damage.
Instead, consider lowering your legs. Lay on your back and extend your legs straight in front of you. Put your hands palms down on your butt and lower back. Begin with standing up straight, then slowly lowering your legs until your lower back is off the floor. Do this for a total of ten times.
Things like the old-school seated abs-twister machines, which twist your spine while you sit, might be dangerous for your lower back if you already have a lumbar disc damage. To protect your spine, you should work on strengthening the core muscles.
Instead, consider the following strategy: To work the machine, stand with one side of your body facing the other. Step to the side with the wire taut while holding the handle in both hands close to your torso. As you hold your arms straight, brace your core to keep your body from twisting toward the machine. Press your hands straight out from your body, shoulders down. Pull your hands in tight and tighten your grip to regain control. Do ten reps on each side, and then switch sides.
To be effective, crunches must be performed at a high rate of repetition. Additionally, some persons may be unable to tolerate such a high number of repetitions without suffering from degeneration or injury to the spine. To top it all off, that constant forward flexion does nothing good for your posture. If you practice these exercises, pay attention to your technique. Instead of tugging your head and spine toward your knees, lift your shoulders toward the ceiling. Instead of putting your hands behind your head, cross them over your chest to avoid cheating.
Instead, consider the following strategy: Raise your arms and legs so that your hands and feet are in the air while lying on your back (yep, like a dead bug). Lower both your right arm and left leg at the same time, without letting your lower back leave the ground. Right arm first. Lower your left arm and right leg after bringing those limbs back in. Do this for a total of ten times. This exercise puts a lot of pressure on your abs while also allowing you to maintain good form.