Healthspan Blog

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Core exercises with spine safety in mind (disc health)

20th June 2011

This article has theoretical explanations and embedded youtube videos of the exercises. The basic idea is to keep spinal flexion to a minimum:

The first issue that needs to be addressed is spinal flexion. Research by Dr. McGill shows that repeated spinal flexion is detrimental to the intervertebral discs. (1) The strategy of rolling out of bed and then bending over to touch the toes with a rounded spine to stretch your back is enough to make McGill have a coronary.

For McGill, the ability to maintain lumbar lordosis (an inward curvature of the low back) while lifting and moving reigns king. When your trainer tells you to keep an arch in your low back while pulling a deadlift, he’s telling you to maintain lordosis.

McGill has tested many NFL players who have blown-out discs, and as long as they maintain lordosis on the field, they can continue to play. That’s how important lordosis is.

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