Group fitness classes should teach movements that are easily replicated in the “real world” life of our clients. The motions we teach should be functional and need to move in the natural alignment of the body. If we start to teach exercises that are not in natural positions, we risk injuries for our clients. It is hard to keep students in your class if they are hurt or injured. Two weeks ago, I started to explore common exercises that cause lower back problems and this is the second entry to that series.
The Second Common Exercise that Causes Lower Back Problems
Have you attended a barre or pilates class where you were asked to flatten your back to perform V-sits while holding the bar? This is not a lower abdominal exercise but an over-usage of the hip flexors (hence the “burn”). Do you or your clients need to train hip flexors any more than we already do? NO. As a matter of fact, the deep core muscles are only being activated about 15% or less, depending on the individual, in this exercise. When hip flexors are tight and overused, the lower back becomes compromised.
A solution would be to leave the bar and grab a ball. Supported V-sits with a small ball behind the lower back is an exercise that targets the core muscles and allows the hip flexors to release. Your variations from this position are endless! For more exercises like this, check out my tips to effective core training.
I recommend Low Back Disorders by Stuart McGill for more information on how we can effectively train the core while not compressing the lower back.