Have you looked at your class participants as they walk into your class? Most are hunched forward, in a similar position to sitting at a desk all day long. If you were to ask them to stay in the same posture, but lay on the floor, what exercise would they then resemble? If you just thought/said “a crunch” then you are correct!
The Third Common Exercise that Causes Lower Back Problems
Yes, the third exercise on this list is the highly overrated and over-used basic crunch. What classifies as a basic crunch? For this post, I am referring to when your feet planted on the floor, knees bent, hands behind your head, and torso curling towards your knees.
With our lifestyle, we sit in forward flexion a lot: at our desks, as we drive, as we eat, and as we watch TV. Check your posture right now. Are you shoulders rounded forward and your spine curved forward. Are you basically in a crunch position? It’s ok it you are; I bet 75% of the people reading this are sitting the same way. It’s become our new normal.
So if you are sitting in this position most of the day, why are you training your body to go further into this position? Shouldn’t we be focused on lengthening exercises so that we can train our bodies to be stronger in a correct posture? I think so too.
Did you know that research shows that pulsing a crunch for extended periods of time can cause disc herniation? If you want a stronger front part of the body, otherwise known as the anterior, then standing vertical reaches and side bends are more functionally safe and efficient than the supine crunch.
Plus, there is another exercise that is very efficient. Let’s flip our participants from a supine position to prone and introduce them to the plank. A plank position is extremely versatile and effective as a head-to-toe strengthener. The exercise can be manipulated in hundreds of ways to create modifications or progressions, depending on your clients.
Want more plank ideas? Be sure to follow me on facebook where I show Wednesday workout ideas.