Don’t be a posture pooper.
The spine is one of the most important parts of your body. Through the spine, the brain connects to the rest of your physical functions via your nervous system. If your spine is too stiff, or worse, gets damaged, you could experience difficulty in moving the entire rest of your body. This is one of the reasons core fitness is so important; it’s not just for working out your abs and chest, it’s also for beefing up that spine.
Unfortunately, while the goal of core exercises is to help your front and back, there are some exercises that can do more harm than good. The Superman stretch, for instance, puts a lot of unnecessary tension on your spine. Laying on your stomach and lifting both the top and bottom parts of your body puts all of the pressure on your spine. That is a lot of compression, and more than likely, more than your spine would prefer. That goes double if you’ve ever experienced some kind of back injury.
Another bad choice for backs is the traditional sit-up. How could such a classic move betray us like this? The problem with sit-ups is that while they do get your core going, they don’t build muscle in any helpful parts of your body. Plus, the rotating motion of going from flat to straight up compresses your spine in a weird way, raising your risk of a herniated disk.
So what can you do instead of these exercises? Try some simple modifications! Instead of a Superman stretch, try a Cobra. Keeping your legs on the ground will lesson the compression on your spine while still activating your core muscles. Instead of sit-ups, do curl-ups. Raise your head, neck, and shoulders without rounding your spine.
Remember, folks, it’s a lot harder to get through life if you don’t have a backbone!