Sunday, August 7, 2011

Top 5 WORST Gym Machines and the Kettlebell Therapy Solutions (Part 2)

Continued from my previous post with video updates, Top 5 Worst Gym Machines and the Kettlebell Therapy Solutions (Part 1):

4. Roman Chair Back Extension: Theoretically strengthens the erector spinae.

The DANGER: Resisted spinal flexion while loading the spine can dangerously increases the risk of damaging the inter-vertebral discs. Damaged inter-vertebral can cause incredible pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. In fact, this very motion is forbidden to spine patients after surgery because of how detrimental it can be to the spine.

Kettlebell Therapy: The Functional Wall Squat – The functional wall squat is a physiokinetic exercise that strategically optimizes body mechanics and spine health. The best way to strengthen the muscles of the back is to do so functionally. This is because the body is very sensitive to activity specific training effects. We typically use the erector spinae when we are lifting objects. By isolating the erector spinae on the roman chair, the body will not recruit the erector spinae and the deeper spine muscles to stabilize our vertebrae at the critical moment of lifting. The functional wall squat is a powerful physiokinetic exercise that re-trains spinal stability, lifting mechanics, and strengthens the muscles of the back, functionally.

5. Roman Chair Sit-Up: Theoretically this exercise strengthens abdominals and hip flexors.

The DANGER: The sit-up/crunching motion yields the same spinal flexion movements which increases stress forces on the spine in a similar manner to the Roman Chair Back Extensions. The spine health maxim I encourage my patients and clients to adopt is: “never change the distance between the sternum and the navel.”

Kettlebell Therapy: The prone series progression of the plank toward the bear crawls are an excellent series to strengthen not only the abdominals and hip flexors – it also strengthens the ankle stabilizers, muscles of the knee, the upper core, the chest, the shoulder girdle, the triceps, and the wrist stabilizers.

The Plank (Full Plank)

This concludes my 5 WORST Gym Machines and the Kettlebell Therapy Solutions. I will expand on all these exercises in future posts as well as their roles in Preventive Therapy.

Coming up: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. So many of my students and clients love telling me, “There are muscles in places I never knew!” Find out more about this phenomenon in my next post.

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