Monday, January 10, 2011

The BEST Ab exercises for you and yours...

The single arm row is a GREAT spine stabilization exercise.
Dr. Stuart McGill is one of the top researchers in the field of spinal health and exercise. He's coauthored hundreds of research studies on how the lower back functions, how it is injured, how it is used during strength training and the effect of poor spinal control.

So along the way you can understand that he has explored what exercises work best for developing a fully functional core. Not surprisingly we do a lot of these exercises in our Hi-5 Fitcamp.
  • Plank
  • Cable Chops
  • Hand Walkouts (aka Inchworms)
  • Side planks
  • Single Arm Rows
Smooth sailing requires a stable spine.
These exercises force the transverse abdominus, external and internal oblique, quadratus lumborum and psoas major to stabilize the spine while the muscles of the shoulder and hips create movement at their respective joints.

Briefly put, the core is made up of muscles that support the spine like guy wires support the mast of a ship. If any of these wires were to lose tension, the mast would begin to tilt in the opposite direction.

From a rehabilitation/corrective view point, we see this a lot in people with back pain. These are exercises that the average person should be doing to maintain a healthy back. These are not just for athletes or for rehabilitation patients, they are for everybody.

So the next time you think of ab work, remember that the abs are not there to create motion at the spine. They are there to prevent spinal extension and flexion, rotation, and  lateral flexion.

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