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Exercise for a stronger core- Debate Are crunches safe?

June 30, 2012

core workout by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace
I was reading an article from the New York Times Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back? byGretchen Reynolds and immediately I started receiving emails from my clients asking me if crunches were safe or not.
My response to one of my clients was: “I don’t think you should worry. At the beginning of the article explains how those ones with healthy backs are able to fire a deep abdominal muscle called thetransversus abdominis(like you).
The main point of the article at The New York Times is the if you are starting a physical fitness program crunches you may hurt your back and I agree since there a lot of factors to watch such hand positioning cervical alignment and muscle tension. If you are starting it is better to build a progressive core exercise program that strengthen all abdominals and lower back, part of the core (take a look at the exercise i am proposing here) .
Then the article mentions that stabilizer muscles in the abdominal region are more important than the isolated muscle in the abs. Remember that every time you are doing a movement you have prime movers antagonist and stabilizers so if you are not strong you will put pressure in the back.  In our sessions when you follow the Super Body, Super Brain program  you are looking that 80% is pure core workoutand the article says how if you strengthen a muscle in the abs and not the others you may destabilize your spine and I agree. That is the reason why in our session I focus on hands positioning and  motion giving you an effective crunch and not a traditional sit up.
I disagree in the article where one of the exercises mentioned for better core is a side plank that in my opinion it should only be reserved to athletes and he is recommending it for everyone instead of traditional plank, again            Dr Stuart Mcgill is  studying spine biomechanics and most of his theory is that when you mention the word core it is not only about the abdominals but also the back and I agree completely with him.
Try this exercise to improve your core strength and physical stamina. This week 1 leg bridges plus chest press, Check this exercise for increased core power, greater upper and lower body strength, stamina, cardiovascular and focus!
Superior bridge for a tighter core and toned legs- One Leg Bridge plus Chest Press
Bridges are a phenomenal core exercise. However Lets take it up a notch. One leg bridge combined with chest press is a great exercise to build a stronger core, firmer thighs, solid buttocks and resilient hamstrings besides a strong chest

From a lying down position with one leg bent, both feet  flat on the floor, the right  leg straight up tighten your core then perform a chest press at the same time your are pushing with your left buttock and back of the thighs lifting your body off the floor keeping the right leg off and straight at all times. Do it ten times then change legs. Advanced can use 10 lbs- 5 sets and Beginners 5lbs-3 sets

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