Pain avoidance and increased muscle activation

Ready to break out of the cycle of episodic lower back pain worsened by training?

The gluteal, hamstring and quadriceps muscles are the largest muscles, which can best control the upper body. The gluteal muscles actually function more as external hip rotators than hip extensors. Gluteal muscle activation spares the back, especially when activating a hip hinge motion. 

Let me show you how to turn your exercise routine upside down.

Tread Carefully

Despite decades of spinal research, by Stuart McGill PhD, showing overwhelming evidence that spinal discs have a finite number of bending/twisting perturbations that can lead to disc injury, this information is not common knowledge.  Add a morning routine of abdominal crunches to a poorly conditioned back and you may significantly increase your risk of experiencing unnecessary disc injury.

Irrespective of what studies show, stability ball crunches may be contraindicated for some individuals. Does your trainer know in which category you belong?

A stability ball is not only effective for training the abdominal muscles, but, with correct placement, can significantly increase muscle activity when compared with traditional floor crunches. 

Ball placement is critical for matching the appropriate overload to the condition level of the user.

Spine Sparing, Load Sharing: Rehab Summit 11, 2008
Sternlicht E, Rugg S, Fiji LL, et al. Electromyographic Comparison of a Stability Ball Crunch with Traditional Crunch. Journal of Strength Conditioning Research: 2007; 21:506-9.