Here is a sure fire way to destroy your lower back discs.
In my post about sit ups I explained how you will ruin your back if you are doing sit ups, abdominal curls and the like. Studies have shown categorically that the forward bending in sit ups puts enormous pressures on your lower back and can in fact damage it. If you are still doing sit ups-STOP! There are much better ways to strengthen your core without having to resort to sit ups. If you are after the six pack stomach you can still have that as well. Have you ever stopped and wondered why there are people that do 500 sit ups in the gym and still suffer from lower back pain? After all, aren’t strong abs meant to protect your back? If a person has a wash board stomach they couldn’t suffer from lower back pain surely? The answer is very simple. Sit ups damage your back!
I have written an article in much more depth on this subject but I wanted to add this.
When you wake up in the mornings you are a little bit taller than when you went to sleep. During the day due to the forces of gravity you shrink. yep that’s right. You wake up taller than when you go to bed. Of course this does not mean you will need to be shortening the hem in your pants by the end of the day but it is a very real phenomenon. During the night your discs absorb fluid and nutrients and get fatter. They fill up. This has ramifications for your lower back. With the extra fluid there is more pressure and your lower back is at a higher risk of injury. This is one of the reasons that there are many lower back injuries in the morning that any other time of the day.
Those of you who are still doing sit ups are not only hurting your back but if you do them in the mornings you are putting your back at even greater risk! There are many myths about abdominal workouts and lower back protection. In order to protect your back you need to have your core muscle groups strengthened in a safe manner that will protect you in your daily activities. And the core muscles are not just your transverses abdominus. If you are drawing your navel to your spine in the famous Pilates style exercises please also read my post on abdominal workouts.