Hi! I’m your friendly neighborhood biomechanist, the Fitness Pollenator, and I’m here to impart some quick lessons on how to take care of your spine. Enjoy!
The Importance of A Neutral Spine
Picking Up Weights Off the Floor
Instead, take the time to stand up and properly deadlift the weights to your sides, then sit back down and hoist away.
Repeated Spinal Flexion
My take? Just like any exercise, flexion should simply be performed in moderation (i.e. 3 sets of 12 reps, once a week).
Low rep, slow tempo crunches atop a physioball, where most of the movement comes from the thoracic spine (upper back), certainly won't kill you -- and may even provide some salubrious effects in terms of "body armor" and increased nutrient flow to the discs.
Optimal Sitting Posture
Most desk jockeys know that they should take a break every hour or so. Get up, stretch, take a walk over to the water cooler. Heck, there are even apps that force you to take breaks. (The one I use is called ‘Time Out.’)
But sometimes work requires long, uninterrupted periods of sitting. Usually by the end of these marathon sittings we find ourselves contorted into all sorts of neck-crooking, back-breaking positions.
Sure, everyone knows slouching is no good and will leave you a hunchback over time. But it turns out sitting up rigidly straight like Grandma taught you can be just as bad due to high compressive forces in the spine.
Add crossed legs to the equation to take the heat off your obliques and sacroiliac joints, and you’ve got yourself a solid, sustainable position.
Just be careful — sit too far back, and you run the risk of looking unprofessional and/or drifting off to sleep!
For more 'Brief Lessons in Biomechanics,' check out my blog post entitled, 'The Abs as "Anti-extensors" of the Core:'