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Old 09-15-2012, 11:51 AM   #1
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Default Core Work: Spinal Flexion or No?

Was doing some reading on this last night so I thought I would see if any of you have read up on the topic, or had an opinion.

I believe Stuart McGill leads the charge against spinal flexion-style core training.

So many athletes come to us with bad backs and I ask them about their current routine, and they might tell me, "Well, I do 100 sit-ups first thing in the morning." Sit-ups cause far too much spine load for the associated muscle challenge that is created, so the trick is to find an appropriate muscle challenge level thatís appropriate for that particular athlete.

You probably want the spine in a neutral posture, but sit-ups involve full spine flexion, which is a problem for many people as well, so in this case we do a modified curl-up to achieve the same if not more co-contraction of the abdominals, obliques and rectus. We ab brace first, elbows off the floor, good neck pattern, then curl-up against the brace just a little bit, not rising very much; then overlay deep breathing patterns. An incredible ab workout that spares the spine.

It also creates motor patterns that you can use in real life, whether youíre playing football, powerlifting, sprinting, or whatever it is youíre doing to ensure spine stability, and a large ability to buttress shearing and bending loads, and breathe functionally, etc.
As an alternative, I stumbled across the dead big, which is used by guys like Chris Duffin:

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