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Protecting Your Back, Part 1

Back pain can be very miserable and is often debilitating. Proper lifting technique alone doesn’t protect against back pain. Chronic poor posture, for example, guarantees you will have back pain.

A typical cause of back pain is when some small bones of the spine move from their normal position, thus creating painful pressure on the disks or nerves associated with them.

Along with connective tissues, muscle contraction helps lock the many small bones of the spine into place. It might seem from this that doing exercises for your lower back is the perfect solution. However, that’s only a partial solution. Much of your spinal protection comes from the intra-adominal pressure the abdominal muscles provide.

So do hundred of sit-ups, right? Wrong; sit-ups primarily work the hip flexors and they bend the spine in a way that can lead to back pain. You can do exercises such as the Roman Chair and hanging leg raises if you want those washboard abs, but for back protection you need to focus on strengthening the transversus abdominus.

How do you do that? Just listen to any military drill instructor scream, “Suck in that gut, soldier!” and you may realize the military figured this out long ago. If this muscle goes slack, the load usually shifts to the lower back muscles where the overload on them can cause excruciating pain.

Part 2 » | Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection