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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Do Sit Ups Damage Your Back?

People have been doing some version of sit ups for years in an effort to flatten their stomachs, tone their abdomen and strengthen their cores.  Have all these years of working the abdominals reaped havoc on the back? Experts do not agree on the subject.  Many people say that sit ups strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and back while others say that sit ups can damage the spinal column or its discs leading to lower back pain for the rest of your life.

sit ups damage back

Why Do Sit Ups Damage Your Back?

The range of motion most people use in doing a sit up is that it causes the spine to curve forward.  For the first 30% of this motion you are using the abdominal muscles to lift your body up. The other 70% of the motion of a sit up is completed using the hip flexors. This compresses the front of the spinal discs in a pinching motion.  When sit ups are done in the early morning after laying flat sleeping at night the discs have more fluid in them and the risk of damage is increased.  Some experts believe that the spinal discs have a wear point and each sit up done decreases the life of the discs wear; eventually we reach the maximum amount of compressions and the disc is blown.

How Do Sit Ups Damage Your Back?

Performing a repetition of sit ups routinely can cause the spinal column to curve forward and pinch. This action causes wear and tear on the discs which provide the cushion between the vertebrae.  Wearing these cushions thin or damaging them can cause the vertebrae to rub together causing severe pain.  If you do 100 sit ups each day you have done 700 sit ups each week and 36,400 sit ups each year.  The repeated action causes strain on the muscles of the back as well as the discs that support the bones of the back.

Do Sit Ups Damage Your Back Even When Done Correctly?

If a sit up is done keeping the back straight there would be less curving and pinching of the spinal column and discs.  It would follow that this would decrease the risk of damage to the back while doing sit ups.  This way of doing a sit up would take extreme muscle control to not curve your bodies forward as you are attempting to lift it up.  The major problem with this theory is doing the sit up without curving the back bone forward since as your body tires it will naturally curve forward for your arms and shoulders to help with the lift.

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Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.

Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.

Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.