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PDF: Exercises We Recommend And Exercises To Avoid

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Exercise We Recommend and Exercises to Avoid

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand the importance of quality training and what makes Spinal Fitness an essential part of any exercise and treatment program.

Dr. John S. Scherger explained muscle attachments do not change. When the function and movement are impaired by improper spinal posture, weightlifting focused only on muscle development will not improve physical performance. In "Dr. John Scherger's Spinal Fitness and Sports Medicine Series, Kinesiological Analysis of Human Spinal Development & Function in Earth's Gravity," July 2002, Volume #1d mathematical proofs show correct spinal structure, not muscle size enhances athletic ability.

First and foremost, everyone needs proper spinal structure, then building muscle will improve physical ability. Dr. John S. Scherger said, "…..you must get the proper spinal structure first. Then the extra power the muscles generate can be put to productive use. As we demonstrated in our first manual, without the proper spinal structure, what muscles create in the form of the resultant force will not be stabilized property and therefore will not be effective in producing physical movements like running, jumping, and hitting." He was in favor of weightlifting for individuals with the proper adult S-shape spinal posture for burning calories, improving the physical look of the body, and increasing strength, but warned that the fitness industry was too focused on progressive body muscle overload training.

Exercises We Recommend:

The exercises we recommend are typical of what we would suggest for anyone on a youth sports team who wants to lose weight, sculpt their body, or on a professional sports team. These are simple and basic exercises for conditioning that can also help reduce injuries that could set a person back.

It is essential to let the spine float and not allow it to be pinned by any apparatus when exercising the upper extremities. This is because the spine is a unilateral structure that provides a base for bilateral muscle groups when exercising the upper body. When the spine has the freedom to adapt, the proper straight unilateral structure provides the bilateral muscles with the same range of direction and pull.

Start with the Spinal Fitness exercises - sit-up, pelvic tilt, and neck flexion (as outlined in their individual guides) - to restore proper spinal structure.

We also recommend the exercises listed below.

Dips: Perform one set continuously for at least one minute. Use a bench as shown, parallel bar, or an assisted dip machine, if necessary.

Illustrative Example the Dips Exercise

 

Pull-Ups: Perform one set continuously for at least one minute. Use assisted pull-up machine, if necessary.

Illustrative Example of the Pull-Ups Exercise

Pec Deck: Perform one set continuously for at least one minute.

Illustrative Example the Pec Deck Exercise

It is important not to place stress on the posterior spine when isolating leg or arm muscles. Keep in mind that a strict standing or seated bicep curl will cause the posterior back muscles to attempt to stabilize the weight mass forward of the spinal column, despite the exercise being meant for the arms.

Bicep Curl: Perform one set for one minute with elbows and upper arms on titled bench to prevent the force from reaching the back.

Illustrative Example of the Bicep Curl Exercise

Leg Press: Perform one set for one minute (or more) while the back is rested against a bench.

Illustrative Example of the Leg Press Exercise

 

Toe Raise:

Illustrative Example of the Toe Raise Exercise

 Squats: We only recommend squats when done against the wall with a roll or with a ball because the posterior of the back is supported. When performing regular squats, the posterior back muscles attempt to stabilize the weight mass forward of the spinal column. Some athletes will want to perform regular squats and should do so under the guidance of a professional strength and conditioning expert while wearing a weight belt.

Illustrative Example of the Squat Exercise

Additional Recommended Exercises:

Push-ups including – incline, knee, standard, diamond grip, narrow grip, decline, deficit, and handstand variations.

Illustrative Example of the Push-Up Exercise

 

Why Avoid Certain Exercises:

There are many benefits to physical training, but injuries can occur if exercise is not managed correctly. People are often recommended exercises with the thought that they will restore health, improve athletic ability, and/or correct pain. The trouble is these exercises often actually cause spine damage. Before starting an exercise program, it is critical to evaluate the individual and see if underlying poor spinal posture exists. When there are structural problems, for safety's sake, Spinal Fitness training should be implemented to correct spinal posture to reduce the risk of injury and enhance athletic performance. First use our guide "How to Evaluate Spinal Curvature and Athletic Ability" before beginning or continuing an exercise program.  

It is important to avoid exercises that cause the posterior back muscles to be used as the prime forces of effort. For example, between a standing arm curl or standing to do a preacher curl, the preacher curl is the superior exercise choice since the posterior back muscles will not be the prime movers.

Avoid hamstring exercises unless your spine has been evaluated and already has a proper neutral posture. Otherwise, the hamstrings will be used as a force of effort to keep posture upright.

Some other exercises we do not recommend include seated rows, back extensions, the bent-over fly, and any other exercises that would result in the posterior back muscles being used directly as the force of effort.

Some athletes will want to perform the dead lift and the clean and jerk. We need to emphasize that these exercises require the back muscles to be used as the initial force of effort. After mathematical evaluation of proper and improper posture, it is impossible to perform those exercises using the body that could be considered in a good position. Due to risk of injury, athletes performing these exercises should do so under the guidance of a professional strength and conditioning expert who knows how to build and strengthen proper spinal structure.

Before going over the specific exercises to avoid we wanted to share some mathematic excerpts from Dr. John Scherger's "Spinal Fitness Series, Spinal Core Stability Training & Treatment: The Restoration & Preservation of proper Structure and Function", December 2002, Volume #2c.

Pages 153, 110, 111 and 139 are as follows:

Important Concepts about Posture

 In honor of the late Dr. John Scherger, we present the mathematical proofs that performing particular exercises can reduce function, increase wear and tear, and increase injury.

Proper vs. Improper Posture Analysis

Mathematic Excerpts from Dr. John Scherger's "Spinal Fitness Series, Spinal Core Stability Training & Treatment: The Restoration & Preservation of proper Structure and Function", December 2002, Volume #2c

Improper Posture Analysis

 Mathematic Excerpts from Dr. John Scherger's "Spinal Fitness Series, Spinal Core Stability Training & Treatment: The Restoration & Preservation of proper Structure and Function", December 2002, Volume #2c

Mechanical Advantage of Posture Chart

Sit-Ups Hurt People - The Why!

Dr. John S. Scherger* proved that "Posterior shear forces developed caused bulged disc, pinched nerve, stenosis", and a fulcrum "sets up (the) spine to safely function to adapt proper structure & physiology.

Get our free guide and learn "How to do the Sit-Up with Power Cushion or Over Sleeping Bag"

Posterior Shear Forces

* "What the Superior Athlete Possesses & How to Train For It 

Musculo-Skeletal Physics of The Spine"

Exercises to Avoid:

Seated Row:

Illustrative Example of the Seated Row Exercise

 

 

 

Back Extension:

Illustrative Example of the Back Extension Exercise

Bent-Over Fly:

Illustrative Example of the Bent-Over Fly Exercise

 

 

 

 

 

Sit-Up:

Illustrative Example of the Sit-Up ExerciseExercise should never place stress on the posterior spine. For example, the movement of strict standing or seated squats or bicep curls can cause the posterior back muscles to stabilize the weight mass in front of the spinal column. Despite these exercises being meant to work the legs or arms, they work the posterior back muscles, which have poor mechanical advantage. Proper form is essential to benefit from these exercises and avoid potential harm.

Bicep Curl:

Avoid this method of the Bicep Curl Exercise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Leg Extension:

Most people do not understand how the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) functions with the forces created at the fulcrum knee joint during the leg extension movement. Weight applied to the lower leg during the leg extension translates as upward shear stretching and tearing the ACL and compression into the articular joint surfaces. Ever wonder why you experience knee ACL pain? The physics of why we state no one should ever perform the leg extension exercise:

Illustrative Example of a Leg Extension of 25 pounds

As you lift your legs into extension, adding 25 pounds of downward pressure (amount of muscle effort) on your lower leg-ankle area creates 61 pounds of shear and 105 pounds of compression on the ACL. The job of the ACL is to stop the lower leg from shearing and dislocating to the anterior of the knee joint. The ACLs act like a rope and are remarkably strong but prone to injury because when stretched more than 6% of their normal length, they begin to tear. Tearing the ACL decreases joint stability, creates loose joints, and increases the risk of injury.

Illustrative Example of the Leg Extension Exercise

Time to stop believing the lies "a strong leg muscle makes a strong joint" or "a strong muscle takes the force off the joint." In Dr. John S. Scherger's "Physics Demonstration of the Leg Extension Exercise," he correctly states, "The joint is only as healthy as the condition of its parts (articular surfaces, ligament) to maintain the forces; created by muscle activity."

Leg Curl:

Most people do not understand how compression forces created by the leg curl movement affect the knee joint's articular surfaces or how the ACL stabilizes shear force during the exercise. In Dr. John S. Scherger's "Physics Demonstration of the Leg Curl Exercise," "We see the lower leg held in equilibrium stabilized against the knee joint……and the ACL stop(s) upward shear force of the lower leg as it sits at the joint". In his demonstration, when applying a vertical line of pull, the lower leg tries to move into dislocation in an upward direction. In Dr. Scherger's "What the Superior Athlete Possesses & How to Train For It – Musculo-Skeletal Physics of The Spine," diagrams depict during the leg curl exercise with weight applied below the calf above the ankle, that "When (the) leg is curled it would shear downward if the ACL did not stop all the weight. As the leg curl exercise stretches and tears the ACL, joint stability decreases, and the knee joints loosen and become prone to injury. No one should ever perform the leg curl exercise.

Illustrative Example the Leg Curl Exercise

Illustrative Example the ACL Shears Leg Curl Exercise

 

 

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Shears Downward During Leg Curl

All our How to Guides are free and written based on Dr. John S. Scherger's Manuals and Physics Demonstrations:

How To Do The Spinal Twist © 2021

How To Do The Neck Flexion © 2021

How To Evaluate Spinal Curvature And Athletic Ability © 2021

How To Do The Sit-Up With Power Cushion Or Over Sleeping Bag © 2021

How To Do The Pelvic Tilt With Power Cushion Or Over Sleeping Bag © 2021

Now you can train to improve, restore, and maintain the ideal S-shape spinal posture instead of accentuating or creating the incorrect neutral spine.     

www.SpinalFitness.com