Monday, May 29, 2017

Safe Spinal Flexion in the Pilates Roll-up

I never teach a full forward fold during a roll-up in mat classes. I understand this is a controversial topic, but I’d like to tell you why and offer an alternative to the classic roll-up with this potentially harmful position. Did you know that 60% of the population has a bulging lumbar disc with no back pain symptoms? A study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine sited these findings and it sent shock waves through the medical community. Think about all the people that you know with back pain symptoms or diagnosed bulging or herniated lumbar disc and the number increases. Now add in all of your clients, friends or family with tight hamstrings too. I don’t know about you but the number is pretty high in my world. Why do I mention hamstrings? Tight hamstrings tend to decrease the natural lordosis of the lumbar spine which can contribute to pain in the low back and increased risk of disc injury.

The forward fold both in yoga and in the Pilates roll-up is a lumbar disc rupture waiting to happen. The idea behind the movement is that bending forward from the lumbar spine with the legs straight will stretch the hamstrings and or the low back and make them more flexible. This just isn’t anatomically possible. If the hamstrings are tight there is a high likelihood that the lumbar region is unstable and will provide the slack needed to bend forward. Increased instability in the low back will result in the structures tightening not becoming more flexible. In addition, deep lumbar spine flexion puts a great deal of stress and tension (up to 200% of body weight) on the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the area and ultimately the lumbar discs. Oh, and it doesn’t stretch the hammies either.

In a mat class we may not get the luxury of assessing every single client to determine if this move is safe for them. Why put them at risk? In the accompanying video, I offer three version of the roll-up; the first is with a full forward fold, the second is with a forward fold into seated long sit posture and the third is with no forward fold. The third is the only roll-up I EVER teach. I like that the client can articulate through the joints of the spine using abdominal and hip flexors as the primary movers, stopping at a seated long sit position to practice good posture, and then articulating back to a supine position. Stopping at seated 90- degree at the hip joint will minimize the hamstring / low back problem I mention earlier. If your client has diagnosed low back issues, they should not be doing ANY lumbar flexion, so I would offer them a completely different exercise when you teach the roll-up.

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A Simple But Fast Way To Lose Fat After 40, 50 ,60
Working out is a much needed aspect of your total weight loss plan. However, if you lack the motivation to stick to your exercise routine, you're likely to falter and eventually stop working out completely. If you look hard enough you can find exercise that is fun to do. The following article is loaded with creative ideas to get you started and keep you going.

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Make sure you get clothes that look good on you. When you have something new and exciting to wear, you may find increased motivation. Choosing what colors and styles you want will be so much fun. New workout clothes will really make you want to move.

Monotony will sabotage your fitness plans so keep things interesting! It is important to keep motivation high so you don't quit. You should update your exercise routine on a consistent basis. Not only does it make your exercise time more fun, it also keeps you from losing interest too quickly. Once you lose interest, it will be almost impossible to get that motivation back.

When you reach a particular fitness goal, don't forget to treat yourself. This is a great way to stay motivated. Give yourself a simple reward for making your weight loss goal. This can be a new item of clothing, a book, an addition to your hobby collection, or a sinfully sweet dessert. Make sure your rewards are attainable and realistic.

Exercising doesn't have to feel like an obligation. Believe it or not, a workout routine can actually be a lot of fun. This article has some tips that will help you make your exercise plan entertaining.

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