“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.
As we saw last month, strengthening your core is key to overall fitness.
While alot of people know this, they don’t always know how to improve it. From a personal [and personal training] perspective, it is that one place that always seems to be “in progress” – you know?
There are alot of gimmicky machines and “waist” trainers out there. Products that are said to “melt” your love handles away and “vibrate” your abs into being.
Let me level with you – if this were true, we wouldn’t have nearly as much to talk about after a trip to Walmart or the beach, or god-forbid, that Walmart right next to the beach.
In addition to de-bunking the myth of “easy abs”, you should also be aware that some exercise moves marketed at improving your core are not only largely ineffective but also highly likely to cause injury when not done in proper form.
Today we are highlighting the Weighted Side Bend. Also known as the Dumbbell Side Bend.
Take a look at these pictures:
WhaNotice anything… ?
… aside from the fact that the dude in the last picture looks like he has a T-rex arm?
Doesn’t it sort of look like they are in pain? Even the two that aren’t real people… did you cringe at all when you saw the position of their bodies?
Even if they don’t look like they are in pain, and even if you’ve done these before and didn’t FEEL pain. Your poor spine – you know that super important cord of nerves, tendons, and bone that works with your brain to make your body work – is hurting.
A few items of which to take note:
- This is NOT a natural position for your body to be in
- There is never a time in real life [unless executing this move] where you will find yourself tilting your body to the side like this – – -there is NO functional strength benefit
- The purpose of the core is to protect your spine by stabilizing itself while your arms and legs conduct motion – – to bend it to the side like this puts undue stress on the spine and all its parts
- The addition of weight to this move exacerbates the possibility of injury to your lower back and spine
- There are MANY other ways to work your obliques and build up your core that do NOT jeopardize your spine
- Trust me – you need your spine
Think of it like this – you need $1,000. You have a job and you know that you could save up the money BUT you have “like nothing to do all day and like, you need some excitement, because, like, your wi-fi isn’t working…” So clearly, the answer is to rob a bank . That would certainly get the job done. I am, of course, giving you credibility as a criminal and assuming you would not botch the job. But the risk is pretty insane for a measly thousand dollars. Especially when there are other ways.
Have I convinced you?
Ditch the Weighted Spine Destroyers and opt for something much more effective and safe like the side plank. Simply assume position and hold for as long as you can and then switch sides and do the same. No weights needed, no spine damage, AND you are building functional strength in your hip flexors and triceps too.
Doesn’t she look happier??
If you are feeling super strong, try this variation as well.
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pictures c/o community.myfitnesspal.com; womenshealthmagazine.com; trophyfitnessclub.com; fitnessmagazine.com; popsugar.com