Let me ask you a question.
If you sleep in a curled up position, sit down at a desk for the majority of the day, and then spend most of your time exercising doing presses and cardio... what do you think that does to your back?
The quick answer is that it rounds out your back and hunches you forward, thus tightening most of the muscles on the front of your body (like your hips flexors, abdominal wall, and chest). It also creates tight hamstrings which can severely affect your lower back health.
If you've ever had any back problems, it's time we tweaked your exercise program to help alleviate some of those back pain and tightness issues.
What we want to do is create an even balance between your front and back side. Now, this type of exercising is not commonly used because most people only work the muscles they can see in the mirror and not the ones on your back side (posterior chain). This type of training leads to excess tightness, rounded shoulders, and most likely a bad back.
Here's how to fix that.
For every forward pressing or squatting movement I super-set that with a pulling or hip dominant movement to focus more on your glutes and hamstrings. You'll also want to make sure you work all parts of your core, including your lower back.
That means you'll need to do a hip or back extension movement directly following an ab crunch or sit-up type exercise.
It's really a lot less complicated than you may think, and I shot a quick video to show you what one of the exercises you should do following an abs exercise looks like.
I hope it helps - here it is:
Good luck on your journey to reshape your body and achieve peak health.
Committed to your success,
Stephen Cabral, ND, CSCS
Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor
Health contributor for MTV, Men's Health, Women's Day, MAXIM, Diet.com, SELF
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