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NEVER Do This POPULAR Back Exercise!!! Do This Instead, Please

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in December of 2022. For the original video go to

Brad: All right, Bob. You and I know as well as trainers and all kinds of fitness people that the strength of your low back is very important. It's great for posture, for lifting, for preventing back pain.

Bob: Strong, like back.

Brad: Strong like bull and your back is good. But there's one technique that has been very popular over the decades. You and I have both taught it. Trainers teach it. And we need to stop doing it. We're going to tell you exactly what it is and what you can do instead to replace it in a safe way. Okay, the exercise we've been referring to is the Superman. So this really works the erector spinae group which is an important muscle group for back strength. However, we've got the book here by Dr. Stuart McGill. He’s done an incredible amount of research.

Bob: He's an expert.

Brad: He is an expert and he says this is one thing you should not do. Actually, they've done studies on it and there can be 1,300 pounds of compression force through the spine. It's not good. There's a lot better ways to do it. So let's go through the proper way to do back strengthening as opposed to the Superman. On all fours, or quadruped position, what you're going to do is get your back in a neutral position.

Brad: That's where you want to be. You're going to tighten up the core muscles, and then point your hand forward. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds. Now do the opposite leg, and do not lift it too high. When you get too high, then you also get too much compression. This is a good balance technique as well.

Brad: After you feel more comfortable with it, hold the position for 10 seconds. Then go down and, without stopping, you'll brush your hand through the bottom and then come back up without resting. Again, do that when you're ready. It takes some practice. Make sure you do both sides four to five times. You can work your way up to 10 repetitions. It's definitely going to work your core and back muscles, as well as give you a much better strengthening experience.

Bob: I feel "strong like back."

Brad: Bob feels strong. There's absolutely no more to talk about. Dr. Stuart McGill has spoken. We naturally listen.

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