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Be Kind to your Core
Stop doing Sit ups

Do you move? Do you like to do things other than laying still? Do you prefer not injure yourself or have pain? If this is you, then maybe it's time to reach out to that long lost friend, the core, and show it just how much you care. Trust me, your hips, low back, knees, etc will thank you for it.

Here is a quote from Matthew Szelog, an atheletic trainer and sports performance specialist. "The core can be considered the surrounding muscles that support your spine, provide stability, and help generate power during athletic movements. They consist of not just a specific muscle group, but a multitude of muscles that work together to provide optimal support and function." Two big take aways from this statement are that your core muscles HELP YOUR SPINE and that the core is more than just your abs.

"Hey, Dr. K, I do 100 sit ups a day. My core is AMAZING."

Eeeh, maybe you do have the best, most amazing core out there but sit ups definitely didn't get you there. Sit ups are notoriously done incorrectly and actually can damage some of the important tissues of the spine. The force that is placed on the low back discs (discs are the soft tissue structures between the bones in our spine) while performing a sit up is very similar to the force that can actually cause a disc herniation. A disc herniation is when the integrity of the disc gets compromised and can result in the bulging or loss of disc material. It can be a very painful situation that is best avoided.

In case you need a couple more reasons to avoid sit ups, I happen to have two more. First, we flex our spines all day long while sitting. We sit while we eat, work, drive, and relax. There is no need to exercise with even more flexion. Secondly, our core muscles do so much more than just flexion, by focusing on sit ups we are overworking the core in one direction instead of all directions. Don't put your core muscles in a box, let them run free. Sit ups are not the super-exercise we have all been taught they were, so unless you are very diligent with your form and do other forms of core work, it's best to just skip these bad boys and focus on ones that have your best interest at heart.

Here are some alternatives that are much safer for your spine:

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