Rivak Hoffman is a former Surgical Physician Assistant who made the transition to holistic health and fitness 18 years ago He now successfully works at Every Bit Fit Arizona as a Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer and Spine Therapist. He has a lot of experience under his belt. He has helped improve the quality of life of numerous people since making the transition from perfunctory personal training to medical and corrective personal training. At the beginning of his career well over a decade ago, it seemed that majority of my clients who sought his services had difficult to manage severe lower back, neck and joint problems. This greatly limited Rivak’s scope of practice what he could do with individuals as far as improving or eliminating pain. This inspired Rivak to further his education in orthopedic and spine health at the famous CHEK Institute in San Diego, CA. Rivak learned how to objectively assess spine problems and quickly correct them. This had to be done with special patented tools provided by the CHEK Institute. Rivak now enjoys working and healing individuals with unique complex problems thanks to his CHEK Institute education. In giving back to the community, here are a few tips and tricks for those of you combating a painful lower back or neck. Remember the gym in many cases created the problem, to begin with, so please be intelligent in your actions. If your goal is the elimination of workout related joint or spine pain, then read on.
Every day when working, I see people hammering away on their abdominals with vigor in hopes to become leaner and more athletic looking. This style of aesthetic training is the furthest from the health-promoting truth and does way more harm than good. Exercising your abdominals in repetitive flexion it is one of the leading causes for lower back pain and abnormal postures due to over development of the anterior flexor chain and weakening of the posterior extensor chain. As a Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer and Spine Therapist it is my duty to educate people on the healthiest ways to apply proper fitness into their lives. It is important to recognize that many of the exercises done in the gym are destructive to your physical health and if you don’t know what you’re doing, then don’t do it at all! Otherwise, you will be hiring me to help resolve your lower back pain.
Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer Rivak Hoffman Says “Excessive abdominal crunching activates the entire flexor chain of the human body and this is not healthy”.
These three flexor chain muscles are the cervical flexors of the neck, the proximal aspect of the rectus abdominis below the 1st rib and the iliopsoas also known as the hip flexors. When performing a crunch on an abdominal machine or Swiss ball, the entire trunk of the body is worked into flexion by over facilitating these three trunk flexor muscles, which are known as phasic fast twitch muscle fibers. This style of training leads to faulty motor recruitment of the flexor chain and must be changed if you want a healthy pain free spine. If not, the end result is a Donald Duck-like posture with chronic excessive loading on the deep cervical flexor of the neck and lumbar spine.
Muscle Fiber Reality, And How They Cause Posture And Pain.
Fast twitch, over facilitated fibers, when properly facilitated should be conditioned for strength in the eight to twelve repetition range versus the typical 20-100 endurance repetitions that so many people do. Clearly, in this case, more is not better. These fast twitch abdominal muscle fibers should be carefully isolated and done in proper sequencing. This is a science in itself and to be discussed later. In short, when lower abdominals are carefully isolated with proper deep transverse abdominal and Omohyoid cervical spine stabilization. As a Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer and Spine Therapist, I have worked with competitive athletes who can barely perform 10 repetitions when deep abdominal muscles are properly activated.
EMG and biofeedback studies have shown that improperly performed abdominal crunches involve 25% cervical flexor activation, 55% hip flexor activation and 20% deep quadratus lumborum activation. So, I ask you where is the REAL abdominal work in this scenario? You are now forced to deal with sensory motor amnesia of the deep abdominal muscles!
EMG studies have also shown that improperly performed abdominal work also creates a “Naked Spine.” This orthopedic condition is the end result of shutting down the motor input of gross tonic postural stabilizers of the entire back which are responsible for spinal extension and a pleasing vertical posture. The result of a “Naked Spine” is the beginning of Kypholordosis. Remember the character Igor played by Marty Feldman in the movie Young Frankenstein?
Kypholordosis is visually disturbing, but the more serious side of this spinal anomaly is the major shear force placed on the entire spine. Beginning with the cervical neck flexor displacement. For every inch an 8-pound head is displaced forward, it can add 64 extra PSI to each intervertebral disc. (Ouch!) Rivak Hoffman Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer and Spine Therapist can measure this displacement with special goniometric tools and inclinometers. This provides good data to help straighten you out.
To a tight over facilitated upper abdominal perspective, for every 10 degrees of abnormal sternocostal angle of the first rib, respiration is decreased by up to 30%, making it difficult to breathe.
To an over facilitated hip flexor and synergistic quadratus lumborum expect the pelvis to tilt forward, which typically leads to an unstable pelvis and painful lumbar spine arthrosis.
According to Rivak Hoffman Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer and Spine Therapist, there are easy solutions to keep your spine healthy while working out.
Stop looking for fitness tips in bodybuilding magazines and online. Bodybuilders have more orthopedic pain and spine dysfunction then sedentary people . We are all built different, so one shoe doesn’t fit all. Functional properly sequenced exercise is very different and constructive to bodily health. Bodybuilding is not ideal for functional health. Most Bodybuilders report painful spines when waking up and inability to hold their torsos upright when brushing their teeth. You can look like an amazing athlete without performing haphazard lifts. A well educated Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer and Spine Therapist can dial you into a custom program. Always keep in mind that most strength training exercise is destructive to your health if done incorrectly and out of sequence.
Big quadriceps and powerful chest muscles don’t promote a healthy balance. In fact, they also contribute to over facilitation and flexion of the neck, shoulder girdle, and hips.
Think Extensor chain of the body. (Slow twitch tonic muscle) Think total body harmonics and balance. If you are confused and don’t know where to start, consult a professional who has the knowledge to point you in the right direction. When working out think about balancing out the muscles of the upper / lower back and gluteals with primal pattern movements. Always perform foam roller mobilization after your workout to centralize vertebral discs and and align joints.
About The Author.
Rivak Hoffman, President of Every Bit Fit Arizona is a devout health, wellness and exercise professional practicing his art in beautiful Scottsdale Arizona. He is a licensed Scottsdale Arizona CHEK Exercise Coach & Practitioner, a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, a Scottsdale Arizona Corrective Exercise Specialist, A Scottsdale AZ Medical Personal Trainer, a Scottsdale Arizona Precision Nutrition Coach and a Nationally Academy of Sports Medicine / Scottsdale Arizona Certified Personal Trainer. His passion and niche’ in the health and fitness industry is troubleshooting cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine dysfunctions, complete orthopedic rehabilitation and medical exercise training for the special populations. He has successfully healed hundreds of distressed and now happy clients who have been plagued with spine and other orthopedic issues over the past twenty years. Should you require a comprehensive, productive exercise therapy program to heal your medical issues, then contact Rivak for a complimentary consultation at EveryBitFitAz.com.