This weekend, we have another challenge with practical applications in addition to building your bones.
You see, bending over to pick up something heavy – and doing it the wrong way – can hurt your lower back, your vertebrae, and other areas, too.
That’s why I can’t wait to share the Spine And Lower Back Protector with you.
In addition to strengthening muscles and building your bones in fracture-prone areas, the Spine And Lower Back Protector shows you how to pick up objects off the floor without getting injured.
Plus it also works the muscles involved in lifting, so that as you keep practicing this exercise, picking up things will become effortless.
Let’s get started!
Bending over to lift something up is natural for the human body – and it’s necessary, too. But done incorrectly, such a movement can cause pain or even spinal injury.
To prevent such problems, it is important to train your muscles and bones to do this correctly – and that involves strength training.
The “Dead Lift”, which is the typical name given to this move, has gotten a reputation as an exercise that could damage the spine, but today I’ll explain why this is not so.
Of course, lifting barbells that are too heavy for you and doing it incorrectly will hurt you. But if you practice the right form, there is no better exercise for strengthening the muscles you need to effortlessly and safely lift objects off the floor – while you’re also building your bones.
The correct form for lifting is to keep the back straight and neutral and bend at the hips, not the spine. Also, this move teach your glutes to share the weight load. All this prevents the compressive load from damaging your spine.
Interestingly, sitting hunched over also puts a great deal of compressive load on the vertebrae; it’s just that the damage is more subtle and long-term.
Lifting correctly is one of the most comprehensive exercises you can do. It strengthens the glutes, hips, core, arms, legs, and back, plus, a study has shown that it increases overall bone density, even in the lumbar spine area. 1 It particularly targets the lower back and spine for stability and strength.
Bear in mind that your body is made to respond to the demands you make on it. This is true for Wolff’s Law, which states that bone growth is stimulated when stressed by the action of gravity and muscle, and Davis’ Law, which states that soft tissue also responds and adapts to the stresses and demands placed on it (more on this below).
You don’t need heavy barbells for the Spine And Lower Back Protector; in fact, you can begin by not using any weights at all to get a feel for the motion. If you want to use weights, simply use light dumbbells (one in each hand) or food cans, and work up to heavier ones if you get the hang of it.
Note: if you are experiencing backaches or any other back or spinal issue, or if you have compression fractures, check with your health practitioner before you try this exercise with weights.
Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Hold the weights (if using them) down beside your hips, palms facing in.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and hips, keeping your back straight, and lower the weights down beside your feet (you don’t have to touch the floor – a few inches above is fine).
- Breathing out, stand back up to the starting position.
- Repeat 10-20 times, or whatever feels comfortable for you.
- Do not bend your spine. Your back should stay straight as you bend forward at the hips.
- Your arms stay straight throughout this exercise; you do not bend your elbows.
How Your Bones And Your Body Respond To Exercise
Many Savers are well aware of Wolff’s Law; the Osteoporosis Reversal Program discusses it at length, and the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is based on it. It is the principle behind exercising to increase your bone density – when stressed by the pressure of muscle and gravity, bone responds by increasing in strength and density.
Davis’ Law may be new to many Savers. It is, in fact, a companion to Wolff’s Law since it applies the same principle to soft tissue (muscles and ligaments). In other words, your muscles adapt to the load (or lack of it) that you put on them.
If your muscles and ligaments are strained and stretched (as your neck muscles are with forward head posture, for example), then the soft tissue will eventually elongate to accommodate the strain. Conversely, soft tissue that is continually lax (such as the pectoral and abdominal muscles when you are hunched forward) will eventually shorten.
This is why exercising is so crucial for proper muscle tone and skeletal alignment, and exercises like the Spine And Lower Back Protector can help you do just that.
The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System Covers It All
Both Wolff’s Law and Davis’ Law are put into practice with Densercise™. Through weight-bearing, resistance, and postural exercises, soft tissue gets worked out of its sedentary patterns, and bone growth is stimulated.
The exercises in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System target key areas of the body that are prone to fracture, such as hips, wrists, and ankles. The moves also engage the core muscles, and the muscles of the back, legs, and arms. Nothing gets missed!
Have a great weekend!
1 Karlsson et al. “Bone mineral density in weight lifters”. Calcified Tissue International. March 1993, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 212-215.