Below is a video of one of my favorite core activation exercises. I love it…
If there is one core exercise I hate seeing people do, it’s the Twist-y machine that many gyms have. I don’t know what they call it, but you sit on it and hold your upper body still and swing your legs side to side as you rotate your low back..OUCH!
If you do this exercise machines – STOP -you are doing more harm than good.
It’s not your fault..how are you suppose to know. After all, they are available for you to use and why would a gym have equipment that is dangerous.
I don’t know the answer to that, but I guess it’s because most gyms are equipment rental places, not really “let me help you get fit and while not getting hurt” kind of places.
So, why do I hate it?
The twisty machine forces you to get the motion of rotation through your lumbar spine.
Guess what? The lumbar spine has only a total of 13 degrees of rotation (about 2 degree at each segment) according to Shirley Sahrmann, a renowned teacher, researcher and clinician of physical therapy.
That twisty machine has got you rotating more than that!
Our spinal rotation comes primarily from the thoracic spine (the upper back) and when that area is locked up, it will come from somewhere else, like the lumbar spine.
But as I stated earlier, the low back isn’t meant to twist and rotate that much so every time you get on that machine and start flinging your legs side to side and “feeling it in your obliques” you are damaging your discs!
What can you do instead?
Here are some ideas:
- Suitcase carry
- Side Plank
- Pallof Press
- Lunge while holding weight on one side
- Half-Kneeling Band Row
Let me know if you need help with any of these and for the sake of your low back, please STOP using the “twist-y” machine.