Yoga for Posture – Don’t Do That

Crisis and Change

Over the last couple of months, we have undergone a tectonic shift. We’ve seen massive disruptions in the economy, our lives and our work. Those of you who have been with me for a while will have noticed that this here little blog has also been affected by the Bat Eater special.

Overcoming Pain, Regaining Mobility, Learning to Stand Up Right

disappeared for a time while I noodled;

  • Change
  • Crisis
  • Opportunity
  • Success

Relaunching Posture Monday Yoga for Posture

Then, as I layered on new goals for my life and, I worked through the topics and gave you a little peek into the plans and inner workings. At the end of it all, I found my way back to posture and back pain, relaunching Posture Monday and Posture Thursday with new exercises and stories.

In a highly amusing coincidence, last week I started a post on flipping my Posture Monday script from exercises to help your posture to exercises that hurt your posture. Instead of a “do this” post, I started a “don’t do that” post.

Then, just this very morning, I received an email from entitled, “Are Crunches/Situps bad?”

Guess what I chose for the the first two entries in my naughty list. Go on, guess, and no peeking ahead.

Now, Yoga for Posture posts are normally a step by step how to procedure for a particular exercise that is helpful in improving your posture. Today, there will be no instructions. The following exercises are bad for your back, so I’m not going to teach you how to do them, simply admonish you not to bother learning how, and simply don’t.

Don’t Do That

A partial list of back-unhealthy core exercises:

  • Sit ups
  • Crunches
  • Inchworms
  • Seal kicks
  • Spider mans
  • Boat Posture 100s
  • Boat Posture Russian Twists

What do all of these exercises have in common? Lumbar flexion; the outward bending of your lumbar (lower) spine.

Your lumbar spine is meant to be inwardly curved, and in modern life we already spend far too much time with it flat, or curved outward. Every exercise listed above (and many more) share two properties:

  • They round the lumber spine out
  • They dynamically load (put active, moving force on) the outwardly rounded spine.

I have given you many core exercises that are spine and posture frie


ndly. If you are ever in an exercise class (HIIT classes are particularly bad for these) that incorporates any of these exercises


Don't Do That
Wisdom of the Ages

Ask the instructor for an alternative, or simply pick one from your own repertoire. If the instructor tries to insist you do it his/her way, tell them you have lumbar issues. If he/she still insists, tell him that Andrew gave you permission to replace the exercise with one that won’t leave you crippled. If that’s not enough, sit out the exercise. Last resort, leave.

You only get 1 spine in this life, don’t wreck it.