Why did 'abdominal exercises' that cause back pain become common sense in physical education?

In a physical education class when I was a kid, there are many people who have had a hard time doing abdominal exercises to raise their upper body while having their legs held down by their classmates. This is the same in the United States, and the American monthly magazine The Atlantic summarizes why the abdominal muscle exercise, which has long been synonymous with abdominal muscle training exercise, was introduced to the educational field and became obsolete.

The Death of the Sit-Up --The Atlantic


According to The Atlantic, the epidemic of abdominal muscles in the United States was triggered by urbanization that began in the 19th century. Concerns that 'the United States, a country of energetic farmers, will turn into a country of under-exercised urbanites,' were a particular headache for the army, which needed strong soldiers.

These anxieties have long influenced American thinking, creating a trend towards incorporating military training into civilian physical education. Then, in the 1940s, the U.S. Army introduced upper abdominal exercises into cadet exams and physical training, and abdominal abdominal exercises spread throughout the United States. The Atlantic says this is the direct reason why children have been forced to do sit-ups for more than half a century.


Georgia National Guard

However, with a better understanding of body movements and muscle function, abdominal exercises have gradually slowed down since the mid-2000s. For that reason, Pete McCall, an instructor at the American College of Sports Medicine, said, 'Old anatomists removed and observed the tissue around the muscles and thought that the abdominal muscles were needed to move the spine. He pointed out that it was because it became clear that certain muscles did not move alone.

It is true that the six-piece abdominal muscle, or rectus abdominis muscle, is the most prominent muscle in a tight abdomen, but there are many other muscles for body movement such as the diaphragm, abdominal oblique muscle, erector spinae muscle , and pelvic floor muscle . I know that is involved. Therefore, in fitness jargon, the word 'trunk' has come to be used instead of 'abdominal muscle'. However, it took decades to figure this out, during which time old anatomical misconceptions became widespread among people.

According to McCall, bodybuilders who tried to train each muscle first were the first to adopt exercises that emphasize specific muscles, including the abdominal muscles. In particular, the idea of 'spot training', in which you can reduce fat and increase muscle mass by aiming at a certain muscle and exercising, has persisted among exercise beginners who want to manage their sagging belly.

It is Canada's back pain authority,

Stuart McGill , who undoubtedly contributed to the abdominal exercises, especially the end of the upper body rise. McGill wasn't particularly interested in the abdominal muscles, but multiple studies of back pain revealed that raising the upper body puts a strain on the lower back, significantly changing the way fitness professionals think about exercise.

For example, from a study of belly dancer movements, McGill said, 'Belly dancers bend their spine repeatedly, but they rarely get injured. That is, even if you bend your spine under no load, your spine It doesn't have much effect. The problem happens when you bend your spine many times under a higher load. '

Bending the spine under load puts stress on the intervertebral discs, so farmers who often load crops on trucks are more likely to suffer from back pain later in life. Therefore, in recent years, when lifting heavy objects, it has been said that 'lift with your feet, not your waist.' However, for raising the upper body and crunching, on the contrary, you have to bend the spine many times without using your legs. This is the reason why abdominal exercises cause back pain. Some people do not hurt their lower back even if they do abdominal exercises, but whether or not they can do a lot of abdominal exercises depends on genetic factors such as lightness of the skeleton, so abdominal exercises are used in military and school tests and training. McGill pointed out that it was not valid.

In this way, the effectiveness of abdominal exercises was reviewed, and the US military began to remove abdominal exercises from the required subjects of testing and training, or to combine them with more orthopedic correct exercises such as plank . And with the military quitting abs, private trainers no longer encourage abs.

However, it may take some time for new information to permeate, so abdominal exercises may still be performed. 'A good trainer educates clients, but sadly some clients aren't convinced that they've done a good exercise without doing two or three sets of abs,' McCall commented.

in Note, Posted by log1l_ks