Understanding U

Lumbar Spine

Your Lumbar Spine consists of five, thick vertebrae, and its function is to support the weight of your torso and head – a tall order for just five links in the chain.

Now add to that the already burdensome job an overhead load such as with a squat or shoulder press and U will understand why the lower back is the most often injured area of the spine.

The Lumbar Spine can rotate, flex and extend, but even though it is pretty mobile, using correct exercise form is essential. U probably already know that when setting up for a squat or deadlift, a rounded back is quite dangerous. However, overcompensating by arching your back is no better and can cause vertebral compression, tilting the pelvis forward quite aggressively and shutting down the glutes and lower abs.

Superset Smarts

  • Supersets are an excellent technique for boosting intensity and volume, pairing two moves back-to-back that focus on the same muscle group. However, if U are lifting heavy, your spine endures a lot of compression, so the best way to do a superset is by pairing a move that is has a heavy spinal load with a move that has a light spinal load. This allows U to maintain proper form and still get great results.
High Compression Low Compression
Squat Hanging Leg Raise
Deadlift Chin-up
Overhead Press Lat Pulldown
Loaded Carry Dip
Bent-Over Row Bench Press

Extend Plank Walk:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Fold forward and plant your hands on the floor in front of U. Maintain a neutral spine as U walk your hands away from your feet until U come into a plank (hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned), then walk your hands out two or form more steps so U are in an extended plank. Hold for three seconds, keeping your core tight and squeezing your glutes so your hips stay in position, then walk your hands all the way back to your feet. Either standup and regroup or just go right into the next rep.

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