Viewing posts tagged intra abdominal pressurePosted by David Wang 2 years, 12 months ago Comments
Occasionally, you will hear "experts" ask people to not do squats, because it compromises the knee, the lumbar spine and is generally considered a very risky exercise. Horror stories of debilitating injuries are often attached to such statements. Frankly, I think such statements are over-simplified and taken out-of-context, as most health-related info are nowadays, and in this case, misinformation with exercise tips are definitely not out of occlusion. The truth is squatting (with or without added weights) is essential to lower body health and is even a great tool to rehabilitate the injured body. However, it is not to say that everyone will instantly benefit from the exercise and that preventative measures need not be taken to avoid injuries. There are always exceptions to the rule. Rather, my purpose for this entry is to approach the topic of squat safety objectively and to present my interpretation of the risks and benefits of the barbell squat.
However, if you have read and performed the exercises instructed in the previous blogs: IAP & Building.. Part-1, having grasped the fundmentals of how supportive muscles support your spine, and felt a subsequent improvement in the condition of your lowerback; then and only by then, your body shall thank you further for embracing the "deadlift".
Assuming that you have spent the effort to develope more control over IAP (intra-abdominal-pressure, see here), or that you were gifted with the inherent ability to control IAP at will, which is the basic fundamental skill that must be applied to all of the exercises geared towards strengthening the lower back; the following entry is the intermediate stage on 'how to build a stronger lower-back".
It would be convenient to picture the intra-abdomen cavity as a barrel-shaped container with nothing but air, but of course the abdomen is filled with vital organs and tissues leaving very little space for anything else. Nonetheless, and for the sake of biomechanics, let's imagine the intra-abdomen with just the skeletal frame, muscular sheaths and an air-tight skin layer.
In this routine, we are going to use pressure to strengthen the lower-back. The shape and structure of our trunk allows us to pressurize from the top, bottom and sides of the abdominal cavity causing the walls of the abdomen to stiffen up and thereby producing rigidity across the entire lower torso (including the spine). This multi-faceted compression thus create the very foundations of lumbar spine core stabilization.