Thursday, May 13, 2004

Shrugs and the Cervical Spine

Strength Training AnatomyI never realized what toll the years of lifting were taking on my spine. Now, after having had a disc fusion surgery, I see this terrific article on reducing strength training injuries. Just in time! Sweet! It really is one of the best I've ever seen. What I'm guessing is that years of heavy shrugs, deadlifts and rows -- all with the head tilted forward -- conspired to make the trauma I received while playing basketball worse. I reiterate my recommendation: never have 180 lbs. land on your head. It really doesn't feel very good at all. Anyhow, for anyone training with weights of any significance, do yourself a favor and check this out.

...Exercises in which the head is allowed to nod or protrude forward may contribute to cervical spine injury by either promoting the postural defect... or by predisposing the athlete to cervical disc problems. The tendency to jut the head forward in exercises such as shrugs..., behind the neck presses..., behind the neck pulldowns, lateral shoulder raises..., triceps extensions, curls, incline leg presses, and abdominal crunches promotes the development of the rounded shoulder, forward head posture. This posture is associated with abnormal mechanical function of the cervical spine...

Minimizing Weight Training Injuries in Bodybuilders and Athletes

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