Learning Something New About the Scoop


Sometimes I get lucky and a health care provider will talk with me, at the clients request.  The information I get from those conversations has always proven to be invaluable.  About a month ago a chiropractor mentioned something in passing. He said the customary “scoop” actually destabilizes the spine. WHAT?!

It stopped me in my tracks. About 15 years ago I was taught that the act of pulling your belly button into your spine — THE SCOOP — was the way to stabilize your back and core. I began teaching it not only in my Pilates classes, but with my personal training clients. The chiropractor suggested I look at the work of Dr. Stuart McGill.

I spent the next 6 hours reading through the articles and my text-book by Dr. McGill.   Dr. Stuart McGill, Professor of Spine Biomechanics in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, says that drawing in the belly button (transversus abdominus) actually isn’t the way to protect the spine and build the core. He says the best is to brace or tighten the muscles rather than push them out or pull them in.  My chiropractor friend says that pulling them in actually makes you more vulnerable to injury.

Honest folks, I was only passing along what I learned.  However, it doesn’t stop there! Dr. McGill has rocked my world and that of the fitness community.  So you must watch this video and  look at what you can do to change your abdominal training.   This New York Times video with Dr. McGill shows exercises we should be doing as well as those we have always thought were great for us.  http://fixyourownback.com/blog/?p=90

Let’s save that back.

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