WORST Ab Exercise EVER. Stop this today. Can Cause Back Pain & Sciatica.

WORST Ab Exercise EVER. Stop this today. Can Cause Back Pain & Sciatica.

Hi folks I’m Bob Schrupp physical therapist, Brad Heineck physical therapist Together we are the most famous physical therapist on the internet, in our opinion of course Bob Science-based how some abdominal strengthening exercises can actually cause sciatic and back pain There’s no doubt about it Bob and this science has been looked at time and time again over many years, right it’s just not in the last five or ten years but Malcomson have started way back Was it in the 50s i think it was the 50s and you’ve got a study and they measured the pressure The internal pressure on the discs And we know that as therapists a lot of people understand but, we’ve got to show where the disc is at least Brad well of course but the disc is if you’ve got a herniated disc or bulging disc it’s because pressure in the disc, the fluid in the discs is Causing it right, so we really Want to be concerned about not creating a lot of pressure in the discs, so the exercises for doing sit-ups can really increase the disc pressure and this has been done over and over time because there’s a lot better instrumentation Ways to measure it as of the last decade compared to back in the 50s and plus he’s got nice charts that show which position is kind of increased the pressure, so if you look up Malcomson studies, I’ll put it down below there’s some really nice charts in a number of them and you can go through them and see So, again just very quickly Brad in case they don’t know Where the discs are, so you have the vertebrae the bones that stack up to make your back, in between the bones are the cushions Those are the discs and that’s where the increased pressure can occur and the increased pressure can Cause the discs to actually herniate and bulge, hit the nerve, send pain down the leg or can even just cause Good old back pain sometimes too, right as a matter of fact a good friend of mine I watched them At the gym he was doing the exercises we’re gonna show and I was watching my thought, was oh no Anyways later on later that week, we were talking she’s said my back is bothering me, I said You really got to look at your abdominal strengthening protocol, by the way Brad, before we go any further if you are New to our channel please take a second to subscribe to us, we provide videos on how to stay healthy, fit, pain-free, and we upload every day, also go over to the Facebook And like us because brad and I, it’s a tragic tale, were not liked as children And we’re trying to turn things around, let’s do it Brad, okay here we go, okay, I think it’s working too Bob Okay, so this study we’re to look at the pressure in the discs and they’re calling standing with good posture Being 100% normal pressure So if 100% is normal then the next thing the lowest pressure they got was actually lying supine and you could Imagine there’s gonna be less pressure cuz you’re spread out, I thought lying supine was with your feet up, was I wrong? You’re right you’re exactly right Bob, that’s we always we always advocate, I’m gonna throw this in there real quick, we always like the leg wedge, but this wasn’t at 0% This was 25% yeah? yeah So it went from a 100% here this actually knocks it down to 25% Pressure on the disc, right, now if you do this and lift Your back, I’m gonna do it so i can hold it like this, because i never Do my situps this way obviously, but if I hold here then and I bring my legs up I go from 25% to 210% So and this is the position you see a lot of people go in, to try to do some high level abdominals right they’re working on that six-pack, you know I admire their inspiration and their dedication, it’s working that by all means but you’re also putting a lot of stress on the back at the same time, now Brad What if they just do sit-ups? You know if you’re doing full situps Oh, like this? Right because that’s the same, that’s causing increased pressure too, you’re doing a very similar thing, right in through, a lot of stress on the back, that’s why they tell you not to do sit-ups, it’s bad for your back, but yeah the worst thing is to have both coming up I just wanted to make sure we’re clear as mud and then people will take either A plate that comes from a barbell or one of these And then they’ll start putting to get the obliques in and they’ll be going like this and i’m not Gonna do it too long because I don’t want to hurt my back If you want to hurt your back for some reason, you don’t want to go to work anymore And you want to blow a disc That’s a good one to do, yeah keep doing these Month after month, year after year now I know there’s gonna be people out there saying they’ve been doing them for years and there are People that have inherently genetically very strong backs They may be able to, but there’s a lot of people whose backs are going to degenerate, I guess is that you’re gonna keep doing it and you’re gonna be seeing us in about a year that’s just my thought, I mean you’re not gonna get away with it, so Bob what are we gonna do? We just can’t say this is the worst thing in the world, we gotta give some options, let’s give some alternatives What i like to do is keep the spine flat on the floor as much as possible right yeah Because when you keep it flat you’re keeping it safe So we’re not going to come up like this to bring the shoulderblades off at all the shoulder blades will maintain Contact, the sacrum or the pelvis will maintain contact and all you need to do is you can do You’re still strengthening and you’re not putting stress on the low back, Watch your head, we’re not doing this, keep the neck in a neutral position And work here and at this point I don’t have a problem, put some weight here, If you want to work it harder but there’s other options too One of them is, you want to grab me the ball Bob? Now remember in that position like this Now this is a little higher than we showed before But this actually will take the stress off the back, so we’re down in that near the 25% range Now, this will put a little more stress on the spine but we’re still, well below standing and we’re just, gonna And you’re still keeping the back flat right, so yeah the stresses are obviously going to be lower right and the abdominals are working Quite nicely here the lower abdominals and if you want to combine it, make it more challenging Put them both together, my back stays flat, it feels very comfortable on my back And i’m working my abdominals as you can hear my voice And then I wanna do what they did in the first Rocky movie or second Rocky movie where he’s going, boom boom I’m strong like boar And you can throw the the obliques like this, and here you’re working, this one really works And again Brad’s got spinal stenosis and you’ve been doing these for years and you feel like it’s actually strengthened Your core and helped you out, oh there’s no doubt There’s no doubt about it I can show the dead bug? Yeah show the dead bug Bob, because there I show some options, so again you’re Flat on your back so everything is nice and stable and You can, go ahead and do these, I do these, I just go back and forth like this I can go with the leg straight, flutters, now there’s one point I do Want to bring up Bob is, I’m flattening my back, if i were to put my hand Under here, he does a posterior tilt he Pushes down and he maintains that more neutral spine, the spine doesn’t arch up, let’s say you’re just beginning Brad, you know this might be a little more aggressive than you should be, just go ahead and touch back And forth like this So he’s talking about touching right here, there’s a big difference between doing it at this state and then going like that And then you can also throw the arms in like this, that’s the part of the dead bug Aren’t you supposed to alternate? It’s a coordination thing, either way, your abdominals are really good, you’re getting a good workout Anything else Brad you want to include? Do you want to show the discs? Actually Bob I do wanna show the ball, This really works out nice You’re gonna have to hold my Normally when I do this I have my feet up against the wall it depends on the proportion of your body, There, now go ahead I put my toes up against the wall, I don’t want to do it over there because it’s too hard to get a camera shot but now My low back is supported by the ball, and i’m gonna do this, and you can really feel the difference With this how it supports your back, now there’s gonna be people including I did this, I thought this was about 15 years ago I’m gonna get it really worked and I would go back like this and arch way over and not only that I took a 25 pound plate Now you’re starting to put pressure on it, yeah and I got a real nice backache, so I decided maybe I shouldn’t do that anymore Not a good one to do, and I went back to this, again there’s gonna be those real strong tough People that can do that, they’re gonna say I’ve been doing it for years Yeah, and there are some you know There are some people who can do it but we’re talking About for the average Most majority of people, be nice to your back, for your core too Brad you can just do stuff like this Where you’re working your back and your core a little bit you know I always like to throw These in here and that’s a good point Instead of just working the stomach muscles and becoming one sided you need to work the muscles on the opposite side as well So I’m getting some core but i’m also Getting the back strengthening here too with that so, Bob before we go any further, have a seat, sure, because we’re talking about the core And the back and all these wonderful exercises but you know it is christmas now yeah, we’ve got the christmas tie on here and Lonnie’s been working hard all year long, Lonnie come on up We got a gift for you Lonnie, her eyes just opened up that big, come on This is the wonderful woman behind the camera, Alright, thanks everybody for watching you


  1. Is it normal to have pain down my groin and burning down both thighs to about knees omg it's stopped everything in my life .i feel this problem has ended everything about me I have had enough I have followed every exercise you post it's not working please comment

  2. Love your videos!! Quick question: does back extension add pressure to your back? Can i perform it as an alternative to deadlifts?

  3. I have a question what about yoga when you bend forward from a standing position all the way to the floor and I think the knees are supposed to be straight is that bad for the discs? Or even when you're sitting down and touching your toes with your legs stretched straight out

  4. Holy cow, you’ve nearly reached half a million subscribers! Your videos are extremely helpful, so it’s good to see your audience growing so quickly. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom with us.

  5. Has anyone ever seen Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation on yt in India? lots of yoga explanation, yogic science, kriya which is meditation and demos

  6. Hey I have had Low back pain and hip pain for about a month now I am very active and run a lot and I play sports I was sprinting and I felt like I pulled a muscle in my lower back i've watched every one of your videos on it and have tried the exercises nothing helps much i've made it where I can jog jump and lift weights but I still don't have complete mobility in my hips it feels like sciatica but i'm not sure please help

  7. I have learned a lot from your videos. Just changing my ab exercises alone have helped alleviate my back pain. Thank you so much!

  8. This is YouTube at its best. You guys are really good at this – I hope you reach a million subs in 2018. Have a great year – I'll be tuning in. My theme for 2018 is Get Fit! I'm pretty healthy, but need to lift my fitness. Thanks

  9. It's funny how after I posted that comment about their popularity they started saying "in our opinion of course" I feel special.

  10. This is extremely important for EVERYONE TO KNOW FROM MY LIFE THREATENING EXPERIENCE……… If you can't stand up straight with pain , sit down an a chair with a back to it. Sit all the way back and if you feel like there is something bulged between you and the seat and knowing there isn't anything in between, please get to the emergency room A.S.A.P!!! It could be life and death. That's how I found out that I had two popped out lumbar discs going down my spine. The Neurologist of University of Maryland told me I had to have emergency surgery or I could die or be paralyzed for life like a vegetable. My discs almost severed my spine. At first the one doctor in the ER told me it was just a pulled muscle. I knew better because I lived being athletic so I know what a pulled muscle is and this was no pulled muscle. So she came back to me to be on the safe side she said and she had two pointed sticks and she started poking my legs and feet. She asked me do I feel the pokes on my legs and I said yes. As she was talking to me she was poking my feet that I didn't feel. Then she sent me for emergency M.R.I's and x-rays. After tests were all back the nurse ran to me and told me that it's a life and death situation and they told me not to go home because I had to have emergency surgery. University of Maryland saved my life and everyday I thank God for everything and for all my nurses, doctors , surgeons at University of Maryland. I was so close to death and didn't even know it. I thank God for letting me be here for my three boys. I am the only parent they have after their dad past away with cancer. God Bless you all and be kind to your back. you only have one spine.

  11. Thanks guys. I find when I lie flat with my knees up there is a need for me to put a pillow under my butt to ease my back. Why is that?

  12. Can you please make a video for people who spend A LOT of unnegotiable time (as in several hours) driving every day? Frequent/sustained use of my driving foot causes uneven weight distribution and muscle tension throughout the body, from legs to neck. Any pointers would be appreciated!

  13. is it away I can email you guys or call I have gotten a.question I got pressure in my back from sitting Indian style to long on my bed , I noticed this pressure the same night Im wondering did I pull something its the very lower back pressure around the spine

  14. Hello
    Please, could you put a summary in the end of each video, such as put some figures with little word or symbols.
    Thank you so much

  15. god, no wonder my lower back hurts……new years resolution….educate self and exercise properly. i am getting older and my body feels like it is falling apart despite living a "healthy lifestyle"…..i think i have been doing moves that are "ruining" my body…..oops…..thanks for the informative video's

  16. No wonder I'm in so pain after I do crunches. Did the bad exercises last night, stretched, & still woke up in pain. Thank you gentlemen for making this video. Now I know better.

  17. do you think that i could incorporate a stabilizing disk for the dead bug? much thanks! i watch you guys and i am subscribed! I also train in Brazilian jujitsu, so this will help extend my training <3

  18. As a physical therapist myself, I really enjoy watching your helpful videos every time. There is a lot of nonsense and dangerous workout content out on YouTube. Thank you for being a guiding light on exercises.
    A video of back exercises which one should not do would be also very helpful. Just a suggestion.
    Greetings and cheers from Germany!

  19. Yes, I got taught to do those situps at a gym while I told them I had a bulging disk. Needless to say they did not get my money, I walked out. My chiropractor I found by accident has and still is my saviour.

  20. Hi Bob and Brad ! I have recently discovered your channel and think you are doing a great thing here.
    I wanted to ask you if you had any useful exercises for forward rounding shoulders and the pain caused by that. Maybe something that could strengthen the muscles too. I have quite a lot of issues with that despite doing my best to take care of my posture.
    Thanks very much and hope you had a lovely Christmas! wishing you happy new year too 🙂

  21. The top cupboards r driving my OCD crazy lol.
    I had lumbar fusion nearly 2 years ago & still get a lot of spasms in my back especially when I go for my walks. I had all the lumbar nerves cooked bilaterally in June but still getting the spasms.I’m doing very small movement crunches aswell. I’m trying to strengthen my back & tummy muscles so I don’t get any further injuries/problems. My L4/L5 & L4/L3 discs aren’t great but don’t require any treatment atm. What’re ur thoughts on the spasms? Is it because my muscles are still weak from the fusion? My physio saids not to do any crunches or sit-ups but how can I strengthen those muscles if I don’t any???
    Backs are such a complicated thing, it frustrates me to no end. I’m in Perth, Australia 😊

  22. No matter which ab exercise I do my lower back spine burns after about 12 reps. I must stop for a bit and do another dozen or so. I work out at the gym, walk and cycle so for 75 yrs of age I am reasonably fit. WHAT TO DO?

  23. Hi Bob and Brad… I suffer with sciatica and I have been doing your recommended abs exercises and the other exercises to help heal the herniated disc. Please tell people in another video to be very careful using the kettle bell. I finish to injure my disc doing a kettle bell swing, so that exercise in particular is very dangerous. I no longer use a kettle bell ever again and I follow your excellent exercises for the abs and they have help me a lot. I go to a physical therapist and also with him I have done many of your exercises for heal the sciatica. Thanks for all your videos, they are excellent!😉

  24. One of the best channel I know on youtube. Period.
    Education, simple and efficient.
    They saved me from back pain and shoulder pain for free !!!!

  25. You 2 fellas are alright , I had back surgery 2 months ago and wanted to find a way to get my core strength back to some way like it was before I slipped my disk in the First place as I am a builder and lifting is a big part of my job any way I have been watching a lot of your videos and have got a lot of good information from them so thanks fellas your good fun to watch as well

  26. Excellent video! Does this mean the Russian Twist is not good? Looks like it~especially with weight….Have a Happy New Year guys!

  27. i seriously just started doing these because of a suggestion. I am SO glad there are other options. Thank you so much. 👍😊

  28. I have been recently doing these in my room thank God I watched this video to know why I had lower back pain recently.

  29. what about a cable pull down crunch? still bad? I feel far more control to slowly move in cable pull work and not pinched like when on any floor ab exercise

  30. Hey Doctors, I am really appreciate what are you doing, but like Simon I have the same problem, but since almost 7 months ago, I have Low back pain and hip pain. I used to work out, but I stopped because my problem. I went to the chiropractor, helped me for a few weeks, but the pain is still there specially at night time. I watched every one of your videos and have tried the exercises. The worse part is when I am going to bed. I still don't have complete mobility in my hips and all over my legs always is like I am carry weights i'm not sure what is going on with me. please help

  31. You have been a fantastic resource for me over the past month. Been suffering from rotator cuff wear, elbow tendinitis and lower back pain due to years as a pro house painter. Quit the painting (I'm 58) but still doing fairly intense resistance training so this is very helpful info. Want to know if doing cable crunches, where I am on knees holding rope to sides of head and curving upper back into a crunch, is ok? Thanks.

  32. So, is Pilates a no-no? So much of it has you create that 'C-curve' shape for workouts. Thanks for all you do… valuable information!

  33. Just came across you guys and glad that happened. I have watched several of your videos and like them a lot. They seem like very reasonable, common sense advice backed up by a sound education. The videos flow well with good to the point info without hype, song or dance. At least in my opinion you care commenting on some fairly dry material in a lively clear way. Great stuff. Thanks.

  34. I'm looking at this…..and it makes sense! Only I'm thinking we don't even need to come up as high as Brad shows…..even to come up only an inch or two should work, especially if it's held for a few seconds?

  35. It's so nice to have an exercise channel that doesn't involve some shirtless guy constantly flexing his abs. Just 2 gentlemen in shirts and ties.

  36. Thanks Drs.!!! I appreciate the tips to stay safe & get the max benefits from my workouts! I'm all about #properform!!! & NOT injuring mySELF! <3

  37. Had to do a lot of situps in the Marine Corps as a requirement. 100 in two minutes. No wonder us Marines have back problems!

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