function and reduce the initial complaint through chiropractic care. Once things are functioning better, the emphasis moves onto why the problem was there in the first place and how we can stop it from coming back. This invariably will include some sort of stability exercises and stretches.
There are hundreds of different exercises and workouts out there and what is best for an individual will depend on numerous factors. A good question to ask is, what is the difference between an exercise done seated and standing? I came across some interesting research that I thought I should share.
As with any exercise, technique is very important. Good technique will give you better results with less risk of injury. Isolating a certain muscle can help work that specific muscle, but what is the rest of the stability system doing? To me it seems logical that when you are doing an exercise, or in fact any movement safely, you need your stabilising muscles to be firing as much as possible to give you the support you need. A study published in the Journal or Strength and Conditioning Research examined muscle activity of the core during common resistance exercises in seated versus standing position. The core works as circular group of muscles, and there are 3 main parts, the front, the side and the back. In this research they tested 3 muscles. The Rectus Abdominus (the front), the External Obliques (the side) and the Erector Spinae (the back).
What they found was amazing. When doing a dumbbell shoulder press, the core muscles were much less active when sitting rather than standing. In fact the EMG showed:
- When sitting the activity in the Rectus Abdominus was 81% lower than standing
- The activity of the External Obliques was 58% lower than standing
- The activity of the Erector Spinae was 18% lower than standing
These results are amazing. 81% is a big difference in muscle firing. The researchers quite rightly concluded that these types of exercise should be performed in a standing position.
After reading this research, I have looked at the exercises I am doing to see what else could be done safely in a standing position. The key point here is ‘safely’. If you want to change your techniques make sure you get proper instruction to make sure you are doing it the correct way. We don’t want more injuries.
To find out more about this and chiropractic care, or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.