Situps during Pregnancy
I be performing situps or crunches throughout my pregnancy?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
guidelines for the safe prescription of exercise state:
Women should avoid exercise in the supine position after
the first trimester. Such a position is associated with decreased
cardiac output in most pregnant women. Because the remaining
cardiac output will be preferentially distributed away from splanchnic
beds (including the uterus) during vigorous exercise, such regimens
are best avoided during pregnancy.
Up until that time consider crunches until you abs are conditioned
enough to support your spine during situps or any other hip flexor
movements such as leg raises.
Consult with your physician regarding your exercise program.
Congratulations and good luck.
Stunted Growth with Weights
I'm 15 but have no specific training regimen. Will bodybuilding
stunt my growth? I'm fairly short but I know I'll still grow
but I'd rather not risk my height for muscles I can gain later.
My legs are fairly large 22" calves are 16" my upper
body is puny I have no delts, traps you name it I would love
to have huge lats especially. My apology for asking I know you're
not the internets sports physician but I don't think I could
get excellent help except from you, look at the experience you
have gained and the information on your site!
Weight training will not stunt your growth unless you damage
your growth (Epiphyseal Cartilage) plates. This is rare and will
not happen if you follow a sound exercise program. To be safe,
avoid one rep maximum lifts for now and check your ego out at
the door; follow sound progressive weight training practices.
See weight training
guidelines. Certainly you can concentrate on your upper body
but realize squats
are the exercises can significantly increase the production of
in men, a muscle building hormone, for overall muscular development.
Also see Weight
Training for Youth.
Kids Weight Training
I thank you for your site - it's really helping get back into
shape after a long time and I'm feeling better for it!! I would
like your opinions on kids and weight training. My 8 year old
daughter sees me working with the weights and would like to do
some too. I've let her use the lightest weights (5 pounds) and
some basic exercises including push ups and sit ups (legs, arms)
and a few minutes on the bike. I don't want to send her away
because I would like to keep her interested so that she appreciates
her physical well being but as a growing child, I don't want
her to push too hard to damage anything. Perhaps you could add
a section on your site for kids. I thank you in advance for your
In the early days, orthopedic physician's expressed concern
that weight training would pose a risk to these structures in
youth. Later scientific studies failed to substantiate these
claims and even suggested resistance training can improve joint
integrity. Damage to epiphysis (growth) plates is possible during
severe trauma but extremely rare with weight weight training.
She will be much more likely to occur and injury during other
activities and sports, particularly if she does not perform regular
conditioning exercises, including weight training.
Your daughter can use more resistance with little danger,
as long as the workloads are progressive and time for adequate
adaptation is permitted. It has been dimistrated young children
can perform even perform Olympic style weight lifting with little
chance of injury. A repetition range of 10-15 reps is generally
recommended for pre-pubescent youth. ACSM even suggests a repetition
range of 8-12 reps for children, but never a weight so great
that they would be unable to perform at least 6 repetitions.
The child also needs to demonstrate adequate behavioral maturity.
Adult supervision is always recommended.
Also see books and
videos for youth. You can see several titles that give suggestions
for youth as young as 7 years of age.
Lower Back Rehabilitation
Your website is excellent. I am hoping very much that you
can help me. I am a 38 year old man. I am in pretty good shape.
I am 5 foot 10 in, 160 pounds. I injured my lower back at work
4 months ago. The doctor said I have a herniated disk in L4/5.
I am going to physical therapy. They use TENS and heat. It is
not helping. I have pain every day. I have a very hard time bending
to pick some thing up. My pain is worse in the morning when I
get out of bed. I am very stiff. I was reading your information
about the lower back. Would the Stiff leg Deadlift and Squats
help me or hurt me. Can you please make me up a quick routine
for my lower back. I have been in pain for 4 months. I want to
help myself and get better. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I would strongly recommend you listen to our audio internview
with Dr Brian Nelson,
MD. Find the link included to the Physician's Neck and Back
Clinics to obtain the following journal articles (listed below).
His peer reviewed outcome studies are extraordairy compared to
other therapies. Read these papers and share these peer refereed
articles with your physician. If your doctor does not seem to
be helpful, you should ask to be referred to a specialist such
as an orthopedic physician or sports medicine doctor. Although
the articles suggest a more aggressive treatment than what is
typically prescribed by mainstream therapists, I suggest to stay
away from squats and straight or stiff leg deadlifts at this
Understand the treatment of lower back pain is a controversial
and debated issue. Also understand that I can not legally prescribe
therapy for a specific injury since this a considered a medical
issue. In the US only a licence physician can legally do that.
Good luck and let me know how it is going.
- Nelson, B.W. (1993). A rational approach to the treatment
of low back pain. J Musculoskel Med, 10(5), 67-82.
- Nelson, B.W., O'Reilly, E., Miller, M., Hogan, M. Wegner,
J.A., Kelly, C., (1995). The clinical effects of intensive, specific
exercise on chronic low back pain: a controlled study of 895
consecutive patients with 1-year follow up. Orthopedics, 18(10),
Physical Therapy Prescription
I am a 67 year old male. Both my shoulders have been "frozen"
through accidents. Every few years they start to freeze-up again.
Is there a set of daily "movements", as opposed to
painful exercises, to keep the joints limber and prevent future
An examination by a qualified health care provider is required
for proper diagnosis and rehabilitation prescription. You are
advised to ask your general physician for a referral to see a
orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist to prescribe therapy