Guidance and instructions for appropriate, safe, and effective SpineGym training
Why and how?
With the following exercises, you can activate and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles efficiently.
After just one to two weeks of training you will notice the following changes in your body:
- The deep muscles in your back and abdomen that are essential for the well-being of your back become stronger, their reaction levels and speed increase, and they become better able to protect your back against injury.
- Your back will become stronger and will not tire as easily during the course of a normal day.
- You will also notice a change in your neck and shoulders when tension is released as a result of improved blood circulation and muscle strength.
- Your stomach will get trimmer when the transverse abdominis get stronger.
- Spine-sparing exercises will also improve your posture.
The basic exercises take no longer than about five minutes to do.
Once your muscles have got used to the training, it is recommended that you do the exercises daily. Results can be achieved with using SpineGym 3 times a week.
In an ideal situation, people doing sedentary work would do the basic exercises (or at least the back arch, upper back exercise, and activation of the transverse abdominis) a couple of times during the course of their working day (the three exercises take two or three minutes to do).
Upper back exercise
This exercise targets the area of the neck and shoulders.
- The starting position is the same as in the previous exercise. Stand straight on the base with the belt in front of you and the poles behind your shoulders. Make sure that the belt is tightened so that it is pressed tight against your front when you stand up straight. This gives the poles the tension required for the motion and the pelvis is pressed against the belt, the lower back becomes activated, and the impact on the entire area of the back is intensified.
- Raise your hands in front of you, up to the level of your shoulders. Push your elbows back and your shoulder blades toward each other as far as you can. You should feel tension in your shoulders and in the area of the upper back.
Relax back into the starting position and repeat this movement 20–30 times.
Tip: You can make the exercise more effective by keeping your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle during the motion.
2. Working Phase
The exercise activates the flexor muscles and improves the mobility of the spine.
If you have spinal disc problems, be extra cautious when doing this exercise!
Never try to twist your body further than it will go easily.
- The starting position is the same as in previous exercises.
- Twist your body slowly to one side; you should feel how the poles offer more resistance the further you twist. Keep your body upright.Continue the motion slowly as far as your body will go naturally and easily. Maintain a slow and steady motion.
- Now twist your body in the opposite direction, maintaining a slow, smooth motion.
Aim to use only your upper body and keep your legs as motionless as possible.
Repeat this movement 20–30 times.
Tensing State On The Other Side
A targeted exercise for the lower back that activates the small muscles that support the vertebrae and the back muscles in general. Even though the impact is the strongest in the lower back area, the entire back from the bottom of the spine to the shoulders is activated.
- Stand straight on the base with the belt in front of you and the poles behind your shoulders. Adjust the height of the belt so that it rests on your pelvis. The belt length is correct when you can stand in an erect position with the belt sitting tightly against your front. Keep your arms relaxed either on the sides of the poles or in front of you.
- Keep your knees and ankles straight; do not rock your body but keep your legs straight. Push your pelvis forward against the belt and arch your back slowly backward. Keep your abdominal muscles slightly tensed throughout the motion.
Return to the starting position slowly and repeat this movement 20–30 times.
Remember the correct breathing technique: Breathe out slowly during the tensing stage (when tensing your muscles against the poles) and breathe in slowly when you are relaxing back into the starting position.
Tip: You can vary the exercise by moving your elbows backward while arching your back (keep your hands down, otherwise the motion will target the upper back) to activate the latissimus dorsi muscles.
Activation of the transverse abdominis
The transverse abdominis muscle is the deepest of the muscle groups that make up the abdominals, and it could also be said to be the most important one. It plays a key role in the control of the midsection and well-being of the back. It wraps around the spine for support and stability.
This muscle is often difficult to discover and strengthen, and one of SpineGym’s strengths is its ability to target exercise at this important muscle.
- Stand on the base with the belt snugly against your lower back and the poles in front of your shoulders. The belt length is correct when you can stand in an erect position feeling slight tension in the poles. Keep your arms straight against your body, with the palms turned forward.
- Aim to keep your shoulders still and do not bend forward. Instead, focus on pushing your back against the belt as if trying to push your behind backward.
Make the exercise more effective by pushing your hands steadily forward with palms facing forward as if pushing a large invisible object in front of you. Breathe out slowly during the exercise. You should feel tension around your stomach.
Relax back into the starting position while maintaining the tension in your abdominal muscles, breathing in slowly.
Repeat this movement 20–30 times.
Remember the correct breathing technique!
An exercise for the rectus abdominis
Being the most superficial of the abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominis muscles, commonly referred to as the “abs,” are not as important for the well-being of the back as the obliques and particularly the transverse abdominis. They are, however, important for the control of the upper body and when well-defined, they are visible as a six-pack, the goal for many gym attendees. The SpineGym Core Exerciser´s carbon fiber poles offer just the right level of resistance, regardless of your size, body type, and muscle strength.
- Stand on the base with the belt behind your lower back. Once your back and abdominal muscles have become stronger, you can add variety by placing the belt lower down, behind your buttocks. In the early stages, keep the belt behind your lower back where it offers more support to your back. The poles should sit in front of your shoulders. The belt length is correct when you can stand in an erect position with the belt sitting tightly against your lower back.
- Bend your upper body forward slowly by tensing your abdominal muscles and try not to move your pelvis. You can imagine pulling your shoulders toward a spot 3-4 feet in front of you by bending your body forward.
Remember to keep your ankles and knees straight, as the motion should take place above your pelvis with your legs staying as motionless as possible. The poles should not bend more than one inch and you should feel tension in your abdominal muscles, but do not use force.
Remember the correct breathing technique!
Tips for additional training
You can diversify your basic exercises by integrating resistance training to your SpineGym routine.
You can also use SpineGym for your dumbbell or bar exercises to offer additional stability.
There are several benefits compared with resistance or weight training without the SpineGym Core Exerciser:
- While working out your arm muscles, as a bonus, you can also target your deep abdominal and back muscles.
- Your back remains supported and in an anatomically correct position during the workout.
- You achieve cleaner motions as your body is more stable.
- The impact of the training is easier to put into practice as your body is supported, the exercises are easier and more comfortable to do, and you can concentrate on the correct motion.
SpineGym has been used and tested by the most demanding professional users we could find, and in the most challenging of environments on a daily basis. SpineGym has now passed all the practical tests we could think of, performing flawlessly in its stunning simplicity! Institutions such as the Finnish Army and Air Force, the Finnish Olympic Team, the National Ballets of Finland and Denmark are some of its happy users, just to give you an idea!
Research backed results
We have spent the last few years optimizing SpineGym and its training method. It has been thoroughly tested by the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences of University of Jyväskylä, Finland: a world-famous research center.
Test on sedentary workers (age 35-60 years):
20 person test group of regular, sedentary workers, were given 2 weeks’ training with SpineGym, exercising only for 5 minutes per working day. These were the results based on EMG measurements before and after the 2-week period:
- an average 80% improvement in back muscle activation
- an average 141% improvement in abdominal muscle activation
- significant improvements in posture
- significant improvements in abdominal muscle strength
- 90% of users found the training method from efficient to very efficient.
Test 2. SpineGym test on users of 70-90 years of age:
Test group performed 4-5 minutes of SpineGym exercises 3 times a week. Test duration 2 months. Average of the final test results:
- Standing balance: 74% improvement
- Walking speed: 41% improvement
- Muscle strength and coordination (chair stand test): 58% improvement
Most of the improvement was achieved already after the first month of exercise.
For more information, here is the Study
General information on backache, care for the back, and the significance of good posture.
- According to research, as much as 80% of Americans suffer from back pain at some stage
- About half of the population experience recurrent episodes of pain that affect the day-to-day running of their lives. Back pain is also the second common reason for visits to doctor´s office.
- Back pain is most common among 35–60-year-olds
- Backache is typically a result of weak muscles in the midsection
- Backache is linked to sedentary work, low levels of physical activity, physical labor, obesity, stress, and accidents
- Back pain decreases the ability to cope with daily tasks and results in accidents and incapacity for work.
- Taking care of your back can prevent back pain
- Strenghtening the deep stabilizer muscles contributes to good posture
- Strong abdominal and back muscles are the base for all movement
- Spine mobility should be maintained or improved
- Muscle strength exercises should be carried out regularly
- The spine remains supple, mobile, and in the correct position
- A strong core contributes to a better posture
- Functioning muscles help maintain physical ability
- Vertebrae and joints remain mobile and flexible
- Strain on the back is distributed evenly
- Tissue metabolism remains robust
- Quality of life improves