Innovation in Abdominal Muscles
The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Innovation in Abdominal Muscles

A standard recommendation for back pain is to stand with one foot up, or in front of the other. Why? Pubs often have a foot rail to put your foot up. Why? This post shows 1. A major missed cause of the pain, 2. An innovative relief, 3. The missing link of what abdominal muscles actually do.

1. The Cause
If you stand with your behind tilted out in back (middle) and/or lean the upper body backward (right), you increase the normal inward arch in the lower spine.

Overarching produces a mystery ache after long standing, walking, running, and lifting overhead. People who do this feel they must bend forward or sit to relieve this pain, or put one foot up. These movements reduce the painful arch. The pain reduces, and may later return when the person returns to injurious bad slouching (standing in hyperlordosis).

Often no injury shows on x-rays or scans. The person may be told nothing is wrong. Or that they have a back "condition." They many be told to strengthen their muscles, or improve endurance, or given pain suppressing medicine. Those do not stop the source of the injury. Over years, the facet joints (joints of the vertebrae) may finally wear out. Sometimes other things show on x-rays and the patient is treated for the scan results, the pain masked with drugs or returning mysteriously because this cause went unaddressed. Injections and surgery are frequently prescribed, but not necessary. Why not?

2. The Relief
The latest "buzz-phrase" in fitness is that back and abdominal muscle endurance, more than strength, is important in solving back pain. However, that still leaves out the key - improving endurance with conventional core training does not train you to stand without overarching. It is not automatic.

The innovation is not a new pill, device, or footrest, or to improve strength or endurance with crunches (not good for your back anyway), or to work on one particular muscle, for example the overrated multifidus. The innovation is to stop the source of the pain then and there, by reducing the over-arch to normal, small inward curve called neutral spine, with simple spine repositioning.

  • The left photo shows overarching. It is not the normal curve to the lower spine. The silhouette of the lower back is hidden by the arm, but you can see the beltline tilted downward in front and the hip tilted forward in front and out in back. The length of the abs is roughly marked by distance between the hands.
  • The right photo shows reducing hyperlordosis to neutral spine. Try it yourself by standing with your hands on the bottom of your ribs and center hipbone. Straighten your torso, as if doing a slight crunch standing up. Hands draw closer. The belt line levels. This is normal, straight, relaxed standing position.

The post Prevent Back Surgery showed overarching in action, and gave another quick method to learn neutral spine.

3. How Abs "Support"
The muscles that you happen to use to tuck the hip under until you reach neutral spine are your abdominal muscles, including obliques. That is the innovation. You stop the source of pain and get free built-in abdominal muscle exercise at the same time. No tightening, just functional use as a lifestyle. That is what abdominal muscles do. They prevent overarching - but only when you use them.

To direct treatment to fixing the source of pain, and to replace conventional core training with something that applies better to real life, I developed an innovative technique that specifically trains core muscles functionally - which means maintaining healthy spine during daily use. It is called The Ab Revolution™ and has two parts. The first details how to get comfortable neutral spine to stop pain during daily life, no special or strenuous exercises needed. The second part is for people who want healthier exercise. Exercises range from simple to high. Students using the book asked for more illustrations, so Part I of the newest edition has 49 illustrations. Part II on functional strengthening has 65 illustrations, both with step-by-step instructions. If you use the book, use the newest third edition, expanded. Here is the link to my BOOKS page to see it -

Related Posts:

Read success stories of these methods and send your own. Before asking questions, see if your answers are already here by clicking labels under posts, links in posts, archives at right, and The Fitness Fixer Index. Subscribe to The Fitness Fixer, click "updates via e-mail" (under trumpet) upper right.
For personal medical questions - Replies to Medical Questions. Limited Class spaces for personal feedback. Top students may apply for certification through Learn more in Dr. Bookspan's Books.

Drawing of Backman!™ © copyright Dr. Jolie Bookspan
Photos © from the book The Ab Revolution™

  • 1
Was this article helpful? Yes No

About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.