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Old 16-Jul-05, 12:05 AM   #1
Merrida
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Abdominal exercises for kyphosis


I have a young client (he's in his late 20's) with kyphosis. I worked with him a lot last year, then he took some time off with job changes, and has been in the process of organizing (with his fiance) their upcoming marriage. (This is a different couple than the other I brought up that I'd been working with,....the woman not losing bodyfat).

Anyhoo, this man is ecto, and our training has always been more on the basic conditioning style. With his marriage coming up, 6 weeks prior to the date, he books me frequently (nothing like waiting to the last minute)....I ask him for his "goal" for these 6 weeks: "Make me look good in pictures."

I up the ante, and knowing he has been working out quite regularly (but not on a program to increase mass), I accelerated his program a bit quicker. Interestingly enough, I can SEE visual changes in his musculature in just a few short weeks. This gives me massive hope for the next few weeks.

Problem: He has kyphosis. He doesn't know what it is, and even so, he would not "see" it, recognize it, not see the importance or impact of it, not here or the potential effect down the line.....I've always noticed it but lately I've noticed it has gotten a bit worse.

I had him doing planks the other day (he was so exhausted with our workout, I wanted something "simple" not easly, when I noticed the extreme kyphosis that I had never quite noticed before,... I mean, I always knew it, but the degree to which he has it surprised me because it's pretty acute

I'm avoiding mat crunches. I'm trying to stay away from them all together. But what exercises for abs WOULD you recommend for kyphotic postures? (In particular, abdominal exercises).

Any input?
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Old 16-Jul-05, 09:06 AM   #2
Lady C
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My understanding is kyphosis is because there is poor posture or rounding of the shoulders and back. This would mean that the abs are extremely short or unflexable and would need stretching. I would think strenghtening the lower and middle back would help straighten out his back some. I would probably do hyperextensions. Then some stretching of the abs on a ball or something. I'm no expert but this is what I would try.
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Old 16-Jul-05, 10:05 AM   #3
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That's one thing I have NOT encorporated into his training,....ab stretches. But what I have been doing along pseudo/quasi similar lines is: For some ab work, I've got him doing planks. Right now we're still doing them on the elbows, both toes down. We also do side planks. My "plank" goal with him would be to be able to, -- while doing the straight planks, -- to be able to roll on his toes, forwards and back, to help stretch the abs out WHILE maintaining plank position. Working on hip extension by lifting one leg at a time (and holding),.....for a count,....then alternating.

Eventually, get him in a position with arms straightened to an iso-pushup position then eventually get him to extend his shoulder, straighten his arm out, one at a time, (for a count).

Anyway, all of these would involve strengthening his ab muscles and core (including his low back) in an "elongated" position, rather than doing anything that might shorten and enhance that curvature.

Kyphosis is tricky in general and it's tough, especially when the client's in denial or "can't see" that he has this large dowagers hump on his back. Any "tactful" way to point out this ....observation, and why we're not doing the ab exercises he favors (ie: the ones that would make this worse?)
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Old 16-Jul-05, 10:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Any "tactful" way to point out this ....observation, and why we're not doing the ab exercises he favors (ie: the ones that would make this worse?)

nope. when i have to break news along that line, i keep my face clinically bland and pleasantly neutral and just say casually "well, because you've got [x], of course" as though he knew it all along and you were just taking that into account.

ie, "i'm sorry - didn't i mention that crunches would make your kyphosis worse?"

just looked it up - ouch: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001240.htm
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Old 16-Jul-05, 11:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrida

Problem: He has kyphosis. He doesn't know what it is, and even so, he would not "see" it, recognize it, not see the importance or impact of it, not here or the potential effect down the line.....I've always noticed it but lately I've noticed it has gotten a bit worse.

I had him doing planks the other day (he was so exhausted with our workout, I wanted something "simple" not easly, when I noticed the extreme kyphosis that I had never quite noticed before,... I mean, I always knew it, but the degree to which he has it surprised me because it's pretty acute

I'm avoiding mat crunches. I'm trying to stay away from them all together. But what exercises for abs WOULD you recommend for kyphotic postures? (In particular, abdominal exercises).

Any input?
Sounds like he could have Scheuermann's disease whereby he can look forward to limited function in later adulthood. This is idiopathic (unknown etiology). There could be something else going on if this is progressive. He should see a doctor.

http://www.orthospine.com/medical_co..._kyphosis.html

How about Reverse crunches, bicycles, and hanging leg raises? Can he do those?
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Last edited by Rad_MD; 16-Jul-05 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 15-Jun-09, 08:26 AM   #6
isnogood
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Kiphosis solution


Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrida View Post
I'm avoiding mat crunches. I'm trying to stay away from them all together. But what exercises for abs WOULD you recommend for kyphotic postures? (In particular, abdominal exercises).

Any input?
Abdominal exercises will not help much with kyphosis, that being said limit crunches, there is no need for endless reps. Reverse crunches if done right (pelvic tilt) will help with the lordosis (as will Cook hip lift) and lordosis is a companion to kyphosis. For kyphosis you'll want to do T-spine mobility drills (foam roller, med ball, tennis balls and if his kyphosis is too far advanced some chiropractic work will be necessary: mainly traction/extension and manipulation) As for strength training you can do Swiss ball T's Y's, W's & I's with light weight (for kyphosis sufferer these exercises are very challenging even without weights). Other specific exercises would include cable row to neck, chin tucks etc. And generally any rowing type movements won't hurt.
Having just said all that if he does not modify his behavior -- mainly his sitting mechanics no amount of exercise will help.
Hope this was helpfull. D.
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Old 17-Jun-09, 02:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isnogood View Post
Abdominal exercises will not help much with kyphosis, that being said limit crunches, there is no need for endless reps. [...] For kyphosis you'll want to do T-spine mobility drills (foam roller, med ball, tennis balls and if his kyphosis is too far advanced some chiropractic work will be necessary: mainly traction/extension and manipulation) As for strength training you can do Swiss ball T's Y's, W's & I's with light weight (for kyphosis sufferer these exercises are very challenging even without weights). Other specific exercises would include cable row to neck, chin tucks etc. And generally any rowing type movements won't hurt.
Having just said all that if he does not modify his behavior -- mainly his sitting mechanics no amount of exercise will help.
Great post, everyone should pay special attention to the last sentence I quoted (and tape it to their computer monitor). For spine mobility I like two tennis balls duct-taped together. Fits very well around the spine and there's not much chance of getting things "wrong".

I'd also suggest a kind of Pavlovian behavioral therapy in-between sets when you're working with him. Have the client stand relaxed, as he normally would, and then have him move his straight arms back, palms forward, so that they're in line with the back of the glutes. Every single rest period he should have that position. This doesn't really help with kyphosis but it serves as a reminder of good posture and does help a bit with the excessive forward rotation of the shoulder that often accompanies kyphosis.
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