“I have a section called, ‘Stop doing crunches,'” said Westfahl. “If your core routine mainly consists of crunches, you are training for bad posture.”
– Alison Westfall personal trainer, Boulder
Briefly, if you’re an athlete (particularly a cyclist), a fitness enthusiast and/or interested in addressing back pain, you should check out a recent article from the Denver Post titled, Tom Danielson, Tour de France cyclist from Boulder, focuses on core strength, writes book to address back pain. The article covers former pro cyclist Tom Danielson and his trainer Alison Westfall and their approach to addressing Danielson’s back pain. The two teamed to write a book called Core Advantage: Core Strength for Cycling’s Winning Edge.
Five clients mentioned this article to me and it definitely has some useful information in it. The admonition to quit doing crunches is the first good piece of advice. The second is the inclusion of the glutes as part of the core:
“Pain in Danielson’s spine compelled him to see Westfahl, who found his problem wasn’t rooted in his back, but in his glutes. She had him stop doing crunches — his primary core workout — and switch to other exercises, ones that, among other things, would persuade his glutes to start working properly when he rode.”
There’s more good information in the article including descriptions of three core exercises. Have a look. The book sounds interesting to me as well. Probably need to put it on my wish list.