Tip: Real Spinal Decompression for Lifters

Lifting weights stunts your growth. That's a myth, right? Maybe not. Here's what can happen and how to prevent it.

"Lifting Weights Stunt Your Growth!"

Did your mom ever tell you that? It turns out she may have been right.

Repeatedly compressing the spine under heavy loads over long periods of time CAN cause disc degeneration. This isn't new information, but the current fix for it may not be the best one.

You've probably heard of several decompression techniques, like putting your legs up a wall, hanging from a bar, or using an inversion table. There are also recommendations for stretching the hamstrings and lats.

But these techniques all fall under the category of PASSIVE decompression. While they might make you feel good, they're missing the mark. Some place no emphasis on breathing. Others don't activate the musculature involved in anchoring the skeleton.

What you need is an ACTIVE decompression technique. The "founder" exercise is awesome for lifters. Making this move a regular part of your routine will have you on your way to better spine stability, hip mobility, and an overall balanced body.

How to Do It

Warning: You may start shaking uncontrollably! That means you're doing it right.

  1. Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart, facing forward. Your weight should be on your heels.
  2. Get anchored: lift the toes of both feet, then lower them to the floor. Stand tall with your chest up and your sternum raised.
  3. Unlock your hips, hinge them backward, and pull them out behind your heels. Make sure your abdomen stays long.
  4. Your knees should bend slightly but stay well behind the toes. As you feel tension in the lower back, unscrew the shoulders by opening the hands, separating the fingers wide, and turning the thumbs outward.
  5. Now move your arms forward, touching the hands together at the fingertips as you counterbalance the backward-hinging hip movement.
  6. Start the tug of war! Reach forward with your arms and pull back with your hips simultaneously. Keep your chest high and your weight pressed into your heels.
  7. Hold that posture as you breathe a full decompression breath and maintain the expansion on the exhale.