June 7, 2009
Men, beware. Too much soy can turn you into a girly man. Soy has phytoestrogens, which acts like estrogen in the human body. Estrogen is the female hormone and isn't good for men. Large quantities can lower testosterone and even cause breast growth. Yikes!
The problem is, soy shows up in a lot of food items you may not be aware of. Anytime a food item has protein added, it's almost always soy protein. So check your labels on everything you eat and focus on using whey protein instead of soy.
If you're not careful, your six pack could turn into a keg!
This week on The Biggest Loser they recommended an Ab exercise that could put some people's backs at risk. In one of their weekly "Trainer's Tips" segments, trainers Bob and Jillian demonstrated the "leg toss" exercise as an ab exercise you can do with a partner. You can see a video demo of it Here.
There are two problems with the leg toss. One, it primarily works the hip flexor muscles, not the abs. The abs work as a stabilizer for the pelvis, but the major muscles involved are in you thighs (hip flexors). Two, it puts a lot of pressure on your lower spine. The hip flexors attach on your lower vertebrae. When straight legs are lifted, it puts a lot of pressure on your back.
If your abs aren't strong enough to prevent your spine from being pulled forward, it could result in injury. You can even see it happening in the demo video. When the two girls are working, you can see the lower back arching, coming off the mat. Not good. I often see the exercise done where the helper really flings the legs down. That's crazy.
A highly trained person can probably do this exercise and get away with it, but an untrained, unfit individual could easily injure their back. There many other alternative ways to train your abs without using the leg toss, so there is no reason to ever use it.
It's why I never use it with my clients. It's not necessary and it's potentially harmful. What else do you need to know?