The Best Move for Spinal Health
Written by Keith Hansen
May 1, 2018
I'm someone that hurt themselves lifting weights before I knew what I was really doing.
I did it on a squat because I didn't know great low bar squat technique.
I've paid for those mistakes for the last 7 years with low back pain that has prevented me from lifting at my fullest potential.
This move has made my back feel the best since before that injury.
First--if you are serious about learning strength training then please seek professional coaching to prevent yourself from getting into the same situation as me. We offer a complimentary consultation.
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I read a lot, and recently I read Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss.
It's a book full of advice, tips, and lifestyle habits from some of the most successful people in America across a wide spectrum of fields & professions.
The best thing I got from the entire book was the Jefferson Curl.
It's like a straight legged deadlift but pushed to the extreme.
I do not recommend this if you have a back injury without consulting your physician first.
Felt like I needed to say that.
How to Execute the Move
Watch the video if you haven't already.
Stand on a box or bench that is at least 12" high with your toes at the edge but not over in a conventional deadlift stance.
You can do this move with either a barbell or dumbbells, but I believe a barbell is best.
From a tall standing position slowly lower the bar or dumbbells toward your feet but keep them as close to your body as possible while keeping your knees locked out or nearly there.
Your flexibility will determine how low you can go but you want to reach as far down as possible. In the beginning this may be near your toes, but as you gain flexibility you will need to pass the bar in front and below your feet. That's why you're on the box.
At the bottom fully exhale then inhale before returning slowly to the top ensuring the bar stays close to your body. I usually get some back cracking at the bottom with the breath. Feels like heaven. It's even better than the chiropractor.
I perform 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps and I recommend keeping the weights light. Do the exercise slow & try to maximize your range of motion for the most benefit.
Again, watch the video on how to do the Jefferson Curl.
The Jefferson Curl is great for spinal heath & low back development, but there is a lot more to developing a strong core.
We've created a free PDF called The Serious Guide to Core Training you can download to make sure you're core strength is maximized.