Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Forward folds

in: anniemac; anniemac > 2019-11-11

Nov 11, 2019 4:07 PM # 
Hmmm, I would assume strengthening core muscles is the top need there.

Is there a reason I should stop doing them in my yoga class or can I continue since I've been doing yoga/exercises for 10+ years? (borderline osteoporosis # in spine) Or should I consult my doctor? ;-)
Nov 11, 2019 9:53 PM # 
The main reason to avoid forward folding is to avoid rounding the back. Rounding invites compression fractures in the spine which can happen really easily with thinning bone. This may lead to more compression fractures and more rounding of the spine, leading to bad posture which can lead then to falls! Any rounding of the back during your yoga practice is suspect. So if you’re doing a seated forward fold, keep the back flat! And no more Cat pose.

Also, it’s not about core strengthening at all although the core is really important for overall posture. The training this weekend focused on making the bones work harder so that new bone is formed. The way that new bone is formed is by exerting stress, both compression as in weight-bearing, and tensile as in when the muscles are working to pull the bone in one direction or the other. It’s really fascinating, look up wollfs law.

So, safe and stable alignment is the first order of business. Then within that safe and stable alignment you’re exerting yourself to hold the pose for at least 12 seconds, 30 seconds is best. Past 72 seconds and there is no benefit in terms of bone strengthening.

I’d love to talk to you more! Feel free to email me: and even include your DEXA results if you feel comfortable. You might be interested in participating in the study as well and I can send you information on that.
Nov 12, 2019 10:16 PM # 
Good to know! I'll pay more attention to my forward folds, though I do try to keep a flat back as much as possible. We do Cat and Cow (and I've heard warnings against Cat so don't go into it significantly), forward folds, happy baby (one of my favorites!), and many more; a variety of gentle yoga poses led by a knowledgable teacher.
Nov 12, 2019 10:22 PM # 
I'll be careful on crunches too, and not go too far (I don't pull on my head; learned about using a light touch years ago).

Dexa report just says osteopenia in lumbar spine.
Nov 12, 2019 11:21 PM # 
That all sounds great! Lucky you already do yoga and can possibly reverse that diagnosis!! To work the spine anything that has you twisting will exert even pressure on the veterbral bodies. But twist authentically from your own core. Seated twists, and poses like triangle, revolved triangle and extended side angle will strengthen that area based on Dr Fishman’s teaching. Most of the standing poses also create some torque in the lumbar. Keep me in the loop! Are you doing the Stumble this weekend?
Nov 12, 2019 11:25 PM # 
Yes! We'll be there.
Nov 13, 2019 1:06 AM # 
This is interesting! I, too, have some osteoporosis. I used to do a lot of yoga but have been lazy the last few years. I'll have to be sure to avoid the forward folds & cat etc. Boo because I love cat-cow.
Nov 13, 2019 4:05 AM # 
@peggyd: Try reclining pelvic tilts instead! Where you lay on your back with your knees bent, and you’re pressing your belly button down into floor minimizing lumbar curve, and then lifting belly button up (but not hips) and increasing lumbar curve. Move w breath. Its great for building awareness and strength in deep inner core - transversus abdominus. Without rounding the back.

We need a dose response study on the effects of orienteering on osteoporosis next!!

Please login to add a message.